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Top 10 Things to Pack for the Hospital

By Editorial Staff

packing for the hospitalContributed by Info Guru Angela Hail

When it’s time to go to the hospital for what is, or what could be, an extended stay, remembering everything you need to take with you can be tricky.

You’re worried, you’re stressed, or maybe you’re even excited (depending on why you’re going in). Regardless, you’ve got more pressing things on your mind. Here is a simple list of things you won’t want to forget.

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10. Bedding


Yes, of course the hospital provides pillows, sheets, and blankets, but it can be comforting to have something of your own with you. If you have a favorite pillow, little comforter or blanket, by all means take them. A little bit of the comforts of home can help to put you at ease.

9. Something to Write With


You are going to want something with you that you can take notes with: Paper (small spiral notebooks are great), working pens and/or pencils. This will be important when the doctor gives you information about what kinds of medications he’s putting you on, what they’re giving you there in the hospital, and what you should do to take care of yourself when you leave. Besides, you never know when you’ll suddenly need to compose a sonnet or jot down instructions for your best friend on how to best cater to your cats in your absence.

8. Something to Read


There is nothing more stressful, or more tedious, than being stuck in a hospital bed for several hours or days, staring at walls or flipping through bad TV. Books or e-readers filled with reading material can help you while away that time without screaming or going into a hospital room induced stupor. Take something you love, be it fiction, Civil War history, or crossword puzzles — anything to keep you interested and engaged.

7. Music for Your Ears


Take your iPod, some other mp3 player, or even an old school Walkman. It will come in handy when you need to drown out your moaning roommate or all those hours of Cartoon Network.

6. Warm Fuzzies for Your Feet


More than likely, you’ll be donning a hospital gown for the lion’s share of your hospital stay, but you have the option to cover your own feet. Instead of getting stuck with those thin little booties the hospital provides, bring your own warm fuzzies to keep your tootsies comfy. Thick socks, slippers, whatever you like, so long as they can be slipped on and off bare feet and, preferably, have non-slip bottoms.

5. List of Allergies


Especially if you’re one of those people who have more than one or two, it can be helpful to just hand the nurse a list. It saves everyone time and you can make sure they get it right.

4. List of Medications and Doctors


You will need either a list of the medicines and dosages you are currently taking, or, if you’re in a hurry or don’t trust yourself to get it all down correctly, just grab them all out of the cabinet and throw them in a bag to hand to the hospital staff. Again, accuracy is the most important thing in this instance. You will also need a list of all the doctors who are currently treating you, including specialists, and their contact numbers. You don’t want anyone to miss any juicy details, do you?

3. Keep the Good Times Rolling


Any gadgets you bring with you (cell phone, mp3 player, e-reader, etc.) will run down eventually if you forget to renew their power source. If they have a charger, bring it. If they take batteries, bring back ups.

2. Medical Insurance Verification


Don’t leave home without checking to make sure you have your medical insurance verification card and information. The hospital will need the verification to charge your insurance company for your stay. You will need information about copays and deductibles so you know what sort of bill you might be personally responsible for when it’s all said and done.

1. A Trusted Friend or Family Member


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A positive attitude and loving support are absolutely essential in keeping you strong. You don’t need to spend this time with someone who walks around with a cloud over their head, or someone who feels like a cloud over yours. And if you feel that a visit (or multiple visits) from such a person is inevitable, your trusted loved one is that much more essential. So, okay, you can’t exactly “pack” them in your bag, but you should glue them to your side nonetheless. Think of it like packing your favorite umbrella. Just make sure they know how much you appreciate them being there. Giving love helps just as much as getting it.


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