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Patient Safety at CMH

Communicating with Your Caregiver

  • If you don’t understand your caregiver, tell them. Ask a lot of questions. Caregivers have a duty to help you understand, do not leave without understanding what is happening to you and what you need to do.
  • Don’t be embarrassed if you have trouble reading paperwork, your caregivers can explain any documents you are given.
  • Instructions from your doctor are important. If they are not clear or if you do not understand what you need to do, DO NOT try and figure things out by yourself. Ask your doctor to explain things more thoroughly or have a family member or close friend present when the doctor is giving you instructions.
  • Ask for a card of all your medicines and instructions in case you are worried you may forget what all you need to do.
  • Your doctor may say that you need a certain “procedure”. Generally a procedure is an operation, treatment, or test requiring special equipment. Make sure you know what your procedure will entail and what specifically will be done.
  • Informed consent means that you know how your condition will be treated. It also means that you agree with the treatment and are aware of the risks associated with it. You will be asked to sign paperwork stating informed consent, only do so if you fully understand all that has been explained to you.
  • If asked to do something that conflicts with your cultural or religious beliefs, explain these to your caregiver, there may be other ways to meet your needs.

Source: The Joint Commission