Spending Time in the Hospital While Blind
It’s not something we like to think about, but chances are that at some point in our lives, each of us will end up in the hospital. It may be planned, or completely unexpected. For a person who is blind or has a visual impairment, a visit to the hospital can be a more stressful experience, full of unfamiliar people and procedures.
Those who have less stressful hospital stays have likely done their homework first, to make the experience a bit easier. Fortunately for us, some of those people have shared their experience so that we can benefit.
In the March 2017 AccessWorld, Deborah Kendrick shares her experiences in an article: Advocating for Yourself in an Emergency Medical Situation: Advice for People with Visual Impairments. Reading this article is helpful as it provides in narrative form, information about what you can do to empower yourself and make your stay as positive as possible.
Another invaluable source of information comes from the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind. Their Information Access Committee has developed a document you can either print or email to your healthcare team. It contains information helpful to medical personnel of all types. The document is: Best Practices for Healthcare Professionals with Patients who are Visually Impaired.
Going to the hospital or even medical appointments isn’t necessarily fun, but a little planning and advocacy can make it a much more positive experience. That way, you can concentrate on the important things, like feeling better.