Very few people like hospitals. Unless you have chosen to work in one, there is usually no positive reason for being in one – you or someone you know and love will be unwell or injured in some way.
It’s common for people to experience some form of anxiety when they know they need to go to a hospital, whether for their own health needs or to visit someone there. For some people, including myself, this anxiety can cause big problems, meaning we stay away from hospitals as much as possible and our health can suffer. Here are some useful tips on dealing with hospital anxiety if you’re like me and suffer from it.
One of the significant issues that some people have with hospitals is that they find it difficult to trust the doctors and nurses within it. This might stem from a medical error in the past that required a medical malpractice attorney to make a claim. Even if it didn’t get that far, believing a doctor made a mistake somewhere or didn’t tell the full story can cause major trust issues.
If this is the situation, spend time getting to know the medical professionals working on your case or who are involved in the ward you are visiting. Arrange appointments to meet with them and ask them questions. This should help ease your anxiety.
Home From Home
By taking small home comforts into the hospital with you, you can make yourself feel safe and secure. It could be your favorite music or perhaps a book that you love. Photos are a great idea and make a good talking point with other patients (who can help dispel your fears about hospitals themselves) and even the medical staff.
Think about what you enjoy doing at home, and see if you can bring something of that into the hospital. From books and music to sketchbooks and pencils or a well-loved cuddly toy, whatever helps you feel at ease should be with you. When I went in for my first surgery, my husband gave me a stuffed RUSS troll doll, which was a twin of the one I have had since childhood. It helped me keep a positive mindset and ease my anxiety when I hugged it tight.
Bring Someone With You
Part of the fear of hospitals can be due to the unknown, and if you have to face that on your own, it can feel even more terrifying. Try to bring someone with you whenever you have to go into hospital – no matter what the reason – and they can help you keep calm. Even if you are just visiting, having someone with you to guide you through the process and help you get where you need to be can be extremely useful. They don’t have to come into the patient’s room or ward with you, but can help you up until that point. Once the visit or procedure is over, the friend you brought with you can be a great sounding board, listening to your problems and helping you talk through them. This can be an excellent way to get the issues you are feeling off your chest.