Going into hospital for a procedure or operation can be an understandably worrying time, and there is a lot to be considered. But as well as the stress and the worry, there are many practical considerations to be taken care of.
The more you’re prepared for your stay the easier it is on you and for your loved ones. You can be somewhat self sufficient if you plan your stay well so you have what you need and when you need it.
Here are five of the most important things to take care of in preparation for going into hospital.
Pack a Bag
This may seem like obvious advice; however, it’s important. How long are you likely to be staying, and is there much chance of this being extended? It is always good to err on the side of caution and take several changes of clothes just in case.
Be aware of packing enough toiletries, including preferable toothpaste, deodorant, etc. as although there is usually a small shop on the hospital grounds, and the selection is mostly limited.
You may be allowed to wear your own pajamas in the hospital and if you need to be there for a while, then this will go a long way to feeling better. Your favorite, comfortable pajamas and soft socks are much better than wearing those thin and scratchy johnnies that are provided by the hospital.
Take Care of Kids/Pets
If you have children or even pets in the house, then you will need to make arrangements so that they are going to be looked after while you are away. If it’s a short procedure, you could easily have someone come around and watch them in your home.
If it’s a more extended stay, then best to have them go to the other person’s house. Sometimes, you don’t even know that you will be in the hospital for a while so your arrangements might need to change For instance if you thought your stay would only be a few days, have a back up plan in case it gets extended.
You may not be able to ask a neighbor or friend to keep going by the house to take care of the pet. Not to mention that it can get lonely. Look into the possibility of a pet foster if suddenly your hospital stay is a more serious one. Usually, you can even find a foster close to the hospital.
Know Your Insurance Covers
Insurance is essential, and it’s crucial to be sure that your policy is in place and covers everything you think it does. Getting a nasty surprise when it comes to billing time is not what you’d want. Some medical insurance, such as Medicare policies, don’t cover everything, and you might have to take some additional cover to plug these gaps such as Aetna Medigap plans.
Take Entertainment With You
It can be a long day if you are stuck in a hospital ward with no-where to go, and gone are the days of bringing a pile of discs with you. You can’t even rely on a WiFi service or even data signal on your cell phone. So it’s essential to plan your entertainment strategy to avoid dependence on measures that require a connection to the internet. If you need to rely on movies and TV shows, most streaming services allow you to download content to a device that can be watched offline. You can also look at more traditional methods of entertaining yourself, such as the printed novel and old-fashioned puzzle book. Downloads of podcasts, audiobooks, and music are also useful.
Have a Plan for Work etc.
If you are going to be out of action for a while, you need to have a strategy for how your work is going to deal with your absence? Are you going to take a complete break from work, or are you going to try and do some of your role remotely from the hospital, and even once you are recovering at home? This is a very personal decision, but remote working has become much easier these days with video conferencing, file sharing, and collaboration software.
Make a will
At the risk of sounding morbid, you’ll need to make sure that you have a will and have communicated clearly to your family about life after you’re gone. Though the risk of not coming out of surgery is very low, there is still a risk.
Having a will makes the lives of your family much easier as things are all laid out in a legal manner so there is little to deal with. If the unthinkable happens and your affairs are not in order, then this will be a stressful time for your family. During their mourning, it would be a big relief for them if you had all the loose ends tied up.