Hospital Stays: What You Need to Know

Rerun image Planning for a stay in the hospital is not always an easy thing. What should you bring? What shouldn't you bring? It's hard to know how to prepare. Listed below are some things that will help make your hospital stay a bit more comfortable.

Things to Bring

To make you feel more comfortable while in the hospital, bring the following items:
  • Nightclothes, including slippers and a loose-fitting robe.
  • Comfortable clothes to wear home when you are discharged.
  • Toiletries—such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, shampoo, comb, deodorant, and razor.
  • A list of all the medications you take, including dosages and frequency. Be sure to include any over-the-counter medications as well. If you are taking a very specific or uncommon medication, it may be good to bring the medication with you and show it to the staff. Do not take it though unless specifically given to you by your nurse.
  • Details of past illnesses, surgeries, test results, and any allergies.
  • Health insurance card and identification card.
  • Address book or list of names and phone numbers of people to reach in case of an emergency (if they are not on your cell phone).
  • A small amount of cash for newspapers, magazines, or gift shop items.
  • Reading glasses, books, magazines.
  • Cell phone, tablet, electronic or audio book, or MP3 player. Be careful about where you leave them so they don't get lost or stolen.

Things to Leave at Home

There are things you don't need in the hospital, and bringing them may cause you to worry about their safety. These include:
  • Large amounts of cash, credit cards, and checkbook
  • Jewelry
  • Electric razors, hair dryers, and curling irons
  • Keys
  • Cigarettes
  • Any food

Checking In

Many hospitals will mail you information in advance of your stay. Read the information and fill out any forms before you leave home. It will give you more time to think about your answers and save you time when you get to admissions.When you arrive at the hospital, your first stop is admissions. Here, you or a family member will need to complete other forms allowing the hospital to provide treatment, and release medical information to your insurance company. The admissions staff will tell you where to go next.If you have any questions about your upcoming visit, call the hospital ahead of time to get the answers you need.

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