Do You Know Your Meds?

Do You Know Your Meds?

Pulse has always been about helping educate members of “the public” about being actively involved in their medical care and most important, preparing to enter the healthcare system. But it’s easy to forget that people who work in health care are also members of the public and will, inevitably, be patients one day. We might think “medical staff are trained in this stuff” and that’s sometimes true; but do they apply that knowledge to themselves?

Knowing your medications is important. DH writes, “My grandfather was a doctor. In his later years, suffering a thrombosis, he himself became a patient (in the hospital he helped found). One day a nurse came to his bedside with pills and water. ‘Those are not for me,’ he told her. ‘Please go check.'” “She scolded, ‘Now, Doctor, don’t be difficult, just take your medications!’ He refused, insisting she check again — and of course, he was right. He had saved himself from the potentially catastrophic side-effects of taking somebody else’s medication.”Yes, he was a doctor. But the same applies to everyone: being familiar with the medications you take and keeping a list of them at the ready, is a way to avoid being one of the 1.3 million people injured by medication error in the US every year. See Step 2 of The TakeCHARGE Campaign and do it (this May)!

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Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education Advocacy