How to survive your local ER

There are ways to minimize the risks of medical malpractice when you visit an ER and Parade magazine suggests the following:
1. Go to a primary-care physician unless it is an absolute necessity.
2. If you absolutely must go to the ER, time your visit. Mornings are best, except for Monday mornings.
3. For any life-threatening symptoms, call an ambulance. You will typically receive faster treatment when you arrive via ambulance.
4. If you arrive on your own, tell the intake clerk or triage nurse everything.
5. Know who is treating you. If you feel uncomfortable being treated by a junior resident, ask for the chief resident or attending physician.
6. Bring an advocate. Have someone who has a little more composure than you at your time of fright and pain accompany you to the ER. This person can ask questions and make requests on your behalf.
7. Speak up. If you’ve gone hours without being seen by any hospital employee, remind a doctor or nurse.

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