Your stay in hospital

Useful tips on how to prepare for and what to take with you for your stay in hospital

  • Three pairs of pyjamas (if it's going to be a long stay, track suit bottoms or other loose-fitting, comfortable clothing)
  • A lightweight dressing gown
  • Comb and/or brush
  • Face wipes/baby wipes/body wipes
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Slippers (best with non-slip soles)
  • Small tin of Vaseline or balm (for the lips)
  • Lots of drinks (non-alcoholic naturally, Lucozade or squash) 
  • Earplugs
  • Soft/balm tissues - LOTS! - the hospital will provide but they are a bit rough
  • Sanitary items (for ladies only), if required
  • Your own soap/towel/flannel/shower cap
  • A cheap pair of flip flops for use in the shower
  • Cardigans are better than over the head sweaters - in case it gets a bit chilly
  • Nibbles that don't make a mess in your bed
  • Sweeties/mints
  • Books/puzzle books
  • Two or three pens
  • List of phone numbers
  • Change/money
  • MP3 or an old CD player and two or three of your favourite CDs
  • A couple of cuddly teddies (optional)
  • Mum, sister, wife, hubby, best friend - or the like
  • Don't take jewellery - including wedding rings

Some other suggestions from patients:

  • "Go out and buy a nice light perfume or body spray. Not your usual one, because you will probably always associate it with your stay in hospital, so if you throw it away afterwards, it doesn't matter. It makes you feel so much better having a quick 'spritz'. The other daft things I did were things like taking a face pack in with me for when feeling better post-op. I could convince myself it was a spa not a hospital. Being in my own room helped with that one!"
  • "Designate one person to ring the ward and have a cascade system for letting people know how you are doing. Organising things like that before hand can give you a sense of control."
  • "Plan something for afterwards. After my hysterectomy, a dear friend came to visit. I was two days post-op and feeling awful and she TOLD me I was going on a trip with her school to a Tapas bar in five weeks time. Seems an odd school trip, but they had been taking Spanish lessons!! Seemed impossible, but I was determined. I went, had a great time with all the children and was so glad I had set myself an achievable target."
  • "If someone says 'can I do anything?' say yes! Helps you and makes others feel very worthy. A friend cleaned out my rabbits - just what I needed!"
  • "I had one day when I was visited by work mates, friends and family - not a good idea and hubby was annoyed as it completely tired me out - stagger the visitors!"
  • "DEFINITELY needed a couple of pens and someone bought me a beautiful journal to keep notes in which was handy when the numerous consultants bombarded me with info."
  • "I took a photo in of the family and had it on my bedside trolley which was nice to look at."
  • "Don't wear nail varnish to theatre as the nail bed gives a good indication of the circulation, especially immediately post-op as you are waking up. Face make-up is not a good idea either. The anaesthetist needs to see your normal colour. It has been known for patients to come to theatre with the full works, including hair spray! Someone forgot to tell them it was an operating theatre they were going to!"