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Staying in hospital for a long time isn't something anyone would really want to do but if you have no choice, making the most of your stay make sense. These tips should make your experience at least slightly more pleasant.

Are you going to be staying at a hospital or other healthcare facility for quite a long time? There is no doubt that your experience will be challenging, and that you will wish you were at home or anywhere else at some point. There are ways to make your stay easier and more pleasant though. What are they?

Don't Be A Whiner

During your stay in hospital, at a rehabilitation center, or at another type of long-term healthcare facility, you'll come into contact with many different kinds of healthcare professionals. They may include quite a few different kinds of doctors as well as nurses and unlicensed assistive personnel. The latter go by all kinds of different names, depending on where you live.

They could be called nursing assistants, auxiliary nurses, nurse aides, patient care technicians, or any variety of other names. Whatever they're called, these folks represent the first line of care.

Depending on your individual health situation, you may depend on them to help you use the bathroom, shower, get a glass of water, and similar intimate and important things. This front-line staff will probably also show up if you press the "assistance" button because you're suddenly in a lot of pain or you think there is something really wrong with you.

If you're spending quite a while at a facility, you will develop a reputation among the nursing staff. How they treat you will in part depend on how you treat them, and if you're known as someone who frequently "calls Wolf", you may not get the assistance you need when you need it. The first first key to a pleasant long-term stay is not being seen as a whiner, then. 

Don't:

  • Press the button for assistance every time you're bored
  • Ask for water every five minutes
  • Demand to be brought softer, harder, or different pillows all the time
  • Complain the other patients are too loud continuously
  • Say the food sucks — the person who comes when you press the button isn't the cook
  • Say: "My hankie fell on the floor, pick it up please" one minute, and ask for your pencil to be handed to you three minutes later
  • Be an unpleasant, nasty person

Instead, call for assistance only when necessary, and not because your life could be slightly more comfortable. 

It is clearly not nice to depend on someone else's assistance to use the bathroom. If your nursing assistant is also irritated when you say you need to use the bathroom, even after you waited 45 minutes to pee, you may feel like being grumpy. That's probably not going to help you much, however. Instead, try to be positive — say you're so happy that you can finally use the bathroom, and say thank you.

Being positive and polite is much more likely to make the same person go the extra mile for you next time.

Showing an interest in the staff's life and being nice will usually help. "Did you have a good weekend?", or "Having a busy day today?" will often get a conversation going. You can also ask how you can make the staff's life easier. Anticipate what you are going to need in advance. When they're already at your bed, ask the nursing assistant to line 10 glasses of water up for you, rather than calling every time you'd like a drink. Anything that makes you look like a pleasant person will benefit you. 

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