Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

24/7 or Dead: A Handbook for Families With a Loved One in the Hospital

24/7 or Dead: A Handbook for Families With a Loved One in the Hospital, Jari Holland Buck, AuthorHouse, 2006

A loved one is in the hospital with some major ailment. How do you be a 24/7 advocate for them, making sure that they get all appropriate health care every day, without sounding like a hysterical nut, and without totally losing your mind?

The author's husband was critically ill for eight months, including six months on total life support with multiple organ failure. The author learned, the hard way, how to navigate through the medical world. First and foremost, take care of yourself. You will be of no use to your loved one if you are physically or emotionally exhausted or stressed out. Use the hospital chapel. Even if you are not religious, the peace and quiet will help you to collect your thoughts. If possible, try for Monday admission. Nothing happens in hospitals on weekends, nights and holidays, including important procedures. The least experienced staff will be on holiday duty, because those with experience got the time off. Get a Durable Medical Power of Attorney, a Living Will and a Power of Attorney. No one knows what will happen in a hospital.

Every hospital has a Patient Rights Policy (get a copy) and a Patient Advocacy Office (get to know them). Don't be afraid to use them if the staff have a problem with your questions or involvement. Phrase everything in the positive, on the assumption that the loved one can hear you, even if they can't respond. Learn everything you can about your loved one's ailment, and the equipment used in treatment.

Inquire about every drug or injection used or denied in treatment; they all have side effects. Also, understand every procedure used or denied in treatment. Some hospitals will tolerate (not "like") your questions, and will make you part of the health care team, and some hospitals will not. Be prepared. Hospital bills are notorious for including duplicate products and services; keep track of everything that comes into the room. Stay in the room 24/7, or make sure someone you trust is there. Mistakes are very easy, mistakes that could equal death. Last, but not least, pray.

With the problems in the health care system, and the growing nursing shortage, everyone needs to become a health care advocate. This book does a first-rate job at showing just how to do it. It is recommended for anyone working with family members, and for the family members.