06 January 2009

The spouse: being informed

Although the heart patient is in good hands at hospital, the partner will be in charge at home.


Although the heart patient is in good hands at hospital, the partner will be in charge at home.

You, the spouse, are part of a team and the most important person in the patient’s recovery. The more you learn, the more confident you can be that you will cope.

Getting all the info you need
While your partner is still in hospital, you should gather all possible information:

  • Talk to the medical staff about your concerns and your partner’s uncertainties.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask. The medical team is usually quite helpful.
  • Write all thoughts and questions down as you think of them.
  • Be prepared when you get a chance to speak to medical staff. Make a list of questions, with the most important ones first.
  • Get into the habit of asking questions.
  • If you don’t get a chance to speak to the doctor, make an appointment.
  • Ask a friend or other family member to join the talk with the doctor. This way, you won’t miss important information.
  • Write the doctor’s answers down or record the information on a cassette recorder.
  • Ask the medical staff for pamphlets, titles of other reliable publications or the address of a reputable website, for more information.

The Heart Foundation of South Africa.

- (Updated May 2008)


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