Confusion in the Hospital


Most people experience confusion when they need to be in a hospital.  Confusion is the inability to think as clearly or as quickly as you want to. Whether you are a patient or a relative of the patient - hospitals are confusing.  Without a medical background, it can be an almost helpless feeling.  What’s going on?  Should I ask that question? What is going to happen next? Why did the doctor say that?  Why isn’t the nurse coming?  Why do I feel so out of place?

There are 3 types of confusion people have in hospitals:

    • Situational confusion
    • Family confusion
    • Delirium confusion


Situational confusion related to the specifics of being in a hospital.  You don’t feel well, and you could be in pain and frightened about what is wrong with you.  The hospital environment is strange. The medical vocabulary is foreign to you. There is a lack of understanding, and even more confusing, there is a misunderstanding.  

    • What the health providers say and what the patient hears can be very different. Health providers tell a patient with stomach pain that a few tests are needed to determine the diagnosis. Still, the patient hears if there is something dangerously wrong, and his anxiety increases.  Later, he may learn that these tests are standard for stomach issues, which may not be a big deal.

Family confusion exactly that. CONFUSION.  Their loved one is sick, and the family doesn’t understand what is going on.   A person may not comprehend his/her role as an advocate for the patient.  Hospitals are busy places.  With Israeli hospitals ranked as the most crowded hospitals in developed countries worldwide, the doctors and nurses are often unavailable or don’t have time to answer questions.   

    • What do you do if you think your loved one is not receiving clear, concise care? Where do you turn to determine everything is being done? If your loved one is being hospitalized in Israel, read here about how cultural differences can affect hospitalization.


Delirium confusion quite common in patients over age 60.  Nearly a third of seniors experience new or worsened confusion during a hospital stay.  It is brought on by emotional and physical stress couples with disorientation (waking up in a strange place).   An infection/fever can result in serious delirium.   Most cases of delirium are temporary – lasting days to weeks.

    • One older woman thought the nurses were bringing her to a children’s museum each night. She complained bitterly to her daughter that she could not rest because they let the children watch movies all night.  Her daughter thought her mother had a stroke because she was unaware of delirium's commonality in previously healthy older adults!

Family confusion + delirium confusion=STRESS!

EMA Care professionals enter each hospitalized client situation with the primary intent to prevent patient and family confusion by improving communication, asking the right questions, getting answers,  and optimizing care by the hospital staff. We will be with you and your family to lead the way to the best hospital care available.  EMA Care is familiar with hospital procedures and will explain and advocate for you - every step of the way.  

Hospitalizations are tough enough.  Don’t let a hospital stay lead to confusion.  Call EMA Care in your time of need.

EMA Care provides medical concierge, case management, and patient advocacy services to tourists, students, and Israel residents. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.



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