Hospital Visit Advice: Planned or Unplanned

by Paul Konrardy

On your way to the hospital for a visit or an extended stay?

Is this a planned event or an emergency run?

Whatever the reason or circumstance, here is some useful information.

WHN TIP – Be safe, be smart and be prepared!

Not Sure What to Bring?

WHN TIP – Tracking Form: Print out the WHN Hospital Stay Tracking Form to help you track new and old medications, tests ordered, staff contact information and so on.

WHN TIP – Get an Advocate: Secure at least one advocate — a friend or family member who can be with you 24 hours a day. If you don’t have a friend or relative available, you can contact organizations such as the Patient Advocate Foundation. Read 4 Tips For Being a Patient Advocate for details.

WHN TIP: Second Opinion. Read 5 FAQs About Getting a Second Opinion if you’ve received a major health diagnosis or need surgery or other significant treatment.

Going Through the ER?

  • Don’t eat or drink once you arrive in case a test is ordered.
  • Don’t take any medications, even over-the-counter ones, without asking the nurse.
  • Expect to be asked the same questions more than once.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially if you’re in pain or need to take specific meds at a certain time (like insulin). It can be busy in the ER, but that doesn’t mean your legitimate concerns or needs can’t be addressed.

Read 9 Things to Expect at the ER for more tips.

WHN TIP – Kid-Tips: Make the hospital wait easier for the little ones. If you have children, ask if the ER has a toy closet to keep children entertained during long waits. But plan ahead and bring a few small (and quiet) items likes crayons and coloring books or a deck of cards.

Ready to Go Home?

  • Get your discharge instructions in writing and make sure you fully understand them.
  • If you can’t drive (too woozy or weak), call a friend or take a taxi. You can always come back the next day to pick up your car.

For more tips, read Going to the Hospital and Preparing for a Hospital Stay: 7 Expert Tips.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Related Posts