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10 Things To Know Before An Extended Hospital Stay

There’s no denying that going to hospital for an extended stay, such as to undergo surgery or treatment, can be a stressful time for most people.

Hospitals are generally places people don’t want to visit unless they work in them, and staying in one can understandably make some folks very nervous. If you’ve never had an extended stay at a hospital before, it’s worth preparing yourself for the experience.

With that in mind, the following points are useful things to keep in mind before your stay at the hospital:

1. Get Your House In Order

If you live alone, you should ensure that someone, such as a relative or close friend, keeps an eye on your home while you’re away. They can collect your mail and store it somewhere safe for you, water your plants, and check that everything is okay for when you return.

However, if you’ve got a family in tow, you can, of course, delegate the various daily tasks in your home to your significant other. Knowing that your home is in order while you’re away will give you one less thing to worry over.

2. Understand What Will Happen

By now, your doctor or specialist will have told you about the procedure or treatment you’re going to have. You should take the time to conduct thorough research into it to satisfy yourself with what will happen before, during, and after the event.

Having a complete understanding of the process will ensure you can get to grips with what to look out for if things go wrong, especially if you need to hire medical malpractice attorneys to settle any disputes or issues.

3. Gather All Your Relevant Documents

Another important thing you need to do is bring all essential documents with you that are relevant to your operation or procedure.

The documents in question will include prescription medication details, health care provider information, and contact details for your family doctor.

You should also consider bringing an Advance Directive with a power of attorney designee. That way, if something happened to you during your hospital stay, there’s someone available to make decisions on your behalf when you’re not able to do so.

4. Bring Your Own Bedding

It’s important to remember that staying in a hospital is nothing like staying in a luxury hotel. Yes, you’ll have some bed sheets and a pillow. But, they won’t keep you particularly warm nor comfortable – especially if you’re bed-bound after your surgery or treatment.

That’s why it’s a good idea to bring your own bedding from home. Doing so means you can enjoy feeling roasty-toasty warm during the night, and your pillow from home will ensure you get a restful night’s sleep.

5. Bring Some Clothes

You might assume that you’re only allowed to don a hospital gown during your stay. However, while it’s something you need to wear during surgery or for specific treatments, you can wear comfortable clothing like pajamas or lounge clothes.

You can even wear clothing like hoodies or sweaters to keep you warm during your hospital stay, providing it doesn’t interfere with any surgery or treatments that you’re having. You should also bring some casual, loose-fitting clothes to wear for when you eventually leave.

6. Keep Yourself Entertained

There isn’t much to do in between check-ups from doctors and nurses and any surgery or treatments when you’re staying at the hospital for a few days. As you can imagine, sitting up or laying down on your bed twiddling your thumbs won’t make the time go any quicker.

With that in mind, you should consider bringing some items from home that will help you keep you occupied and entertained during any idle time. For example, you may wish to bring your smartphone or tablet, or perhaps a few books to while away the time.

7. Take Advantage Of The Wi-Fi

When you’ve got your mobile devices with you, it can often be hard to get a signal inside of a hospital. These days, most hospital wards and private rooms offer Wi-Fi Internet access, and if yours has it available, it’s something you should take advantage of using.

Note that you may need to pay the hospital to use their Wi-Fi Internet. However, even with that in mind, it’s still a good idea as it means you can call or video call your family and friends over the Internet.

8. Don’t Rely On The Hospital TV

The problem with hospital TV is that the programming selections offered are minimal, and to make matters worse, you may even have to pay for the privilege of using a TV by your bedside.

Instead, use your mobile devices for watching Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, or your preferred streaming entertainment provider. That way, you have complete control over the TV shows you watch and don’t have to pay exorbitant fees for using a hospital TV.

9. Keep Yourself Occupied

If you have to stay indoors in the hospital for an extended period, you must look at ways to keep your mind occupied. The last thing you want to happen is for cabin fever to set in, and you start to feel restless and even depressed.

Aside from technology, you could find other ways to keep yourself occupied. For instance, you could work through some crossword or puzzle books, adult coloring books, crochet or knit, or even do some drawing on a sketchpad if you want to harness your creative side.

10. Listen To Music For Relaxation

One final point to keep in mind is that hospitals aren’t the quietest of places. If you’re in a ward with other people, your ward-mates, along with nursing staff, doctors, and visitors, will keep you awake – whatever time you try to sleep.

Listening to music will help you relax because it will drown out all the background noise and transport your mind to somewhere calm and serene. Plus, it can also help send you to sleep if your neighbors snore a lot!

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