Across the health care landscape, patients are being encouraged to take control of their own health. This means patients are often given the opportunity to decide their own level of comfort during a hospital stay. The average length of a hospital stay for events such as car accidents, major dental procedures, and giving birth in the United States is 5.8 days; here’s how you can take control of your hospital stay.
Existing medication is a top priority
Whether going in for an intensive root canal or an endovascular stent graft, existing medication will play a role in both the procedure and treatment. This includes dietary supplements and herbal remedies. Your current medications should be given to the hospital care team to administer. During this time, it’s also important to make note of any changes to the medication such as taste or smell to ensure the right medication is given.
Knowing what to pack
Bringing earphones and a phone charger can mean the difference between a long and boring stay and one that is bearable. But there are other items that are vital to a hospital stay, such as changes of clothes and bedroom shoes. Depending on the procedure, it can easily be assumed that these clothes will become soiled and regular changes are needed. Comfortable, old clothing that won’t be missed if damaged tend to be the best option. When it comes to hygiene, hospitals are known to keep high cleaning standards. However, with the high volume of patients that cross their floors, it’s recommended to maintain high personal hygiene standards, for instance, showering while wearing sandals.
Get your paperwork in order
Although this may not be nice to think about, it’s vital to get paperwork such as a last will and testament and life insurance up to date before a procedure. Documents that will need to go along to the hospital include the health insurance card, identification documents, and a list of people to contact in the event of a loved one. Two other documents that are critical as well include the medical power of attorney and a living will.
The anticipation of going into hospital may leave many people feeling forgetful, which is why a checklist is a handy way of ensuring everything is packed. Try to leave valuables at home and remember to take along a few magazines or books to keep busy.
While a stay in hospital may not be considered an enjoyable one, it’s important to use the time to rest and recharge to ensure that healing can take place. With the right items of comfort such as a pillow from home and something to kill time, this is much easier to achieve. For those who struggle to sleep, try to book a shared room as opposed to a going into a shared ward in order to get some sleep.
Sally Collins is a professional freelance writer with many years’ experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.