Getting Ready for the Hospital

How Should I Prepare?

It is natural to be anxious or worried when you are going to the hospital. Even though the professionals at the hospital are there to take care of you, it is common to be fearful of the unknown. It also takes a lot of trust to put your safety and well-being in the hands of others. Here are some things you can do to be prepared...

  • Learn about what will be happening
  • Understand why you need this
  • Talk to others
  • Ask your parents and doctors
  • Take a deep breath!


What Should I Bring?

What you should bring to the hospital depends on how long you will be staying there. If you are going for a few hours, bring homework, something to read or play or listen to (like cell phone, electronic device, or music) to help you pass the time. Even though you may have a scheduled appointment, there are often other people waiting and the hospital staff are doing their best to take care of everyone on time. Why do you think people who go to the hospital are called "patients?"

If you plan to be at the hospital longer, then you should bring more things. Think about what you use every day that brings you joy and comfort (like a favorite pillow, stuffed animal friend, DVD player for movies). Hospitals do provide certain essential things that you may need (a gown, tooth brush, pillow, blankets, etc). However, patients often like to have their OWN stuff. Remember... you don't have to bring everything at once. Your family can also get you things as you need them.

What Should I Ask?

When you are in the hospital, it is very important that you speak up and ask questions about what you do not understand. You should also let doctors and hospital staff know how you feel and how you are feeling about things that are going on. People in the hospital are there to take care of you, but they need your help. If you do not tell them how you are doing, or if something hurts, or if you are hungry, then they will not know. Often you may have a question but forget to ask it later on. It is best to write down questions as you think of them. That way, you can always "check my list" when the doctor or nurse is there to find out how you are doing.

What Should I Expect?

You should expect that people in the hospital are trying their best and want to take good care of you. Those same people are also very busy taking care of other people, so you have to learn to "wait gracefully" or be patient. It is important to realize that when it is your turn, you will get all the attention and time you need to get the job done right. Of course, you want the same for every other patient is before you and who comes after you.

Doctors and staff in the hospital should be explaining what is going on and why it is happening. However, some patients want to know more... and others want to know less. Only you know how much information you need to be satisfied. When in doubt, ASK! People in the hospital always want to know what is going on in your mind so they can help put you at ease.