No one ever wakes up in the morning and expects that they’re going to end up in the emergency room. However, if you get into an accident or have sustained serious or life-threatening injuries, you’ll want to be prepared not only for the recovery, but also for the huge amount of information that you’ll be receiving from the doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff.
If you or a family member have been admitted to the emergency room, you’ll want to make sure you understand every diagnosis that’s being made and any long-term instructions you’ll need to know.
To help you prepare to talk to the doctors and hospital staff, here are four questions you should be asking in the emergency room before you (or your loved one) are released. If possible, have a trusted family member or friend nearby with a pen and paper to write down all these important answers.
1. What are my injuries?
This is the first and most important question that you need to ask so that you can ensure that you completely understand what your diagnosis is. If you’ve been in a serious car accident, it might be possible for you to have several injuries at once, so don’t be afraid to speak up and ask if you’re ever uncertain what they’re treating for.
2. What does my future care look like?
Some people can walk out of the emergency room and just need a couple of weeks of rest, while others may require months or years of physical or occupational therapy. It’s important that you understand not only what injuries you’ve received, but also what your future care is going to look like. Knowing what your future care is going to look like should answer the following questions and more: What kind of medications will you need to be taking? How long will you need to be taking them? Will you need to report back for several doctor’s appointments with your regular physician? Will you need to see a specialist?
Be sure to ask your doctors or nurses for any clarification if needed.
3. Are you aware of my personal medical history?
Hospitals—especially emergency rooms—are very busy places. If you have any ailments or conditions (or if you’re taking any medications), always ask your doctor if they have looked at your medical history just to ensure that you’re receiving proper medical care and don’t have an adverse or fatal reaction to treatment.
4. What caused my injuries?
This may be a difficult question for your doctors to answer until they’ve done a thorough examination, but it’s an important question to ask every time they’re in your room. If, for example, you’ve been in a car accident and sustained injuries, it’s crucial that your doctor say definitively that your injuries were indeed caused by the car crash for insurance purposes (so that the insurance company can’t blame a pre-existing condition or something unrelated to the crash).
Have you been injured in a car accident or a slip and fall accident that’s led to emergency room treatment? If you’re looking for legal representation in Georgia, consider the experienced and knowledgeable legal team at the Fry | Goehring. Click here for more information and to set up a consultation with Randy E. Fry, a personal injury lawyer.