This is the time of year that emergency rooms are bursting at the seams. They are full of people suffering from flu symptoms and other seasonal illnesses in addition to the usual injuries and emergencies. This overcrowding is a recipe for malpractice because doctors are in a hurry, fatigued, and may not provide you with the best care. Here are some tips to follow to ensure that you obtain the best care possible:
Bring an advocate along: If at all possible, don’t go to the emergency room by yourself. You may be disoriented, fatigued, or just plain in pain. You may be under the influence of pain medication. Your mind may be so cluttered that you can’t even comprehend what the doctor is saying to you. If you have friends or family members present with you, they can take notes to ensure that you follow the doctor’s orders.
Be persistent: If you’ve been waiting a long time, you should politely approach the front desk to make sure they haven’t forgotten about you. Yes, wait times may be long, but if you are really in danger, you need to let them know. Now is not the time to be shy.
Time your visit: If at all possible, try to arrive in the emergency room early in the morning. Their slowest times are from 3:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
Don’t forget your manners: In most emergency rooms, the nurses provide most of the hands on care. You will receive better care if you treat them nicely. Also, don’t be obnoxious and talk on your cell phone excessively. The ER staff, like it or not, does play favorites, and your goal should be to be their favorite so that you receive their attention.
Emergency departments are important for emergency care, and these tips will help you obtain the best care possible. However, if you’ve been the victim of poor emergency room care, consult with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney to understand your rights.