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How Do I Choose the Best VA Hospital?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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A VA hospital is a type of hospital facility that is operated under the auspices of the Veterans Administration in the United States. Established as a means of providing health care to individuals who have served in one or more branches of the US military and who meet the eligibility requirements, VA hospitals are found throughout the nation, making them widely accessible to veterans. Choosing the right VA hospital for medical care involves utilizing much of the same criteria that is employed when choosing from among a variety of civilian hospitals found within an reasonable distance.

One of the first steps in selecting the best VA hospital for your needs is to consider the type of medical care that is required. As is true with many other types of health facilities, the hospitals operated by the Veteran Health Administration are often structured to include specialization with certain types of illnesses and conditions, such as heart-related issues, injuries involving physical therapy, cancer, and other conditions that may apply. Focus attention on a VA hospital that has proven expertise with the type of care or procedure you require, then ask questions about just how that care is provided.

Location is also sometimes a consideration when it comes to choosing the right VA hospital. Assuming that you live in relatively close proximity to more than one facility that is capable of providing the level of healthcare required for your particular circumstances, going with the one that is closest to home may be a good idea. This is particularly true if your stay is anticipated to be a lengthy one. By making it easier for loved ones to travel to and from the hospital, there is a better chance of being able to enjoy company from time to time, effectively breaking up the monotony that is often part of being confined to a hospital while recovering from an illness or surgical procedure.

The overall quality of care at the VA hospital is also important to consider. Find out what you can about the ratio of nurses to patients, as this will provide some idea of how easily you can get assistance during your stay. A higher ratio means that each nurse has more patients to care for during the shift, meaning that there is more of a chance he or she will be busy with someone else when you need assistance. Also consider factors such as how well the facility is maintained, even finding out what you can about the appearance of the hospital rooms and how comfortable the beds happen to be. Keep in mind that even if your stay in the VA hospital will be no more than a couple of days, you want to be as and receive the best possible care from the staff during that short stay.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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