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Being involved in your care

At St Vincent’s Health Australia everyone aims to provide safe health care. By being active members of your health care team, you and your family can play a vital role in making your care safe and your stay in hospital a more positive experience.

Here are some tips on how you can be involved.

Advocacy – tell us what you need

  • speak up if you have questions or concerns or if something does not seem quite right
  • tell staff if you think you are about to receive the wrong medication or have the wrong test, or if you think you have been mixed up with another patient
  • let a staff member know if you are in pain. Ask about your options for pain relief
  • ask someone you trust to be with you when having important discussions with staff about your care and treatment, to advocate for your interests and to be part of your health care team.

Participation – being part of your health care team

Patients enjoy better outcomes by participating in decisions and discussions about their condition and treatment. You can:

  • ask staff members to explain something in a different way if you don't understand
  • read all medical forms and make sure you understand them before signing
  • know what medications you take and why. Also learn about any side effects to watch out for and let the staff know if you have any bad reactions.
  • ask about our plan for keeping you safe e.g. preventing falls and reducing the risk of a pressure injury (bedsore)
  • make sure you are getting the right treatments and medications
  • learn about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are having and your treatment plan
  • ask about other options for treatment or seeking a second opinion.

Observation – the right procedures

As a patient you can expect us to follow these procedures:

  • staff identification – each staff member should introduce themselves to you and discuss with you what they are going to do before they begin. You should be able to easily see their identification badge.
  • patient identification – each staff member should check who you are before they give you medications or any other treatment. They will check your ID band and ask you your name. This is to make sure we give the right care to the right patient.
  • hand hygiene – remind staff members to clean their hands before they deliver care if you have not seen them do so.