Can you be prepared to go the emergency room? I mean after all the definition of an “emergency” is “a serious, dangerous or unexpected situation”, so can anyone be prepared for an unexpected situation? The answer is yes, you can be prepared by getting yourself organized.
I live in California, and Californians are taught what to do in case of an earthquake. You can buy earthquake preparedness kits, you can follow guidelines set by the state in regard to what you should have at home in case of a massive earthquake. I would say that earthquakes can fall into the “emergency” definition. They can be dangerous, serious and are almost always unexpected.
So how should you prepare for a trip to the emergency room? You need to have an emergency preparedness kit. This kit is going to have an Emergency Contact form that will have all of your important personal and medical information. Your name, address, and phone number. It needs to include family and friends name and phone numbers, medical insurance information, a list of your current medications, a list of allergies (food and medications), your current diagnosis and a list of chronic diseases that you may have. You also need to include the name of the hospital you prefer to go to. Copies of your driver’s license and medical insurance cards can also be included in the folder.
This information should be in a folder, that is easy for a loved one to find, and the paramedics to locate, in case you are home alone. This folder also should include your Advance Healthcare Directive. Your family and friends should know that this document exists and where to locate it. I recommend that you have several copies. An original copy is not needed for the hospital.
Anything else? I recommend that you have a bag packed with an extra phone charger, maybe a book, notebook and pen, hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes, pajamas, a bathrobe, slippers, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair comb or brush, a razor, undergarments and clothes you could wear home from the hospital. Having all this ready to go will help relieve the stress and anxiety not only for you, but for your loved ones as well.
As a Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA) I have an Emergency Contact form that I like to have my clients fill out. If you have any questions or would like any assistance on how to best be prepared for an emergency room visit, or hospital stay, or organizing your medical history, please give me a call at 760-567-3744 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org