When you go away on a trip, you pack the essentials you’ll need to make your stay comfortable and stress-free. The same holds true for a planned hospital stay. Knowing what to pack can help make your hospital stay less stressful.
So what should you bring to the hospital? The hospital admissions office may provide a list, but talk with your healthcare provider for specific suggestions. Then use the lists below.
These items take priority space in your suitcase:
- nightclothes, a robe, sturdy slippers and warm socks
- comfortable clothes to wear home
- glasses or contact lenses, solution and a lens case
- a list of food and drug allergies
- your health insurance card
- a certificate showing you donated your own blood, if applicable
- names and phone numbers of family and friends
- about $10 to buy newspapers or magazines
- copies of your advance directives
These items can make your stay more comfortable:
- loose, comfortable clothing such as pants or shorts, T-shirts, button-front sweaters or zip-front sweat jackets (for easier access to IVs)
- eye and ear coverings to help you sleep
- a personal music player or a laptop (make sure these items can be stored in a safe place or ask a visiting family member to safeguard them)
- pictures of loved ones or pets
- a phone card
- unscented soap and washcloths
- books and magazines
Avoid packing cash or jewelry. Leave your wallet, credit cards and checkbooks home. See if the hospital allows electric razors or hair dryers. Forget perfumes, colognes or strongly scented lotions, which may nauseate you or your roommate.