Having to go to hospital is never a pleasurable experience, especially in the current climate. Being in unfamiliar surroundings, lacking the kind of privacy you are used to, and often sharing space with poorly people can all be cause for stress. Particularly given ongoing restrictions where visitors are concerned, if you are going to be spending several days in hospital for whatever reason, it is worth taking steps to make your stay as comfortable and easy as possible, by packing all the essentials and a few homely touches. Here’s what we recommend, starting with the basic necessities:
- Proof of your referral to the hospital, and a document confirming your identity (e.g., ID card, driving license, passport, or a school ID in the case of a minor).
- Your medical history, typically in the form of your official medical records.
- Information about your blood group – preferably the original test result, where there is information about the blood group and Rh factor.
- Details of any medications, vitamins, herbal or dietary supplements currently taken, as well as the tablets themselves in case you are to continue taking them.
- Cosmetics and toiletries (e.g., toothbrush and toothpaste, shower gel, brush/comb, etc.).
- Shower slippers and/or slippers, for comfort.
- Underwear and a bathrobe.
- Comfortable nightwear of your choice.
- A hand towel and a bath towel.
What else is it worth taking with you to the hospital?
A little touch of familiarity from home can go a long way towards putting us at ease. With that said, you could pack a favorite mug and cutlery – kitchen staff will not provide these things in all hospitals, anyway. Having some still mineral water and sugar-free rusks to hand is also a good idea so you can stay refreshed.
Make sure to also have any personal hygiene items that form part of your daily routine, including your own handkerchiefs and sanitary products. In most cases, you can ask the hospital if you need anything extra, but having the brands you are familiar with can be a big help.
If you’re checking in to hospital to give birth, you should also take nursing pads and postpartum pants, as well as clothes, diapers, and other necessary items to care for the newborn baby. Again, some of these are often available at the hospital, but it is always best to be prepared if you can, as it is one less thing to worry about once you arrive.
Books and magazines – fight off boredom.
Once you are settled into the hospital, you will almost certainly have a lot of free time to kill between treatments, test, consultations, and so on. Having a good book or a stack of magazines on your favorite subjects to make your way through is a perfect means of escapism, engaging the imagination, transporting the mind, and helping to while away the hours.
Earplugs – ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
Many people feel uneasy having to share a hospital room with strangers, some of whom may even snore! Tune them out, and save yourself from tossing and turning your way through the night by packing some quality earplugs (whether reusable or disposable ones suit you best). There is a really large selection of these handy devices on the market today, meaning there truly is something for everyone. Depending on your budget, you could even opt for custom made-to-measure earplugs, which are specially shaped using a cast of your ear, guaranteeing a perfect fit and maximum noise reduction. After all, a good night’s sleep is important at the best of times, but never more so than when you are poorly or in recovery.
Mobile phone – stay connectede of a penny.
A modern smartphone has everything you need to stay connected and entertained throughout your stay, all in one single device. You can keep in touch with family and friends, whether to update them on your condition or simply to distract yourself with a good chat. Beyond this, you can stay in-the-loop via social media, or pass the time playing games, watching movies, listening to music, and so on. As long as you have your favorite apps downloaded and a decent internet package in place, you should be good to go!
Remember not to bring non-essential valuables like cash, jewelry, etc. with you. You assume responsibility for your own items, meaning the hospital will not be held liable for any loss or theft. With the likelihood that you will often have to head outside of the ward for examinations or procedures, thus leaving your goods unattended, it is definitely better to be safe than sorry by leaving these things at home.