What an expert suggests you bring to the emergency room

What an expert suggests you bring to the emergency room

Nobody plans to go to the emergency room. You especially don’t plan for that visit to result in an extended stay.

When an emergency arises, you may find yourself scrambling to grab things on the way out of the door. To make sure you don’t forget anything or waste precious time, it can be helpful to prepare in case you get admitted to the hospital.

Ann Iglesias, a nurse practitioner at Advocate Health Care, recommends the following:

Take an advocate with you

One of the most helpful things you can do is have a friend or family member with you to advocate on your behalf. Your advocate can ask questions and write down answers, bring you a drink or a snack, and provide emotional support.

Bring your hearing aids and eyeglasses

People who use hearing aids or eyeglasses should always bring them to the emergency room. Lack of these aids can be disorienting. You may find it prevents you from understanding your care team, making it harder to make decisions about your care.

Pack a bag with essential supplies

In reality, some emergency room visits are too much of an emergency to allow time to pack a bag. That’s why it’s a good idea to pack one ahead of time.

In addition to glasses and hearing aids, consider pre-packing the following:

  • A printed list of medications and supplements you are currently taking. You should also keep this list updated on patient portals.
  • A printed list of phone numbers for family members, preferred pharmacy, your primary care doctor and any specialists
  • Fresh hearing aid batteries
  • Dental appliances
  • Maintenance medications
  • Books, crossword puzzles or something else to pass the time
  • Eye mask and ear plugs
  • Phone charger or power bank

Cell service may be spotty in the emergency room or at an immediate care, so it pays to have printed lists of important information.

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About the Author

Jo Linsley
Jo Linsley

Jo Linsley, a health enews contributor, is a freelance copywriter at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. With decades of experience in writing and editing, she continues to aspire to concise and inspiring writing. She also enjoys knitting and singing as creative outlets and for their meditative qualities.