In the lead-up to your hospital treatment you may feel apprehensive. Even if you’re a health professional, your emotions could range from “quietly confident” to “terrified” or somewhere in between. All of which are perfectly understandable.
Being clear about your preparation, treatment and recovery can help you physically and mentally prepare. It’s also a good idea to keep family and friends in the loop so they can offer moral, and practical, support.
What to take
Be sure to take your:
- Nurses & Midwives Health membership card
- Medicare card
- medication list (detailing any prescription, over-the-counter, supplements or complementary medicines you’re taking – including dosage). You could ask your GP or pharmacist to give you a list
- letters from your GP, specialists or any other health professionals
- x-rays, other imaging or test results (if relevant)
- hospital pre-admission pack (if available).
If you’re in overnight, or longer, also think about:
- clothes (day and night)
- non-slip slippers
- any regular medication you should keep taking
- entertainment (books, music, iPad, etc.)
- phone (don’t forget chargers for any devices)
- headphones (in case you’re in a shared room)
- ear plugs or eye mask (if they’ll help you sleep).
What to ask your specialist
- Do you need any tests before hospital (like blood tests or scans)?
- Will you need tests in hospital? If so, what, and why?
Food and drink
You may need to fast (stop eating or drinking) for a period of time before you go to hospital. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions. Be sure to ask:
- When do you need to stop eating and drinking?
- Should you stop taking any medicines?
- Are there any medicines you should keep taking?
There may be some restrictions to your usual activities when you get home. Things you need to consider, and prepare for, before you go to hospital could include:
- meals / diet
- personal hygiene
- travelling to medical appointments
- taking care of kids or pets
- any modifications to your home (like hand rails or ramps).
Ask your specialist how long any restrictions will last so you know what to expect and how much help you may need.