It is pretty normal for people to dread doctor or hospital visits. There is the common dread, but then there is a level of dread that should be avoidable — that is if all health care facilities and workers lived up to proper safety standards. In an ideal world, patients wouldn’t have to fear for their safety while receiving health care.

Men’s Health collected several warnings from different medical professionals regarding what patients should know and look out for in the effort of avoiding becoming victims of medical mistakes and negligence. The following are just a couple of those potential health hazards:

A doctor and researcher for the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing suggests that patients do some research themselves before choosing a hospital. They should try to find out the nurse to patient ratio at a facility. He warns that a patient’s risk of death increases when a nurse is responsible for more patients during a given shift.

Another potential medical danger that patients should watch out for is the threat of the doctors-in-training. Not all the men and women in the white coats have the same experience and professional merits. There is no shame in a patient requesting details about a health care worker’s credentials and experience. Patients shouldn’t let the fear of creating an awkward situation stop them from avoiding a possibly life-threatening medical error.

Our next post will provide other safety “secrets” according to sources involved in the medical field. For those who already believe that they have fallen victim to the above safety issues or other types of professional negligence, they shouldn’t wait to speak to a medical malpractice attorney who can evaluate their unfortunate situation.

Source: Men’s Health, “Protect Yourself: 8 Common Mistakes Made by Hospital Staffs,” Cindy Kuzma, Oct. 7, 2013