Nobody wants to spend any period of time in the hospital; however, you could find yourself in this position at some point.

Although the hospital staff has the responsibility of keeping you safe and healthy, there are things you can do on your own to improve the chance of this happening. Here are some basic steps that can improve your safety during a hospital stay:

— Monitor your own meds. Sure, your nurse is responsible for this, but don’t shy away from asking questions and bringing concerns to the forefront.

— Protect yourself against infection. There are many ways you can do, such as by cleaning your hands regularly, asking if an antibiotic is necessary and insisting that only people with clean hands are in your room.

— Stay on the move. Although you may not feel up to it, you don’t want to stay in bed for too long at a time. By moving around, you can prevent bedsores and blood clots, two things that can cause you additional pain and discomfort.

— Stay alert. If you have any reason to believe something is wrong, speak your mind and make sure you get an answer without delay. Remember, you are the patient and you are paying for service.

Even if you take these steps, there is always the chance that you could become the victim of medical negligence. In this case, you need to receive follow up care without delay, while also learning more about your legal rights. You may be able to receive compensation for mistakes made by a medical professional.

Source: Consumer Reports, “Your hospital survival guide,” accessed Jan. 24, 2017