Being admitted to hospital (video transcript)
Going into hospital can be a stressful and anxious time for patients and their families but with a little planning you can make your visit as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Begin by thinking about how you will get there. Avoid driving yourself if possible. Consider booking a taxi or asking a friend or relative to take you there. It's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the hospital's parking areas and nearest set down and pick up points.
You'll also need to think about what to bring. Make a list and tick off items as you pack.
Include living aids like glasses and dentures, your regular medications, x-rays or scans you'll need and, of course, your Medicare card. If you have private health insurance make sure you bring details of your cover. If you'll be staying overnight you'll also need to pack sleepwear and toiletries. You might also include a book or magazines to read, some crosswords or other items to keep you entertained, and a small amount of cash for snacks or newspapers. Check with your hospital before bringing digital entertainment equipment and don't bring large amounts of cash or jewellery with you.
Some procedures will require you to fast or eat only certain foods before coming to hospital.
Make sure you contact the hospital beforehand so you know of any special preparation you'll need to undertake before coming to hospital. Let someone know if you have difficulty speaking or understanding English, because you can ask for an interpreter. It's best not to rely on family members for interpreting on medical matters. Most hospitals provide or have access to a free interpreter service.
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.