Visits to the emergency department can be stressful and alarming. Sometimes we may get too overwhelmed after receiving treatment and forget to collect the follow-up information we need. Here are a few questions to consider asking next time you are discharged from the ER:

“What is my exact diagnosis?” Before leaving the emergency department, you will want to ensure that you clearly understand your diagnosis. Ask for informational handouts about your condition and confirm your current status.

“What medications should I take? or What medication regimen should I follow at home?” Your medical provider should prepare a written list of all your medications before leaving the emergency department. Whether prescription or over-the-counter, they should be accounted for within this list. This should include a medication schedule, when your next dose should be taken, and any side effects.

“Do I have any dietary restrictions?” Your current conditions or medications could affect what you can eat or drink. For example, someone suffering from a heart condition may need to lower their sodium intake.

“What changes in my condition should I watch for?” Every condition follows a different course of recovery. It is imperative to look for signs that may require extra medical attention. It is important to note what symptoms would show signs of progress and which ones should be reported.

“Are there any activities that I should avoid?” Depending on your diagnosis, you may be restricted from doing certain activities. This may include showering alone, climbing stairs, or exerting too much physical energy. If these activities are limited, you may need to make additional accommodations or receive help from a family member, friend, or care provider.

“Do I have any follow-up medical appointments?” It is imperative to schedule any follow-up appointments that may be needed based on your condition. This may include seeing your general practitioner or meeting with a new or existing specialist.

There may be other questions that pop up along the way that pertains to your emergency department visit. Don’t hesitate to ask anything that may be on your mind before your departure home. The more questions you ask, the more caregivers and medical professionals can assist you.