Soper draws from her and others’ experiences with hospital stays to create this manual for those yet to deal with hospitals, their staff and procedures.
The author has already spent more time in the hospital than most people do throughout their entire lives. After being in a couple scary medical situations and caring for friends and family with serious illnesses, Soper knows how hospitals work and how to best utilize their services. Not only does she offer advice, but she gives readers practical steps on how to be an advocate for a patient, how to understand what is going on medically and how to talk about a pending hospitalization beforehand. She also knows how to work the system, and in this book offers tips and tricks on everything from where to store food, where guests can sleep and how to ask doctors questions in a way that gets the answers patients and their advocates need. Some of her tips are especially useful, like her advice to legally appoint a patient advocate and her detailed description of what that means. Many times, neither patients nor their friends and family are aware of the need for an advocate, someone who is authorized to make major medical decisions when the patient is unable to do so, and so Soper’s advice in this area is particularly beneficial. Certain readers may find some of the book’s tips to be common sense, and wonder why the author took the time to compile them into this guide. However, for someone who is going to be in the hospital for the first time, for first-time caregivers or for anyone nervous about visiting a hospital, Soper’s simple, straightforward and helpful words could mean the difference between a difficult stay and one that goes down smooth and easy.
The advice may be common sense to some, but to those nervous about going into the hospital or helping someone who is, Soper’s advice could be a lifesaver.