Today we have our first guest blog, by my good friend Alex, who recently shared some wonderful advice, and was kind enough to write it up for us. He reminds us that when you go to the ER, you might just end up getting admitted to the hospital, and if that happens, you are going to wish you had a few key items with you. Here’s his list of items he recommends bringing to the ER, just in case. Thank you, Alex!
Emergency Room Checklist, by Alex Corwin
What: insurance card + photo ID
Why?: you are required to show photo id at check in and someone will ask for your insurance information once you have a bed.
What: Comfortable loose fitting sweatpants/shorts
Why?: You will be told to remove everything above the waist before putting on a gown. Your lower body clothing will stay on you until you are discharged.
What: comfy socks
Why?: you will be given thin grippy socks that you must wear to minimize the odds of slipping while standing. Grippy socks are not warm and make me uncomfortable so I put them over my comfy socks. This way, I benefit from the grip without sacrificing warmth and comfort.
What: over the ear noise canceling headphones
Why?: you may be admitted to the hospital. the monitoring machines are loud and disrupt concentration on whatever you are doing. I do not recommend using the noise canceling function in the emergency waiting room since you must hear your name called to be seen.
Why?: for entertainment. Many hospitals have a no visitor policy because of covid-19 and time can start to feel very slow while in isolation.
What: cell phone
Why?: to communicate with family/friends. Great for taking down any notes and writing out your questions for the doctor. Doctors in hospitals tend to spend very little time visiting each patient so it is important you make good use of the time with your doctor.
What: prescription medicines
Why?: nurses can only give medicines the doctor has ordered. If it takes a long time to see a doctor, or if you forget to ask for your medicines when you do see one, you will potentially miss several doses of medication. In many cases missing a dose can have severe side effects.
What: full zip hoodie
Why?: can be unzipped and used as a blanket. Hospital blankets are light and retain heat poorly.
What: long charging cables and charging blocks
Why?: hospital beds do not have outlets built in. The nearest outlets are usually on the wall behind the bed and too far away to use your electronics while charging with a standard length cable. Opt for a long cable so you can have your electronics nearby and to avoid needing a nurse to fetch your phone each time you need it.
What: comfortable face-mask with elastic that goes around the back of the head.
Why?: face-masks that wrap around the ears cause pain if worn for long periods of time. Take the pressure off your ears and distribute it around your head instead.
What: prescription glasses, lens cloth, and case
Why?: so you can see without a headache, store your frames safely when you do not need them, and to clean the lenses.
What: small backpack
Why?: so you can carry your medications, electronics, and chargers worry-free.
Bottom line. Most visits to the emergency room end with a discharge from the emergency room. However there is always a chance you will be transferred to another hospital or admitted to the one you are at. It is better to be prepared and not admitted than to be unprepared and admitted.