If your doctor has decided that you need to stay in the hospital for a few days, you may be worried about the staff giving your the wrong medication. If so, use the following tips for protecting yourself from medication errors during your upcoming hospital stay.
Discuss Medication Changes with the Staff
When you are first admitted to the hospital, your doctor most likely spoke to you about the medication you will be taking. However, they may decide to make changes in the type of medicine or the dosage, depending on your current medical condition.
Whenever the doctor comes to see you, ask them if they are planning to make any changes. If so, make sure you also bring these changes up with the nurses. Not only will this remind them about the orders, but it also gives you a chance to review the medicine when they bring it to you.
Know What Your Medicine Looks Like
Either the first time you are administered medicine while in the hospital or after any changes, ask the nurse to point out each pill and identify them by name. Having them point out the different medicines will let you know what each one looks like so you know how to identify them yourself in the future.
Asking the nurse to point out each medicine also gives you extra protection from errors. Having the nurse reaffirm that each pill is present and correct can help keep them from either forgetting an important medicine or accidentally giving you the wrong one that could hurt you.
Say Your Name Out Loud Before Taking It
Either before the nurse reviews your medication or before you take it, another way you can protect yourself from receiving the wrong pills is to say your name out loud. Hospital staff are supposed to double check your identity every time they give you medicine.
However, if the nurse has taken care of you before or is rushed, they may neglect this important step. Even if you think they know your name, they may confuse you with another patient. Saying your name out loud reminds them not only of who you are but also to check your name band to verify it.
Even if you take precautions, you could still end up being given the wrong medication that has seriously adverse effects on your body. If you feel you have been the victim of a medication error during your hospital stay, schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney to discuss your situation and see if you have a viable case.