So Your Relative Is In Hospital…

I’ve spent the last few weeks working extra as it’s Easter holidays from uni, Over the last 3 years I’ve been in and out of various hospitals and healthcare settings for work and for my degree and I’ve been thinking lately about visitors, namely relatives visiting. I was thinking back to when I visited my Granddad in hospital and my Great Auntie Ruby and how I wasn’t really sure what to bring them in as a gift or if they needed stuff from home…

If only I had known! But now I do so I made you a list so you can be a good visitor.

  • Slippers. Think about a hospital… think about the floors… think about all those things that get on the floor… yeah. Do you want to tread barefoot across that? Didn’t think so. And our cleaners are good, but you’d have to get that floor cleaned every half hour for me to go barefoot. Bring your relatives in their slippers, preferably slippers with backs to them so they don’t fall over.
  • Razors. For the guys and the gals. You know what sucks? NHS razors. Seriously they are awful. What also sucks is getting admitted the one day you didn’t shave your legs. You know it makes sense. In fact just toiletries in general are great.
  • An activity. I’ve seen puzzles, books, crosswords, magazines, colouring, paint by numbers, newspapers, knitting, portable radios, MP3s, tablets. You guys, hospital is boring for patients. Really really boring. And the TV is so expensive.
  • Their own clothes/PJs. There is nothing that makes you feel like a sick person like wearing the one size fits all (ps, it doesn’t) NHS pyjamas. It is so nice for patients to wear their own things when possible, it’s comfier and more individual.  Even just a dressing gown can do the trick.
  • Perfume/aftershave. You know what brightens people up when they’re ill? Smelling awesome.  Unless they have a respiratory condition… in which case don’t do that.
  • Their own pillows. Patients love having a pillow in their own comfy pillow case that isn’t wrapped in wipe-able plastic. Seriously they do, the plastic ones rustle.
  • Tasty things. Squash, their own coffee, tasty munchies to tempt them. We can even put their stuff in the fridge, it’s fine, bring them in.
  • Photos, drawings, cards. We can find places to put these and they brighten up the place. Photos are especially handy for confused patients I think.

But saying all that…here’s some stuff not to bring:

  • Towels and wash cloths. Q. Who want’s a damp towel drying off by their bed all day? A. No one. We have towels. Seriously, loads.
  •  Flowers. A lot of wards don’t allow them and also there’s not a lot of room on people’s tables usually. Fake flowers however, great idea.
  • Valuable stuff. Expensive jewellery, large amounts of cash etc. Once I found over £500 of cash in a patient’s bag. It’d been on the floor whilst they slept, went off the ward for scans and all sorts! In fact just take that stuff home please. Also sharp things like pocket knives… if you wouldn’t take it on a plane don’t bring it in.

Spread the word – here endeth todays lesson.


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