If I don’t come prepared then I can prepare to be extremely bored during my hospital stay. If you or your loved one has an overnight or lengthy hospital stay, you’ll want to bring a few things. Here are 10 essentials to pack:
Pillows and Blankets from Home
Hospitals are notoriously cold. Your plushest pillow and comfiest blanket can help you to feel more relaxed and at home, which is especially helpful for lengthy stays.
Button down shirts
This helps the nurses gain easy access to place electrodes (small stickers) on your chest to monitor your heart rhythm.
Lengthy stays in the hospital can mean lots of down time so make sure to pack some reading material like a favorite book or magazine to keep your mind busy. Some people also find comfort in bringing a Bible, sketchbook or journal to stay uplifted and inspired.
Pack your everyday toiletries.
- Shampoo, conditioner and soap
- Makeup/lip balm
- Contacts/solution and eyeglasses
Phone/Laptop – Chargers
You’ll want your phone at full battery to keep in touch with family and friends so make sure to pack a charger. You might also find your laptop helpful, for instance if you need to catch up on work, check emails, or want it to use social media, or browse the internet. Don’t forget headphones if you’ll be listening to something on your device – to not disturb other patients.
Whether it be a teddy bear, essential oils or cushy slippers, bring something that always makes you feel comfortable. This way, you’ll have a little piece of home, while you’re away.
Eye Mask/Ear Plugs
Hospitals are bustling, fast-paced places. Phones ring, nurses and doctors are in and out of patients’ rooms. Eye masks and ear plugs will help give you peace and quiet when you need it.
Packing your own food and drinks can help you eat healthier and save money.
If the hospital allows it, snacks are nice to keep on hand to munch on during your stay.
- Trail Mix
- Granola bars
- Fresh fruit
- Beef or turkey jerky
- Healthy crackers
- Veggies & dip
Come stocked with media recommendations! Crowdsourcing is ideal! Ask friends and even the chronic illness community to suggest fascinating podcasts, binge-worthy TV shows, and feel-good movies.
A few recommendations for you:
- Talk About It (Listen on Apple Podcasts and Spotify)
- BibleThinker – Mike Winger (Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Play)
Binge-worthy TV Shows –
- Gilmore Girls
- The Office
Feel-Good Movies –
- Little Miss Sunshine
- Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Sometimes, you might not know exactly how long you’ll be staying at the hospital. Packing a few changes of clothes and sleepwear will make you more comfortable and will prevent you or loved ones from making extra trips back home.
What other items do you pack in your hospital bag?