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Preparing to Go Home from Hospital

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Preparing To Go Home From Hospital

Just as it can be traumatic to have to go into hospital for surgery, once the surgery has been completed and the medical staff consider that you have reached a satisfactory point in your recovery which means you can go home, this can be equally as scary for some people.

Whilst the vast majority of patients will be delighted to be told that they can return home, for many it can mean a number of adjustments that need to be taken into consideration and also people may have become quite reliant on the amount of support they have received whilst they have been in hospital and can naturally become somewhat nervous and apprehensive about how they are going to cope when they get back home.

Being Prepared

Preparations for your discharge from hospital may vary greatly between patients depending on the type of surgery or treatment you’ve had to undergo. For some, it may mean having to return to hospital for further follow up treatment as an outpatient for a certain period, whilst for others, once you’ve been discharged, the rest of your recovery might be completed at home with no further hospital visits necessary, unless you encounter any further complications after you’ve been discharged.

Nevertheless, regardless of the surgery or treatment you’ve had, you will be fully briefed by the medical team about your recovery, what it will entail and what you should and shouldn’t do well before you leave hospital.

You’ll be fully informed about medications and supplied with prescriptions if you require them and told about any follow on treatment such as physiotherapy sessions you may need to return to hospital for on a regular basis and about things like what you can be doing to help yourself, any dietary modifications you may need to make in the short or long term and about any home help support you might need for a time.

In fact, you will receive plenty of information from the hospital which should answer all of the important issues about your post-recovery at home and you’ll be given the opportunity to ask any questions about issues you’re unsure about, e.g. when you can return to work or when you can start driving again etc.

The Day Of Discharge

Depending on the nature of your treatment, you’ll usually be advised to have somebody come to meet you at the hospital to drive you home. If this isn’t possible, it may be that an ambulance can be provided to take you home or, in some cases, a taxi might be provided but it is usually the norm for a friend or family member to pick you up by car.

In addition to any medications and follow on instructions you’ll be given, you’ll usually be provided with help in packing your belongings by one of the nursing team or the person picking you up may be asked to come a little early to help you with that.

Other Issues

If you’re going to need to return for follow up treatment or checkups, you’ll either be given all the details about this before you leave or they may be sent on to you by post within a few days. Similarly, if any kind of home help care is going to be needed once you get home, you’ll be informed about that too.

If the person coming to collect you is a family member and lives with you, they might also be asked to speak with a member of the medical team who may want to tell them the kinds of things they might need to help you with or to also let them know about the types of things you, as the person in recovery, need to be doing and, perhaps more importantly, what you shouldn’t be doing too soon afterwards.

Following The Advice

Too many people suffer relapses after surgery simply because they neglect to follow through on all of the instructions and advice they are given once they leave the care of the hospital. They either end up doing too much, too soon in an effort to speed up their recovery or they don’t do enough or pay little or no attention to the advice they’ve been given.

Therefore, it’s crucial to listen carefully to the advice and to follow up on all that you’ve been asked to do (and not to do), if you want your recovery to be as complete as possible and without suffering from any relapses or future complications or setbacks.

The important thing is to take all of the advice and recommendations on board and follow them through to the letter. Remember, the hospital team will have dealt with countless similar cases to your own and are the professionals after all who are best placed to advise you on how to achieve as complete a recovery as possible after discharge.

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