Real Talk

Hospital Bag Checklist When Admitted or Accompanying a Family Member

When accompanying a family member to the hospital or getting confined, here are some items that need to make the hospital bag checklist.

While hospitals do have medical equipment, the stay isn’t exactly the most restful. With nurses coming in and out every 1 hour and 30 minutes to check if the patient or you are alive, some of us light sleepers will not get any sleep. With us getting overwhelmed with all the paperwork and worry, our hospital bags need a checklist so we can pack the things we do need.

So here’s a hospital bag checklist for those who are accompanying the family member or the one being admitted.

1. Toiletries

Toothbrush, towel, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, sanitary napkin, and soap — especially if the stay will be long, nobody wants to stay sticky and dirty in a hospital. Especially with the many germs floating around, maintaining hygiene is a must. Since these are the “wet” essentials, always pack them in a zip-lock bag or a waterproof pouch when storing them in the hospital bag.

2. Existing medicines

Nurses, doctors, and residents will always be asking if you or your family member are taking any medicines to maintain an existing condition. Instead of memorizing the medicine’s tongue-twisting names, just bring the boxes along. That way, you can just show the boxes to the medical professionals who will probably know what the medicines do more than we do.

A trip to the hospital always needs a bag and a checklist to make sure everything is accounted for!

3. Extra blanket

If we’re the type to feel cold easily then, bring an extra blanket. Some of us may not feel comfortable about borrowing the hospital’s blankets since we wonder who was the last person who used them. At least if it’s our own, we know it’s clean because we most likely washed it ourselves. Besides, having a piece of linen from home at least makes the stay a little more comfortable which helps patients heal faster.

4. Laptop and charger

The most common complaint of patients is that they’re bored out of their minds while healing up in the hospital. While we are supposed to rest and sleep, what are we going to do for the next several hours? At least with a laptop, we can watch YouTube or Netflix while using the hospital’s internet. Also, we can keep in touch with our family members if we install chat apps like Viber and Telegram on our laptops.

5. Extra clothes

Especially if the clothes we wore when we were admitted were soiled with sweat, vomit, blood, or urine, bringing an extra set of clothes will at least help settle us down. Discomfort can cause extra distress which will make it harder for us to recover. We suggest baggy or loose clothes since we need something extra comfortable while recovering or something that allows us a lot of room to move.

6. Money

While hospitals do request a deposit as part of the admission fee, not all of them have the same credit limit. Some have as high as PHP 100,000 while others have it at PHP 70,000. Bringing at least a credit card or debit card to immediately pay off some of the debts will at least make the financial stress during the hospital stay less of a hassle. It’s a lot messier to pay with hard cash!

The hassle is much less if you have an HMO or life insurance since they’ll shoulder most of it, depending on the package you signed up for.

If you’re a companion, you’ll still need money to buy your own food and pay for parking, however. Hospitals usually have a canteen downstairs where you can buy. Unfortunately, they also charge for parking if you’re bringing your own car.

7. Water Jug

Not all hospital wings come with water dispensers. Save yourself the trip of running up and down by bringing your own water jug. As the companion, you may find your mouth running dry after advocating for your relative for the next couple of hours. If you’re the patient, water can at least help down the medicine that the hospital gives.

8. A notebook and a pen

A notebook and pen to take note of everything that happens, that includes the medicines administered and what time. Doing that will help nurses and doctors in the long run who have been attending to several patients all day. It also lessens the chance of you or your relative receiving a misdiagnosis which is just as expensive as getting sick.

Hospital stays are not always as relaxing as they look on social media!

Although we see on Instagram how celebrities recover comfortably in hospitals, it’s not always that smooth sailing. Some pains and diseases suddenly happen, demanding us to rush to the hospital. Even admitting patients can take a long time because of how many there are. Trust us that the stress will test even the most patient of people, making us more prone to lashing out at the already overworked healthcare professionals.

But so long as we check off everything on the hospital bag list for a stay, we can focus a little more on recovering.

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