If you’re going to the hospital and you’re worried that things won’t go well, there are some things you can do to help avoid problems. These include the following:

1. Always ask the doctor what the procedure is and what he or she is going to do. If the doctor responds with anything other than the procedure you’re signed up for, you may be able to stop a mistake before it happens.

2. Sanitize things yourself. A lot of bugs get passed around hospitals. Doctors and nurses are supposed to sanitize things, but they often get busy and this step is easy to miss. Doing what you can on your own reduces the odds that you’ll get sick.

3. Consider teaching hospitals. These facilities, which are often affiliated with local universities, will often have students around to watch, learn and ask questions. This can help hold doctors accountable. These places also often tend to use the newest equipment and procedures.

4. Ask if you can bring your own medication. In some cases, you can have the prescription filled and bring it in yourself. This can lower the chances that you’ll accidentally be given the wrong medication by a doctor or a nurse. It can also be cheaper. However, it is worth noting that you do need to clear this with the doctor if you’d like to do it.

If you do have a complaint, remember that the hospital is most likely going to side with the surgeon or the doctor. It’s important for you to know what legal options you have in New Jersey to level the playing field.

Source: Reader’s Digest, “50 Secrets Hospitals Don’t Want to Tell You (But Every Patient Should Know),” Michelle Crouch, accessed April 07, 2016