Preparing to go in to hospital
This information will help you to prepare for a stay in hospital. You will feel more confident if you know that your home is secure and will be ready for you to recuperate, especially if you live on your own.
What you need to take
What not to take to hospital
Arrange for a friend or relative to keep in contact with you or visit you regularly when you return from hospital.
Taking time off work
Make sure you inform your employer about your circumstances and organise time off for your stay in hospital, as well as sufficient recovery time at home.
Check the provisions of your employment contract so that you are informed of how much of your time off work will be paid.
If after your operation or hospital stay you are able to work but feel more tired than usual, talk to your employer about the possibility of:
Prepare your home
Your mobility may be restricted once you return home. In order to make your return home easier, arrange your essential items – TV remote, radio, telephone, tissues and address book – so that they are easily accessible to where you will spend most of your time when you come out of hospital.
It is useful to have plenty of easy-to-prepare food, drinks and other essential items, like painkillers, in your home.
Travelling home from hospital
All patients need someone to take them home from hospital. Day surgery patients also need a responsible adult to care for them overnight.
Patients are responsible for making their own travel arrangements home. While an ambulance will transport you to hospital if you are sick or injured, they can only take a patient home who needs continued medical assistance, such as oxygen.
Make arrangements for someone to help you get home as soon as you know the date you will be leaving hospital.
Alternatively taxis are situated outside most major hospitals and some hospitals may have a bus service.
If you have a Community Services Card you may be able to get some assistance with travel and accommodation for treatment at a public hospital that is outside of your hometown, provided you have been given a referral to that hospital.
What if I have a compliment or concern about my hospital visit?
The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights includes the right to complain. If it is a matter occurring during the visit, staff may be able to rectify it for you immediately.
If it is a more serious complaint concerning the care you have received, then a written complaint should be sent to the hospital or to the Health and Disability Commissioner. Note that there are patient liaison officers, hospital volunteers and chaplains who are happy to talk to you about your experience and pass on advice.