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Preparing for Your Hospital Stay - Topic Overview

Health care items

  • Take along a notebook and pen or pencil. Use this to write down questions you think of when the doctor isn't there. And later you can write down the doctor's answers.
  • Ask your doctor whether you need to bring any of your regular medicines to the hospital. You probably won't, but it's best to check.
  • Take along a bottle of hand sanitizer for your bedside table. Depending on why you're in the hospital, you may not be able to get up easily or often to wash your hands. And having the bottle in plain sight will make it easier to ask visitors to clean their hands when they come in.

Last-minute checklist

  • Shower or bathe before you leave. If you're having surgery, don't shave the surgery area yourself.
  • Remove any nail polish or makeup.
  • Remove all jewelry, including wedding rings. Not only can these things get in the way of some tests and treatments, they can also be places where germs collect and multiply.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Preparing for Your Hospital Stay Topics

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