No one wants to be in the hospital longer than they need to, but staying in the hospital after an invasive medical procedure can be essential to making a full recovery. In the hours and days after your procedure, a small irritation can turn into a major medical issue, fast.
Unfortunately, hospitals have a lot of pressure to keep people moving through the process of admission, treatment, recovery and release. The faster the hospital can release a patient, the faster they can admit a new one.
Here’s what you should watch for to make sure you are not released before you are stable enough to complete your recovery away from the hospital.
Do your homework
Whether are having a planned procedure or you go in for an emergency, take time to learn about what the recovery process after discharge will be like. There could be a substantial difference in opinions on what recovery should look like.
Start with your doctor and other medical team members to learn more about your specific situation, but do not be afraid to do more research. There could be many factors that indicate you need more time surrounded by medical professionals.
Also, make sure you understand what you need to do to continue your recovery when you go home. If the instructions are unclear, keep asking questions until you feel comfortable with every task.
Communication is key
While you are in the hospital, you have an entire team of medical personnel who are there to help you recover and, ultimately, go home. When you have a concern, you should talk to your medical team as soon as it comes up so that they can determine if that affects your release date.
Also, be clear with your medical team about the support you have when you go home. While some people may have friends and family who will be there to help them recover, you may not have the same support. If you will need to be mostly or completely independent at home, it may mean you need more time in the hospital, surrounded by medical staff to help you.