All patients have the right to expect good treatment from medical and mental health professionals and staff. However, the way you are treated has to do with how you interact with these professionals. Patients and their families need to be involved in their own care, but they also need to be cognizant of to whom they are asking questions and expressing concerns.
Here are some useful tips to get the absolute best care from medical and mental health professionals and staff:
- Take a moment to think about what you want to ask or say so you can explain yourself clearly, completely and honestly.
- Act and speak respectfully with all staff no matter what your condition or level of pain or discomfort.
- Acknowledge that communication is a continuous, two-way, process which means taking turns and listening carefully to family and staff.
- Remember that “Please” and “Thank You” go a long way.
- You must be your own advocate, but watch your tone and loudness level; avoid being rude, crass or obnoxious.
- Try learning your regular staff member’s names, their talents, interests and even children’s names. Show that you realize they are people too.
- Accept that the hospital or medical office is a very busy environment, momentary interruptions and delays are unfortunate but will likely occur from time-to-time.
- There are usually other members of the health care team that can likely assist you with many procedural questions, e.g. in hospital a nurse manager or supervisor, or the director of nursing. Additionally, you have consumer affairs departments to reach out to if needed.