Take an Active Role in Your Stay

Atlantic General Hospital is committed to your safety. Patients who are more involved with their care tend to do better and stay safer. By working with our physicians, nurses and hospital staff, you can reduce your risk of injury and make your stay as safe as possible.

Ask Questions

  • Talk to your nurses and doctors. We welcome your questions and will always do our best to answer honestly. Your safe recuperation is our goal.
  • Ask questions if you do not understand something. It is your body and your treatment, and you have the right to understand what is happening.
  • Ask for an interpreter if you cannot speak English or if you are hard of hearing.

Wear Your Identification At All Times

  • You will be issued a wrist identification bracelet when you are admitted to the hospital. Wear it at all times. If it comes off or you lose it, ask your nurse to get a new one for you.
  • Check the information on your I.D. bracelet to make sure it is correct.
  • Make sure all staff members check your I.D. bracelet before any procedure or test.
Understand Your Treatment
  • Ask your doctor and nurse about your treatment. Make sure you understand what they tell you and that you agree with it.
  • Have a family member or friend listen, too, when a diagnosis, treatment plan, test results or discharge plans are explained.
  • Feel free to write down what you learn, if that will help you remember.
  • Be familiar with the equipment that is being used for your treatment. Know how it should sound and how it should look.
  • Question anything that seems unusual or strange.
Prevent the Spread of Germs
  • Wash your hands and practice good personal hygiene when you can.
  • Remind doctors and nurses and other caregivers to wash their hands or wear gloves before examining you or giving you medicine.
  • Ask your friends and family who are ill not to visit you in the hospital.
  • Get a vaccination, if recommended. Flu and pneumonia vaccines can help prevent illnesses in elderly and high-risk patients.
Be Aware of Your Medicines
  • Know what your medicines look like, what they do, when they are given and what side effects they have. If you do not recognize a medicine, verify that it is for you.
  • Let your doctor or nurse know of any allergies you have to drugs, foods or latex.
  • Tell your doctor and nurse about all medicines you’re taking, including vitamins, herbal remedies and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Do not take medicines brought from home, unless told to do so by your doctor or nurse.
Avoid Taking a Fall
  • Ask for help when getting out of bed, especially at night. The hospital is an unfamiliar place and most falls occur when patients try to get out of bed on their own to go to the bathroom. If possible, call for assistance before the need to get to the bathroom becomes urgent.
  • Make sure you wear your glasses, as well as slippers with rubber soles when moving around your room.
  • Make sure the brakes are locked when you get in or out of a wheel chair.

For more information about taking an active role in your healthcare, visit the web site for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.