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a Checklist of Items to Take for a Hospital Stay

Updated on September 8, 2012

don't forget the Charger!

cell phone AND charger
cell phone AND charger | Source

The anticipation of staying overnight at the hospital short term or long term can be stressful.I've become an old pro at doing it and as a result have come up with a list of the necessary and not so necessary items that need to be taken depending on the length of stay.

Having these items just makes it a little easier and less stressful while you are in the hospital on your own for long periods of time.

If you get to the hospital and don't have what you need don't be afraid to ask family or friends to bring them to you; a few creature comforts can make all the difference in healing faster.

The List

slippers: number one on the list because the floors are filthy in the hospitals; you are potentially going to be sharing a room and bathroom with other sick people, people are coming into your rooms from outside, other rooms and other wings of the hospital. The slip on slippers they give you are a little better than paper and don't really give good clean protection. A pair of slip ons that you can get on and off easily can tuck under or at the end of your bed.

cell phone charger: even more important than the cell phone itself because without it when the battery dies on your cellphone you could potentially be trapped without any personal communication until someone actually visits who can find your charger at your home and deliver it back to you.

cell phone: if you have one you'll want to have it with you and you already know why because you have one.

ear plugs: I have always been able to get them from the nurses, but if I couldn't I would go crazy. Trust me, especially if you have a any trouble sleeping, the sound effects strangers make in the night can give you nightmares when you finally do fall asleep.

hairbrush: if you don't have one they may have a small comb they can give you, but if you've got any kind of hair, the combs are ... well not very effective.

keep your feet clean!

slippers are number one on my list
slippers are number one on my list | Source

to help pass time

privacy, distraction and entertainment
privacy, distraction and entertainment | Source

toothbrush & toothpaste: again if you don't have these the hospital will usually supply you with them, the toothpaste will come in a little cup from a bulk supply.

scissors / razor: they won't supply these, but they may have them on the supply cart that volunteers come around selling you the items you didn't bring from this list.

hand mirror: when you're unable to get out of bed, after a while you begin to wonder what you look like to everyone around you - this way you can scare yourself too! I confess. I bought from the above mentioned cart!

socks: at night it feels like they turn up the air conditioning in hospitals, I'm sure they're trying to freeze us to death lol, so I wear socks to keep my feet warm and toasty.

eye mask: I take them just in case ... sometimes you're in a room with 3 other sick people and the night can be filled with stretchers, nurses, IV technicians, new patients being admitted, patients being taken down for surgeries or returning ... a busy night can be hard to sleep through especially when you add the doorway swinging open and filling the room with light repeatedly.

hairband: my hair starts to drive me nuts when I'm confined to a bed or can't wash it for days, so I found putting it back can help keep your sanity and the smile on your face when you start to feel grimy and that you've been there too long.

housecoat: now this depends on the procedure you are having. If you're going to be attached to an IV pole for the duration of your stay then leave the housecoat at home or have someone bring it as you recover. If you are going to be walking around freely then having your own comfy housecoat will certainly help you heal faster by bringing on those memories of home!

for Delivery Pack ...

fresh food instead of flowers

homemade meals instead of hospital food is a real treat
homemade meals instead of hospital food is a real treat | Source

mp3 player & ear buds: I have found my small mp3 player to be the perfect distraction when I want to be alone with my thoughts, want to ignore other people in the room, don't want to hear the conversations being held around me, want other people to ignore me in the room. Bonus you get to listen to whatever you want and get lost in that place!

book or magazines: I personally find magazines easier to read at the hospital due to the short attention span I develop as a result of the medications, schedules and body recovery needs. Something to quietly distract you like crosswords or suduko, while you spend time waiting your turn to be fixed, to heal and to go home.

laptop: although many hospitals don't have wifi or internet access, I use my computer as a dvd player and to watch downloaded content. I've used it to write while there, although I find it very hard to be creative while in the hospital as a patient; some of the results can be rather dark. ** of course bringing a laptop is not advised as the potential is there for it to be stolen, however I took that chance and didn't leave the laptop in plain site when I wasn't there.

dvd player: a great alternative to a computer and can save tons of money in TV rentals, a dvd player will let you watch movies when you are ready to do so. So with a pair of headsets and stack of movies any hospital visit can seem like an opportunity to catch up on some good flicks!

food: check with your nurse once admitted to find out what dietary restrictions you have if any. If food is allowed to be brought to you, ask visitors to bring you fresh meals and foods that appeal to you so that you will eat. You can usually put it into a fridge for later and there is usually a microwave available for reheating food for patients. Unfortunately hospital food is usually the most unappealing food you will ever have put in front of you.

small bag, container or purse: to keep near your bedside, on your side table or on your bed with the smaller items you brought and may need to reach while you are alone in the room.

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Heal Well

So there you have it; a list to help make your stay at the hospital a little better, a little more comfortable and a little less stressful.

Going into the hospital prepared will let you focus on your task at hand; which will be getting better.

Whatever the reason for your admission may your journey be one of healing.

Your Comments are Welcome

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    • profile image

      Melani 2 years ago

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    • eye say profile image

      eye say 6 years ago from Canada

      just getting back - the homemade brothy soup is a great choice; it falls into the fluid category with soft solids if allowed.

      glad you found the list useful,

    • eye say profile image

      eye say 6 years ago from Canada

      That's a nightmare story Cardisa, in the end I hope all healed well or as well as it could. I was in a room with someone who brought in their own comforter, but I had never considered sheets and towels. Thanks for sharing and adding to the list. Stay well :O)

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      I also take my own towels and sheets....yes I am paranoid about hospital germs and rightly so since the last surgery I had I caught a hospital infection that wouldn't heal while I was there. It was awful because the infection was inside my closed tummy. If it was a surface infection it wouldn't have been so bad but I had a hysterectomy and the infection was where they nipped the uterus.

    • eye say profile image

      eye say 6 years ago from Canada

      @ my nurse - utensils are a great suggestion, as well as a ceramic coffee mug, so you're not drinking from plastic the whole time!

      thanks for adding to the list, nice to have an experts input!

    • My Nurse Says profile image

      My Nurse Says 6 years ago from Philippines

      Quite right... Nothing beats being prepared, especially in situations such as hospital confinements. Although, I must add from your very helpful list: bringing your own utensils. Whether plastics or metals, it's more comforting to know that you're enjoying your meal with your own utensils, rather than having to think about how inconvenient it is to use plastic ones or whether or not the metal ones offered by the hospital are really, really, really clean (or sterilized).