Hospital stays are not typically something we look forward to, but depending on your circumstances there are many ways to make the entire experience easier. Being well prepared can truly go a long way when you have an upcoming trip to the hospital. Additionally, knowing and following general safety guidelines can reduce the risk of preventable accidents and human error.
How to prepare:
- Make sure you pick the right hospital for your condition by doing research beforehand.
- Bring any medications and supplements you are currently taking for your care team to review.
- Make sure you know and provide the names of all medications you are currently taking (generic and brand names). Also be prepared to provide the names of medications you are allergic to.
- Bring a family member or trusted friend who will be there to keep you company or help as needed. They are a positive reinforcement and an essential part of your care team.
Safety tips to follow:
- Get to know your care team and ask them questions about any concerns that may arise.
- Observe and try to remember the medication you are given, if you see that any of them changed, be sure to ask prior to taking them to help minimize medical error.
- Let someone know if you experience pain in order to get checked and catch any potential issues on time.
- Never try to get up on your own, asking for assistance can help decrease the risk of injury or death from hospital falls (which are more common than you might think).
- Make a list of your medications and corresponding dates in which they are to be taken. Make sure a family or friend is in the loop so they can help whenever it’s necessary.
What to pack:
This may vary from patient to patient depending on the medical circumstances and what activities can be performed.
- Necessary documents and paperwork needed for your stay.
- Comfortable clothes that are easy to change into.
- Personal items such as photos that bring back positive memories.
- A comfortable pillow.
- Items to stay distracted such as books, magazines, a craft project, and if allowed, electronics for music and entertainment.
Hospital stays are never easy. Whether it’s you or a family member, following simple measures may help you feel more prepared and instead focus your energy on recovering!