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The Essential Hospital Handbook: How to Be an Effective Partner in a Loved One's Care

Overview

Hospitalization is often as dismaying and frightening for family members as it is for the patient. And despite a heartfelt desire to understand what is happening and to comfort a sick or injured loved one, too often relatives and friends feel helpless and marginalized by the hospital system. This valuable book is the first to assist families and friends of adult patients to navigate the unfamiliar and intimidating territory of the hospital. It spells out in the clearest terms how a family can form a partnership ...

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The Essential Hospital Handbook: How to Be an Effective Partner in a Loved One’s Care

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Overview

Hospitalization is often as dismaying and frightening for family members as it is for the patient. And despite a heartfelt desire to understand what is happening and to comfort a sick or injured loved one, too often relatives and friends feel helpless and marginalized by the hospital system. This valuable book is the first to assist families and friends of adult patients to navigate the unfamiliar and intimidating territory of the hospital. It spells out in the clearest terms how a family can form a partnership with medical providers to ensure the best patient care possible.

Patrick Conlon’s inspiration for the book was the sudden, frightening hospitalization of his longtime partner, Jim, and his personal struggle to develop a useful role for himself as a caregiver. Here he provides the handbook he wishes he’d had when Jim was admitted to the hospital. Conlon offers encouragement, proven strategies, and straightforward advice—all with the goal of empowering others to become successful care partners at the bedside of their loved ones.

Special features of the book:

--Simple dos and don’ts to help you help your loved one and interact with hospital professionals

--Handy tear-out checklists to fill in when consulting a surgeon, preparing for discharge, making a complaint, updating family and friends, and planning important meetings

--Definitions of hospital jargon—terms, abbreviations, euphemisms, an acronyms

--Sidebars with interesting facts: Can cell phones interfere with sensitive medical equipment? Why don’t British doctors wear neckties? What’s the average length of stay in an ICU?

--Easy-to-use caregiver’s chart and diary

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Editorial Reviews

Thomas E. Stewart

"This should be mandatory reading for both healthcare professionals and patients' families. We often forget how a patient's loved ones are an important component of healthcare delivery. In the current unbalanced healthcare system, we cannot afford to neglect the key insights provided by this invaluable resource."—Thomas E. Stewart, MD, FRCPC, University of Toronto; Physician-in-Chief, Mount Sinai Hospital; and Associate Physician-in-Chief, University Health Network

Mary Ferguson-Paré

The Essential Hospital Handbook will help to demystify the hospital experience for families and help them to manage their choices about care and treatment options.”—Mary Ferguson-Paré, RN, PhD, CHE, Vice President, Professional Affairs & Chief Nurse Executive, University Health Network
Jona Raasch

“I will use and recommend Patrick Conlon's wonderful book. Patrick helped his loved one on the journey toward health, and now paves the way for a smoother journey for all patients.”—Jona Raasch, President, The Governance Institute

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Patrick Conlon is an award-winning journalist, author, broadcaster, and public advocate for family-inclusive hospital care. He lives in Toronto.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 The Hospital Nation of the Wounded 7

2 Emergency Hurry Up and Wait 18

3 The Living Will Saying Yes or No to Medical Intervention 41

4 Surgery Cutting Through the Confusion 58

5 Intensive Care Life on the Edge 80

6 Recovery (I) The Ward, the Care Team, and the Plan 108

7 Recovery (II) Charts, Meds, Tests, Codes, and Other Hospital Mysteries 136

8 Recovery (III) Partnering with the Care Team and Planning for Home 164

9 Hospice Dying with Dignity 194

A Hospital Lexicon 215

What Does That Mean? Terms for Medical Conditions, Common Hospital Procedures, and Other Health-Related Matters 215

Staff Slang: What You Might Overhear 281

Recommended Resources 319

Index 333

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