Back to top anchor

Brought to you by Southern DHB and WellSouth primary health network

Open main menu Close main menu

Preparing for your hospital stay

If you are preparing for a hospital stay, there are some steps you can take to help ensure the logistics are in hand while you are in hospital and on your return home, so you can focus on getting well.

There is plenty to think about when you are preparing for a stay in hospital.

It is best to arrange as much as possible before you are admitted to hospital, including the preparations for when you are ready to return home. This will make the paperwork easier, and ensure you are not waiting in hospital longer than you need to while things get sorted out.

Most importantly, it will also give you peace of mind that all the logistics are in hand, so you can focus on getting well.


Care for dependent loved ones at home

If you are coming to the hospital for a planned operation, you may need to make arrangements  for any loved ones you care for who will be home alone while you are in the hospital or may need extra help while you are recovering.

If you already have people coming into your home to help with cleaning or personal care tasks, please talk with your care provider in the first instance.

If your loved one has no care currently in place, please see your GP to ask for a referral so that care or planned respite can be arranged. You need to do this early as the wait can be six to eight weeks.

Also, talk with family and friends to see what support they are able to offer both during your hospital stay and while you recover.


What to bring with you to hospital

Everyone's individual needs are different, and you may receive specific advice relating to your personal circumstances, but generally you should pack:

  • Warm comfortable nightwear, dressing gown, slippers and comfortable day clothes, including shoes and socks. Please bring any equipment that you use to help dress. We will be encouraging you to get out of your pajamas and into comfortable clothes when you are ready to do so, as this makes a difference to your recovery.
  • Toiletries, brush and comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, shaving gear, sanitary pads, tampons and tissues.

  • Any equipment that aids you, including glasses, hearing aids, walking sticks or frames.

  • Any medications or supplements that you are taking.

  • You may also wish to bring a book, magazine, eBook reader, tablet or mobile phone for your entertainment and communication. Power points are available for charging and wi-fi internet is available.

  • We advise that you do not bring valuables, as we cannot always ensure their security

  • Its is helpful if important items are named so they can be returned easily to you if they are misplaced.


Preparing for surgery

The surgical specialist and surgical admissions team will tell you how to prepare for your surgery as all patients are different, for example when to stop eating or drinking.

If you get sick close to the date of your surgery please let the department concerned know as this may mean that your surgery has to be postponed until you are feeling better. If you arrive and admissions determine you to be unfit for surgery, your surgery will be postponed.

Sometimes we may need to postpone your booking at short notice. This can happen if there are a high number of emergencies admitted to the hospital. We will do everything possible to avoid postponing treatment and procedures but if this does occur we will provide you with an alternative booking.

  • Plan ahead to arrange travel and any accommodation you might need before you are admitted to hospital. The National Travel Assistance programme may be able to assist.
  • From planning your meals while you are recovering at home to ensuring you have the support you need, it is worth thinking ahead before you go into hospital, to make sure everything is in place when you need it.