After recently spending time in the hospital with an ailing elderly parent, I gained a new appreciation for the nurses, doctors and technicians who work long shifts, answer endless questions and juggle multiple patients — all who are impatient to feel better and go home. It took me ages to decipher who was who in the procession of staff members that came and went. And, I always wrestled with deciding when it was okay to interrupt busy staff members with our numerous questions and requests. It’s for just these instances that Kati Kleber’s book, Admit One: What You MUST Know When Going to the Hospital, But No One Actually Tells You! really helps.
Kati Kleber, a critical care nurse, put herself in her patients’ shoes — or, in this case, gowns — and has written a guide to hospital protocols. She confesses that health care professionals assume their patients know the lexicon and procedures of the medical system that, more than likely, the normal person on a gurney could never comprehend. Admit One reveals the inner workings of a typical hospital and offers checklists, insider tips and answers to frequently asked questions. Its user-friendly contents help patients and their loved ones navigate the medical labyrinth of a hospital stay.
Besides what we laypersons pick up from shows like ER and Grey’s Anatomy, trying to manage the barrage of information during a real-life hospital stay can trigger an acute case of information overload. But Kleber defines the roles and responsibilities of different health care team members, and decodes the terms and acronyms we’ll likely hear. She walks us through the levels of care patients may cycle through, and gives a hospital roadmap for where different procedures usually take place.
Especially useful, Kleber informs patients and family members about their roles and responsibilities in ensuring they receive the care they need — such as providing the doctor with a list of medications taken at home, and sharing who is designated as their health care power of attorney.
Kleber also put my mind at rest about clarifying who’s who among the staff that come and go. She assures us, “It is always okay to ask, ‘Who are you?’ to someone who comes into your hospital room and starts asking questions.”
To learn more, visit Nurses Books.org.