Many people are referred for treatment or need nursing care at some time in their lives, but increasingly this takes place without a stay in hospital. The high cost of care in hospital and advances in medical techniques have created a trend for treatment on a day care basis, either in hospital or another medical facility, such as an outpatient clinic, and for nursing care at home.
The first article in this section looks at ways of accessing hospital care, either through accident and emergency services or when you are referred to a specialist for treatment.
Day care (care that does not need an overnight stay in hospital), also known as ambulatory care, is provided in a number of settings. The development of less invasive surgical techniques has enabled many treatments that would once have required a hospital stay of several days to be carried out on a day care basis.
The article on hospital care looks at the various reasons why you might be admitted to hospital and provides an overview of hospital routines. The different levels of care, from routine care on a general hospital ward to intensive care for people who are critically ill, are also described here.
Finally, the advantages of nursing care in the home are discussed, including the need for support for carers.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.