Updated: Jun 14, 2020
When preparing for a stay in the hospital, whether it is for surgery, childbirth, or an inpatient procedure, being as knowledgeable as possible is important.
Not knowing what to expect can can increase the stress felt by patients, their family members and close friends. In this blog we're going to list a bunch of useful items that will make hospitalization easier:
Before Being Admitted to The Hospital
Before being admitted to hospital, ask your doctor, hospital staff and/or friends that have been to the hospital what you should bring and what will be provided. Hospital websites can also offer useful tips and advice for patients.
If you’re a first-time parent, it is strongly advised to take an organized tour of the maternity ward before the big day arrives. These usually happen several times a year and can help you to feel more confident about what to expect when the big day arrives and can help to organize your birth plan.
And at the end of this blog we've listed a few essentials you won't want to forget to take with you to the maternity unit.
Somethings Are Better Not Being Brought to Hospital!
While this is a list of what you should be taking to hospital, there are some things that are better left at home, such as jewelry and your wallet (but do bring some cash just in case you want to buy some food or a drink).
A laptop computer, tablet or eBook can be useful items to have in the hospital, although it is advisable to check ahead of time that there will be somewhere safe to store them when you’re not in the room.
Our List of Must Have Items For Hospital Patients
Among the most useful items to pack for a hospital stay include:
Cell phone charger
Laptop and charger (see above)
Earplugs, if you are a light sleeper
An eye mask, if you prefer to be in darkness
Entertainment such as books, games, magazines, puzzles, etc.
Pillow and/or pillowcase
Water bottle - it’s important to stay hydrated, which often means drinking more than you normally would. Having your water bottle by your bed can make it easier.
Bed socks, to help with blood flow
Cozy blanket, will give you that bit of home comfort
Pajamas (if permitted by the nurses) - loose fitting is the best.
Some form of robe or clothing to cover up, especially when in a shared room
Flip flops, often one’s feet will swell during hospital stay
Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, etc.
Comfortable clothes for when you are released
Your own gel gel.
When The Hospital Patient is a Child
If the patient is a child, in addition to the above items there are other things to consider bringing for him or her to help make their hospital stay a little less stressful:
If relevant and possible, try to arrange a pre-surgery presentation to prepare him/her
If you know a child that has had a similar experience, try to speak with him/her and his/her family to get advice and guidance
Arrange for friends to be able to contact the child via phone or video chat
Where it is allowed, be prepared to bring his/her favorite food(s)
Read a book(s) with your child that was written to help children prepare for hospital stays. For example "Kevin Goes to Hospital" or "Curious George Goes To The Hospital".
Another great idea is to involve them in documenting their own hospital experience. They could create an album or vlog of their time there. Bring a camera or use a phone to take photos and videos, and collect things (i.e. ID bracelet, doctors’ name tags, etc.) that will document their experience. This can help ease some of their fear and give them something to do and think about while in the hospital. If the reason for the stay is a single procedure, the album can serve as a ‘positive’ in an otherwise unpleasant time. If the child is facing repeat procedures or hospitalization, the album can be used to prepare them in advance of the next time. It’s best to ask the child if he/she would like to do this.
And of course, the idea of documenting the experience does not only have to be for the young. Consider keeping a journal, or creating an Instagram record of your experience. Track your treatment, the people you meet, your thoughts and emotions either in writing or dictate them to yourself. You’ll be amazed at how much better it can make you feel and how it can help your loved ones understand and cope with the situation. If it is in social media, then other people may benefit from your experience. Of course, if you’d like to collect a few mementos along the way, there’s nothing stopping you.
Long Term Hospitalization for Children
If a child is facing a long-term stay, consider bringing pictures of family and friends to help make their room homier and less clinical. You can also [ut up the drawings that their friends, classmates or siblings have made.
A Few Items for The Expectant Mother to Take to Hospital
If you’re having a baby, don’t forget these essentials:
Birth plan, if you have one.
Baby’s going home outfit.
Nursing bra if nursing.
Baby hat, coat if needed, baby will not be discharged unless dressed accordingly.
Car seat - hospitals will not permit a newborn to be taken home without an appropriate car seat
Please Share Your Thoughts
If you want to add to this list or offer any other suggestions, we would really love you to comment below.