Being in the hospital can be compared to being in a hotel… Maybe not a 4 or 5 star all inclusive hotel… but close! hahaha
When you’re at the hospital, you might be staying a few days up to a few months depending on your situation. That means you need to PACK. While hospitals provide beds, three meals per day and restrooms you want to be as prepared as possible.
NOTE: This post will not touch on what pregnant women who are giving birth should carry- that will be a separate post.
Here’s how to have the most comfortable hospital stay possible:
Most times we don’t plan to be in hospital so when you ask your family or friends to carry items for you ask for clothes that are cool and easy to remove. Ladies tend to be dressed in night gowns that can be opened at the front and men in loose pants and shirt.
What you wear heavily depends on how active you are, if you’re able to walk and move about freely there’s more leeway, loose shorts and t shirts are good… for those who aren’t as ab le to ambulate, night gowns that can open at the front are best.
For shoes, comfort is best. slippers or those shoes that you can slide your feet into. I would also recommend socks if you get cold easily.
Food and Water
Now this is heavily dependent on what hospital you’re at and what your condition is. Some hospitals will not allow outside food to be brought in, some will only allow fruits and others are okay with certain patients having outside food for all or most meals. Water is usually allowed for everyone, most times it’s either going to be your own personal bottle water or pipe water (which is safe to drink).
If you’re able to eat and drink outside food, bring snacks, water and fruits. If you’re allowed to bring outside food and your family is willing to bring the meals it’s up to you whether or not you want to eat the hospital food.
This is how a hospital might differ the greatest from a hotel (lol), bring tooth brush, toothpaste, toilet paper, deodorant, towels and rags. It’s important to have good hygiene during your stay, remember you’re in a shared space and will be seen everyday by doctors, nurses and other health staff.
I 100% support bringing your own sheets and pillows. If you don’t want to bring any sheets, at least bring a pillow. Be aware that any bedding you bring is at risk of getting soiled during procedures.
Most of us have smart phones that can hold videos, movies, go on the internet and have games. I wouldn’t recommend bringing more than your cellphone. Hospitals are shared spaces and you’re responsible for your belongings. Only bring necessary items or items you’re okay with losing.
Usually, family or friends take care of expenses either with your money or their money. you can bring money in the form of cash or card. Costumer representatives usually come around and are able to collect money from you. Just like electronics I would suggest only brining the minimal amount and have someone you trust take care of bigger bills and other expenses.
Contact Information and Identifying Information
Always walk with identifying information on you and contact information for your next of kin or who cares for you. When these information are missing, and you’re unable to identify yourself or give contact information, social work gets involved and an investigation is done so that we can be sure who you are and who your next of kin is.
Avoid walking with passport and birth certificate, bring identification cards that are easier to replace such as driver’s license or voter’s ID.
The hospital is pretty boring as a patient, you might not always be lucky to have a talkative or friendly cubicle mate so bring books, personal game consoles… anything that will keep your attention without being too loud or inappropriate.
No one really plans on going to the hospital, but it happens, we get sick, we have accidents. To have the most comfortable hospital stay I have provided some tips on what to bring. Make sure you have your identification card, contact information for important people, a cell phone with lots of credit and a charger and something to pass the time!
Did I cover everything? Tell me what other tips you have down below!
Samantha C. Johnson
Featured photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash