There are things you can do to prevent Chicago Medical Malpractice, even though you may think they’re too simple or straight forward to work. For example, the scene in ‘Terms of Endearment’ where Shirley MacLaine’s character goes up to the nurse’s station and asks about pain medication for her daughter always gets to me. She starts out soft-toned, informing the nurse that it is time for her daughter’s pain medication. She was told her daughter would only have to wait until a certain time and it was that time. When met with the nurse’s delayed response and action, she quickly escalated to running around the nurse’s station and screaming, “My daughter is in pain. I don’t understand why she has to be in this pain! Give my daughter the shot!”
Some may watch that scene in the movie and think there is no way they could act like that in a similar circumstance; however, the truth is, that is exactly how you should act. Don’t ever be afraid to stand up for what you believe to be right regarding a loved one’s care. This fictional character was advocating for her daughter’s well being and the extremity in which she does her advocating should not be dismissed as fictional. Those who have spent any time at all in the hospital with a loved one or for themselves, has to be ready to advocate for adequate healthcare and sometimes to the point of being obnoxious.
Being a patient advocate doesn’t have to be an adversarial position, rather it is a team position wherein the voice of the patient is heard through you. A patient advocate position is not always easy, but staying informed and involved helps decrease the chance of medical malpractice.
Here are a few tips to remember while playing the role of advocate:
- Have your loved one sign a HIPPA form so that you may be kept up to date on all the particulars of their healthcare. This also gives you the right to speak with physicians and nurses regarding care and gives them permission to keep you informed.
- Stay with your loved one throughout their hospitalization as much as possible and document everything that you see, hear and overhear (including names, times, procedures performed, and the physical condition of your loved one at any given time).
- If you are unable to stay for extended periods of time, you have the right to look at your loved one’s medical record to keep up to date on what has been transpiring in your absence (if your loved one has signed a HIPPA form for you).
- Stay informed of the medications that are being given through questions and research.
- Always insist on a second opinion and go through the maneuvers to obtain one.
- Stay involved in the healthcare of your loved one by taking part in every decision made in their behalf.
- Do NOT be afraid to ask questions, whether you think they are silly or not. If you don’t understand something or if you just don’t know – just ask!
- Do NOT be afraid to speak up and speak out when the situation calls for it.
If you think you or a loved one needs the council of a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer, do not hesitate to call or e-mail us at VanDerGinst Law today!