Young couple talking with clinical staff

Planning for Your Hospital Stay

Before you go to the hospital, name an advocate. Ask a friend or family member to help you while you’re in the hospital. If you’re too sick or worried, your advocate can tell doctors about your health care choices, ask questions and write down answers, and keep copies of important medical papers.

It’s best if your advocate can be with you when you go to the hospital, visit you each day you’re in the hospital, and be with you when you leave the hospital. You and your advocate should have a notebook and a pen to write down important information or questions.

Tell your medical team who your advocate is and describe how they will be involved. If you don’t have an advocate, check with the hospital to see if they have professional advocates available and how they can help you.

Even though your medical history may have been sent to the hospital before you arrive, you should be able to talk to your medical team about past illnesses, immunizations, allergies, hospitalizations, and medical conditions that run in your family.

Many people take more than one medication. Because it’s possible for medicines to combine and cause health problems, bring a list to the hospital of all medicines you take (including vitamins and minerals, herbal or dietary supplements), the amount of each dose, the time you take each dose, and any side effects or reactions you’ve had. If you are not able to make a list, take your medications with you and someone at the hospital will review them with you.

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