Published: Apr 4, 2014
Well-planned packing helps make vacations more enjoyable. Likewise, what you pack for your own or a loved one’s admission to the hospital can make for a smoother, less stressful experience.
The following is a review of necessities for a hospital packing list, as well as items that can make a hospital stay more comfortable—plus those things that are best left at home.
Must-Have Items and Information
Important medical documents and health care information serve as your or your loved one’s passport to the hospital. Be sure to bring:
To avoid misplacing any of this important paperwork and information—which is critical for facilitating a patient’s treatment—keep it all together in one folder.
For Your Comfort
Hospitals often encourage patients and their families to bring other items to help make a hospital stay more pleasant or comfortable. Hospitals provide gowns and toiletries, but they generally invite patients to bring their own pajamas, bathrobe, cardigan sweater, non-slip socks or slippers, comb, brush, lotions, toothbrush and toothpaste, and lip balm. However, avoid perfumes and any highly-scented products. Keep in mind that short sleeves are best to accommodate intravenous lines.
Check ahead of time to find out what the hospital will allow. This information often can be found on the hospital’s Web site.
Other things to bring include:
Items to Leave at Home
Hospitals cannot be responsible for patients’ personal belongings. Generally they recommend against bringing valuables. Specific things to leave off the packing list:
Before bringing any type of electronic items, check the hospital’s policy. Items that need to be plugged in generally are forbidden as their wiring does not meet hospital-grade standards. If you or a loved one does bring a portable electronic device, make sure it is in the care of a friend or loved one while the patient is sleeping or out of the room.