Your Hospital Stay
It's best to pack as little as you can. However, be sure to bring the following items:
- Nightclothes, a bathrobe, and sturdy slippers (put your name on all personal items);
- Comfortable clothes to wear home;
- Personal items, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, comb and brush, deodorant, and razor;
- A complete list of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription drugs; details of past illnesses, surgeries, allergies, and relevant family medical history. Please leave your medicines at home.
- Your health insurance. In non-emergencies, it's a good idea to confirm your healthcare benefits and eligibility with your employer or health insurer before you are admitted to the hospital. You'll want to be sure that your coverage is active, what limitations (if any) are present, and that you've followed any procedures unique to your coverage, such as notification to your physician or obtaining written preauthorizations.
- A list of the names and telephone numbers (home and business) of family members to contact in case of an emergency;
- A pad and pen to jot down questions to ask; and
- $10 or so for newspapers, magazines, or any other items you may wish to buy in the hospital gift shop.
What Not to Bring to the Hospital
Leave such items as cash, jewelry (including wedding rings, earrings, and watches), credit cards, and checkbooks at home, or have a family member or friend hold them. If you must bring valuables, ask if they can be kept in the hospital safe during your stay. In addition, leave electric razors, hair dryers, and curling irons at home since they may not be grounded properly and could be unsafe.
U.S DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health