Return to Index
Hospital Stays: What You Need to Know
Things to Bring
- Nightclothes, including slippers and a loose-fitting robe
- Comfortable clothes to wear home when you are released
- Toiletries (such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, shampoo, comb, deodorant, and razor)
- A list of all the medicines you take, including dosages and frequency. Be sure to include any over-the-counter medicines as well. If you are taking a very specific or uncommon medicine, it may be good to bring the medicine with you. You should show it to your nurse. Do not take it though unless specifically given to you by your nurse.
- Details of past illnesses, surgeries, and any allergies
- Health insurance card and identification card
- Address book and list of names and phone numbers of people to reach in case of an emergency
- A small amount of cash for newspapers, magazines, or gift shop items
- Reading glasses, books, magazines
- MP3 player to listen to music or audio books (just be careful that this isn't stolen)
Things to Leave at Home
- Cash, credit cards, and checkbook
- Electric razors, hair dryers, and curling irons
- Cell phone
- Any food
- Use the call bell when you need help.
- Use the controls to lower the bed before getting in or out. Always move slowly.
- Be careful not to trip over the wires and tubes that may be near your bed.
- Try to keep things within easy reach.
- Take only prescribed medicines; discuss any medicines you brought with your doctor and nurse.
- Be careful getting in and out of the bath or shower. Use the grab bar for support.
- Use handrails in hallways and stairways.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality http://www.ahrq.gov/
American Hospital Association http://www.aha.org
BC Surgical Society http://www.bcss.ca/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
Kirchheimer S. Hospital-bound? how to protect yourself: 6 tips to reduce medical mistakes. American Association of Retired Persons website. Available at: http://www.aarp.org/health/doctors-hospitals/info-06-2010/hospital-bound%5Fhowtoprotectyourself.html. Published June 25, 2010. Accessed July 11, 2012.
Twelve steps to a safer hospital stay. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00278. Accessed July 11, 2012.
Your hospital stay. Covenant Health System website. Available at: http://www.covenanthealth.org/For-Patients/Your-Hospital-Stay.aspx. Accessed July 11, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 07/2012
- Update Date: 07/11/2012