Not all hospital stays begin in the emergency room. Sometimes you have time to prepare for a scheduled hospital stay. But even when you don't have an emergency medical problem, getting ready to go to the hospital may leave you feeling overwhelmed and even a little stressed. By taking steps to prepare for your stay ahead of time, you can get control of some of that stress and save that energy for feeling better as soon as possible.Plan ahead for those medical billsMost insurance plans require that you let them know ahead of time about your hospital stay. If you don't, there's a risk that the plan will refuse to cover your stay.You'll also want to make sure that the hospital you're going to is covered under your plan.If you have no insuranceIf you don't have insurance, call the hospital's billing department before your stay and ask them what they can do to help you. Many hospitals have financial counselors. They will likely arrange a payment plan for you. They may even
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- 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.
- 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.