What Every Patient Should Know
A Guide to Safe and Proper Usage
As the patient, you play a very important role in your medication therapy. As your health care providers, we want to ensure that all of our patients are provided with the proper information to use medications safely and effectively. If you have any questions regarding your medication therapy, please do not hesitate to ask your nurse, physician, or pharmacist (608-342-4747).
Things you should know about your medications:
- Ask the names of the medications that you are receiving during your hospital stay. Always make sure you are aware of both the name and strength of the medications you use.
- Question anything about your medications that you don’t understand or that doesn’t seem right. Be especially alert to unexpected changes, such as a change in appearance or directions.
- Know what each medication you take is for and what to expect for results and possible side effects. If you are unsure, ask!
- Know how to properly take your medications.
- Know your drug allergies. Be able to identify the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction.
- Keep a personal list of all your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you take along with how you take them. Include a list of medications that you cannot take (due to allergies, etc) and give reasons why. Carry it with you to show to your doctors, nurses, dentists, and others involved in your care.
- Make sure you understand how your medications should be stored.
- Request any written information that is available about your medications. Ask your nurse or you may contact a hospital pharmacist at 608-342-4747 for more information. Upon discharge, be sure that you know what meds you need to continue to take when you go home. Ask your community pharmacist for help if you are unsure about what to take.
- Get all your prescriptions filled at one pharmacy if possible. Make sure that every pharmacy you use has a complete list of all your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications so they can screen for drug interactions, duplication, and allergies. Over-the-counter medications and herbal products may have drug interactions too. Many agents need to be avoided in patients with certain medical conditions. Always read the label before using and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask the pharmacist or doctor.
- Be sure to consult with your community pharmacist regarding refills.
- If you have any questions regarding your medications during your hospital stay and would like to talk to a pharmacist, call ext. 2247.
- If you are too ill to follow these suggestions, ask a relative or friend to help.
Your health and safety are our top priority. Asking questions is very important. We love your questions, and look forward to providing you answers.
Medication for Surgery
Night Before Surgery
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight – including water – unless otherwise instructed to do so. Do not use any tobacco products, chewing gum, candy or lozenges after midnight. Try to get plenty of rest. Make sure to take any medications prescribed by your physician for constipation and/or blood clots.
On Surgery Day
- The anesthesiologist may tell you to take any blood pressure or heart medication you are on PRIOR to surgery. AFTER surgery, your doctor will decide which of your home medications should be continued during your hospital stay.
- You will receive oral pain medication during your preparation for surgery in Ambulatory service. Pain medication is given routinely after surgery by mouth and IV.
- You will experience pain. That’s normal. Yet, we’re here to help control your pain to make your recovery faster. Your nurse will ask you to rate your pain on a 0-10 scale. A rating of 0 is no pain while a rating of 10 is the worst pain ever. Let your nurse know when your pain increases. We will do our best to manage your pain, although we not be able to eliminate it.
- If you are feeling nauseated, tell your nurse. There is medication ordered for you that will help decrease the nausea.
- Itching can be a side effect. If you feel itchy, please tell your nurse.
- You will receive IV antibiotics to minimize your risk of an infection. Please inform your nurse if you have any drug allergies or if you have had a reaction to any medication.
- You will receive a blood thinner to minimize your risk of blood clots after the surgery is over.
- You will receive a stool softener.
- Your nurse will ask you to rate your pain on a 1-10 scale. A rating of 0 is no pain while a rating of 10 is the worst pain ever. We will continue to do our best to manage your pain.
- Your pain will be managed with oral pain pills. Let your nurse know at the start of your pain. Pain pills generally start working 45 minutes to one hour after taken. Take with food.
- Your care team will try to keep you as comfortable as possible, but you will not be pain free.
- You will continue to receive a blood thinner and stool softeners.
- Use a notebook to keep a log of pain medication use. Make a note of your pain score before taking a pain pill and write down the time you take it.
- Use this the log provided when you get home to track your pain and medication use. Bring the log to your follow up appointments with both physical therapy and your regular doctor.
Remember to take the pain medicine as directed by Dr. Lindsey. It is important to take pain medicine before having therapy. Stop taking pain medicine when you no longer have pain from your surgery.
Medication Questions? Contact the Southwest Health Pharmacy at 608-342-4747.
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