What to Take to the Hospital?

When your doctor tells you to go to the hospi­tal, you will want to know what to take with you. Actually, everything essential is furnished except some of your personal hygiene supplies. You should take your toothbrush and favorite dentifrice, and any other cosmetics you like to use regularly. Men must take their shaving gear. Women may take powder, lipstick, and deodor­ants. It will not be necessary to take soap or towels.

Essentially this is all that is needed, but you may also take reading material. A book or a magazine may help pass the time, but do not bring your entire library—just a book or a couple of magazines. Many hospitals have a patient library service and most hospitals have a news­paper service. You may also take a housecoat or a lounging robe or a bed jacket, as you might be more comfortable in your own than in those furnished by the hospital. The hospital also sup­plies you a gown, but you can take your own pajamas or gown if you like. Since hospital gowns are designed to facilitate the examinations and procedures performed on patients, it is preferred that you wear the hospital gown rather than your own less practical garments for such pro­cedures. But it is likely that you would rather wear your own during visiting hours and when convalescing. You should also take a pair of bedroom slippers, since so often these are scarce items even though the hospital tries to provide each patient. Yours may also be more comfort­able than the washable kind furnished by the hospital. The clothes you will wear home are those you wear to the hospital. Wear a clean outfit to the hospital and do not bring any other clothes. If you come to the hospital by ambu­lance, or for some other reason arc not wearing street clothes, they can be brought to you later.

If you smoke, your doctor would probably just as soon have you smoke in the hospital rather than have you develop a feeling of appre­hension from sudden cessation of the habit. So you will want to take your cigarettes or other smoking supplies with you. Remember to check with your doctor or nurse before smoking, and remember your smoking manners if you have a roommate and when your doctor calls.

Other luxury items you may consider taking, such as a radio or an electric fan, are better left at home until you find out whether it is ad­visable for you to have them. You can always have a friend or a relative bring you any item you decide you want. If you are certain you are going to have a private room, you may bring your portable radio, but it would still be better to wait and have it brought in later if you decide you want it. Many hospitals have radio rental service which is much more convenient for you. Do not take any medication with you to the hospital, even though your own doctor has given it to you. All medications to be taken in the hospital will be ordered by your doctor on your hospital chart, and records of what you take, will be kept.

You will be surprised at the number of friends who will be anxious to help you in any way while you are in the hospital. If you have for­gotten to bring some item, ask a friend or a rela­tive to deliver it to you. This is much better than bringing unnecessary things with you. Actu­ally, the things you will need will be few, and nothing larger than a small overnight case should be necessary to carry all your articles to the hospital. If you are in doubt about some item, leave it home. The following list may be helpful in planning the articles you should ordi­narily take to the hospital with you.


Toothbrush and dentifrice Shaving equipment


  • Slippers
  • Pajamas or gown
  • Lounging robe and/or bed jacket
  • Small sum of bedside change
  • Essential cosmetics
  • Smoking supplies
  • Reading material
  • Stationery and pen


  • Soap and towels Menstrual pads
  • Jewelry and large sums of cash Radio, heating pad, electric fan, etc. Bedding Medications

If anything special will be required for your hospital care, your doctor will tell you. In cer­tain instances there will be some spccial items required—for example, in maternity cases for the care of the newborn baby and transporting the baby home. If this is the case, you will be given a list of what to bring with you.

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