Talking with Your Doctor

Frequently Asked Questions

24. If I'm hospitalized, what questions should I ask the hospital staff?

If you have to go to the hospital, knowing the hospital routine can make your stay more comfortable. Find out how much choice you have about your daily routine and express any preferences you have about your schedule. Doctors generally visit patients during specific times each day.

Here are questions you may want to ask your nurses or other medical staff in the hospital.

  • How long do you think I will be in the hospital?
  • What doctors and other medical staff will take care of my health?
  • When will I see my doctor?
  • What will be my daily schedule during my hospital stay?

In the hospital, your primary doctor and various medical specialists, as well as nurses and other health professionals, may examine you. Keep a pad and pen by your hospital bed to write down questions you want to ask them. For example:

  • What will this test tell me? Why is it needed, and when will I know the results?
  • What treatment is needed, and how long will it last?
  • What are the benefits and risks of treatment?
  • When can I go home?
  • When I go home, will I have to change my regular activities or my diet?
  • How often will I need checkups?
  • Is any other follow-up needed?
  • Who should I call if I have other questions?