Tips for your hospital stay

Hospital stays can be stressful, especially if it’s your first time or first time in a new hospital. To help we asked the experts, you! We’ve compiled some of the top tips for what you do to make your time in hospital easier into the list below.

Preparing for a hospital stay

  • Find out what facilities the hospital has that you can use
    Many hospitals provide laundry facilities; Wi-Fi; parent/family rooms; kitchens with access to a microwaves, fridges and freezers; gyms; etc. Knowing what is available can help you plan what you need. There is often a patient services guide on the hospital website or you can ask your CF Team.
  • Look into what Government subsidises are available for patient travel
    Both the Victorian and NSW Governments have travel assistance programs (VPTAS and IPTAAS) for people who travel long distances to medical appointments that may help subsidise some of the cost of travel and accommodation.
  • Ask your CF Team about parking discounts
    Hospitals often have discounted rates for concession card holders or people long stays.
  • If you are at school or university, ask your teachers/lecturers for the work they will be covering while you are in hospital
    They can provide you with notes or a study guide so you can study while in hospital. Your school may even want to make contact with the teachers at the hospital so they know what you/your child should focus on.

What to pack

  • Don't over-pack
    Rooms can be small and there is not always a lot of storage space.
  • Take your own pillow and doona/blanket
    Then you will have something familiar to brighten your room. Also take a couple of books, magazines, colouring books and pencils, toys, etc.
  • Take ear plugs and an eye mask
    Hospitals can be noisy and bright places.
  • Take snacks, drinks, bottled water, and packaged and frozen meals
    Also take microwave-safe bowls with lids to cook them in (check you have access to a fridge, freezer and microwave). Food options at the hospital may be limited and can be expensive – we’ve been told porridge sachets are a great option.
  • Take containers with lids
    So you can easily wash your nebuliser pots, handsets and PEP devices.

When at hospital

  • At the time of admission always ask if you have been allocated a single room
    If you have been allocated a shared room with another patient and you worried about infection control, speak with the staff about your concerns.
  • Keep a list of your/your child’s current medications, dosages and regime with you
    You will be asked this countless times at admission and having the information on your phone or a piece of paper saves you having relying on your memory.
  • Ask if there is a special CF menu
    If there is get a copy as soon as you are admitted. Where possible, opt for the adult meal even if your child is a toddler, you can reduce the size as needed when it arrives. If your child is using Creon granules, request apple puree with each meal.
  • If you/your child needs to fast, make sure to list ‘no meal’ on the menu and remind the nursing staff
    There’s nothing worse than a meal being given to you/your child that you/they can’t eat.
  • Always leave your contact number on the communication board
    If you are out of your room and the staff need you they can easily contact you.
  • Lay a towel under the sheets on the adult couch/bed
    Some of the adult couches can be a little uncomfortable, the towel can add a little extra padding.
  • Use the volunteer services
    They may be able to sit with your child while you shower or get a coffee.
  • Contact the play therapists
    They may have some toys you can borrow for the stay (this also helps reduce how much you need to pack)

If you have other hints and tips to share email us at support@cfcc.org.au.