WA Health system

Preparing for your stay in hospital

Being admitted to hospital

We know that going to hospital can sometimes be a stressful and anxious time for patients and their families.

The Department of Health and the Health Consumers’ Council have prepared this guide to try and make your stay as smooth and comfortable as possible. 

We want you to leave knowing that you have received the standard of care of which we are rightly proud in Western Australia.

With a little planning you can make your visit as smooth, safe and comfortable as possible.


Before being admitted to hospital, you may be asked to attend a pre-admission clinic. This is designed to confirm your personal details, document your medical history, do any tests that will assist the doctors to provide their services, and explain what will happen during your hospital stay.

This is an invaluable time to ask questions and may help to reassure you about what to expect, and prepare you for admission.

Many people find it useful to bring a friend or take notes. When you’re happy that you know what is going to happen, you’ll need to sign a consent form.

Getting there

Think about how you’ll get to hospital. If possible:

  • avoid driving yourself
  • consider booking a taxi, or getting a lift with a friend or relative
  • familiarise yourself with the hospital’s parking areas and nearest set down and pick up points.

If you are travelling away from home for treatment, ask for a copy of My Travelling Book: Your guide to travelling away from home for medical treatment.

What to bring


  • your Medicare card
  • things you use every day, like glasses and dentures
  • regular medications (including over-the-counter medicines, inhalers and eye drops)
  • mobility aids, if you are using any
  • x-rays or scans related to your hospital treatment
  • details of any private health insurance
  • footwear/slippers, sleepwear and toiletries for overnight stays
  • books, magazines, or other items to entertain you – check with your hospital before bringing mobile ‘phones or digital devices.

Don’t bring large amounts of cash, jewellery or valuables with you but remember there may be a fee to access television.

If you are a maternity patient, check with the hospital for any specific items you need to bring.

If you are a smoker you should consider giving up before you come into hospital. Not smoking is better for your health overall. You should be aware that there is a no smoking policy in all hospitals that includes hospital grounds.

Preparing for your procedure

Try to get a good night’s sleep before the procedure. Check with your doctor or hospital whether any special preparation is needed before you are admitted. For example, ask whether you need to fast, or eat only certain foods before coming to hospital.

If you are in a caring role

If you are in a caring role at home you will need to think about and plan for who will take over that role while you are in hospital and who can assist you in that role when you return home.

If you have a carer

If you have a person that cares for you at home it would be helpful for that person to be with you on admission. Your carer should also visit regularly so that they can be involved in your care needs and treatment decisions while you are in hospital.

Video – Being admitted to hospital

Watch more of our videos at the WA Health YouTube channel (external site).

Read the video transcript – Being admitted to hospital.


  • Consider booking a taxi or asking a friend or relative to take you to hospital.
  • Some procedures will require you to fast or eat only certain foods before going to hospital.
  • Make sure you know of any special preparation you will need before going to hospital.


Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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