Going into a hospital has so many different meanings for different people. Individuals with chronic illnesses can grow accustomed to hospital visits, some people are phobic of the unfamiliar environment, and others view it purely practically. People go into the hospital for routine examinations, treatments, surgeries, and to give birth. If you are soon to stay at the hospital for at least one night, preparing in advance for the different environments is important. Here you can find some useful information about what to remember before going into the hospital and how you can feel more comfortable during your stay.
Make Arrangements for Your Home
Spending time away from home means you will need to make arrangements for the security of your property. Talk to someone you trust to care for your pets and plants while you are gone, leaving specific instructions to ensure they feel confident in the task. Don’t make it known on social media that you won’t be home, as this alerts opportunistic thieves that you won’t be there to stop them. Of course, you don’t need to worry if you share your home; it won’t be left empty.
Follow Instructions from Doctors
Discuss your care plan and treatment with your doctor so that you can fully understand the purpose of your hospital stay. Your doctor may give you instructions to follow ahead of the treatment, such as only eating certain foods or not drinking any alcohol. You may also be given medication to take beforehand, so listen to what your doctor suggests and stay abreast of how the procedure will take place. This is a great opportunity for you to raise any concerns and ask for clarification about your treatment.
Bring Important Documents
Locate the necessary documents for your hospital stay, such as identification and relevant medical paperwork. Write a list of your current medications, including the dose and frequency, so there are no errors or unwanted interactions with other drugs during your hospital stay. It is also a good idea to bring a list of contact details for people the healthcare team may need to talk to.
Inform Your Friends and Family
Get in touch with the people who need to know that you’ll be going to the hospital so that they can wish you a good stay and perhaps even pay you a visit once you’re in. Letting other people know can also help when planning for support, either in the form of keeping you company in a hospital during visiting hours or making sure everything at your home is going smoothly without you. You could also discuss possible support for after your stay in the hospital should you need it.
Pack for Comfort
No matter what you are going into the hospital for, being comfortable is a must. Only bring clothing and pajamas that are soft on your skin and completely unrestrictive. This is especially important if you are in bed most of the time. Bring essentials like your toiletries and anything that will make you more comfortable, such as pillows or plush toys. Try to anticipate how many nights you will be in the hospital as this will help you to determine how many sets of underwear you should pack. If you need extras, ask a friend or family member to bring you more next time they visit.
Focus on Your Safety
Although hospitals are intended to be places where people go to improve their health, they can also pose a threat to your wellbeing. Certain viruses and bacteria can spread more throughout hospitals than they do outside. Sepsis can be a particular concern, especially for those undergoing surgery or with infected wounds. You can find more info online about the aftermath of contracting septic shock and how to address malpractice. Hopefully, it never comes to this, but it’s helpful to be prepared. Make sure you keep yourself clean and wash your hands more often to avoid infection leading to sepsis.
The more you understand what’s going on around you, the more you will feel in control of the situation. Advocating for yourself as a patient can be incredibly tough, especially if you are feeling vulnerable as a result of your medical circumstances. Be prepared to communicate with hospital staff to express your needs and ask questions if you feel uncertain. Doctors and nurses may not always think to explain what they’re doing unless you ask first.
Even spending a single night in a hospital can be extremely dull. To take your mind off the stress and boredom, pack something to keep yourself entertained. Books, magazines, and even a handheld video game could keep you occupied during your stay. If you know that you will be in the hospital for a longer period of time, you may want to bring more variety of entertainment. Keeping a journal or drawing in a sketchbook can be a mindful and peaceful way to pass the time. While scrolling on social media is usually not ideal as a regular activity, it can be wonderful for distracting your mind while in the hospital.
Think Ahead to Your Recovery Period
It may be just around the corner or sometime further in the future, but whenever you are discharged from the hospital, you will need to plan for recovery. It isn’t only surgery patients who ought to consider how they’ll return to normal life after their hospital stay. You may need home help for a few days or weeks after you come out, so talk about this with friends and family. Your doctor should give you advice on how to care for yourself once you’ve gone home with specific instructions regarding medications.
Staying in hospital for any length of time has the potential to be emotional and distressing. Even for those who frequently find themselves in hospital, it is never a pleasant experience. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prepare for your hospital stay and make it less of a stressful time. Use these tips to get ready, and soon you will be on the road to recovery.