What Can I Do If My Loved One is in the Hospital — How Can I Stay In-Touch?
Anytime a loved one is in the hospital, it can be an uncertain, anxious time. COVID-19 pandemic visitation restrictions have made it even more stressful for so many families across the nation – and the world. Our certified Elder Care Coordinator, Ina Golden, RN has a few inside tips that can help you stay connected to your hospitalized loved ones during COVID-19.
- Call the Hospital's Main Number and ask to be connected to the Nurses Station. If you do not know the room number, ask the operator who answered the call. They can either tell you the room number or connect you with Patient Information.
- Usually, the Clerk will answer the call; explain who you are and why you are calling. Hopefully, you have a HIPPA release so information can be given to you. Ask to speak to your loved one’s nurse and ask him/her to call you back when they have time. If you do not have a HIPPAA release, please contact Mannor Law Group for free assistance during the pandemic (810) 694-9000.
- If your loved one is in surgery, call and ask to be connected to OR when the Clerk answers, explain who you are and why you are calling. If you have a HIPPA release, ask for the physician or another medical person to call you and tell you about your loved one’s condition, how the surgery went, what was found, and what expectations the surgeon has for them.
- Know that your loved one will be in Recovery (Post Anesthesia Care Unit or “PACU”) for several hours before they are transferred to their floor. Know that if they left from the floor for surgery, they may be assigned another room after surgery.
- Call the Hospital and ask for your loved one’s floor and ask to speak to their nurse or have their nurse return the call when they are able.
- Ask the nurse when it would be convenient for you to call or for them to call you on each shift for an update on your loved one.
- Have one person be the “designated person” for communication so the nurse does not have to answer so many calls for one patient. You may want to start a “Caring Bridge”, a communication platform that helps someone going through medical treatments share their journey with loved ones as well as many other tools to strengthen their sense of community and support. Their website is www.caringbridge.org.
What To Do Next?
If you or someone you know does not already have a HIPAA release, allowing a trusted person to speak with medical professionals on your behalf, Mannor Law Group is assisting you at no cost during the crisis. Please contact our office to let us know you would like assistance.