In German clinics, you can sleep either in single or double rooms. ©CC0/Tomasz Sienicki

There are two different types of hospital stays: on the one hand, emergencies, when everything must go quickly and the patient is brought to the hospital by ambulance or rescue helicopter. In this case, it is not possible to prepare for the hospital stay, because you could not expect it.

On the other hand, there are planned hospital stays. In this case, patients go to a clinic at a certain point in time to start a therapy. These patients had the time to prepare for their hospital stay. The checklist below is intended for this type of prepared hospital stay. It is split up into questions that have to be clarified before the stay and things that you shouldn’t forget.

Questions for the clinic before your stay:

  • Do I have to stop taking certain medicine before the treatment in the clinic (e.g. in the case of diabetes)?
  • Am I allowed to eat and drink before the hospitalization?
  • Which additional and optional services does the hospital offer (e.g. single room or treatment by the head physician)? Are these optional services available to me? How much do they cost?

Questions you should ask yourself before your stay:

  • Who do I have to inform about my absence (friends, employer, neighbors)?
  • Who takes care of my letterbox, my flat or my plants?
  • Are running costs like rent, telephone or internet covered?
  • Is it appropriate to grant a power of attorney to someone you trust?
  • Did I cancel or reschedule every important appointments?

Medical records you need for the clinic:

  • Referral from your family doctor or specialist
  • Clinic-Card (private patients) or health insurance card (statutory health insurance)
  • Medical findings (if applicable)
  • Medical certificates like vaccination certificate, allergy ID, maternity log etc.
  • List of all medication you currently take. It is recommended to bring your own medicine for the first days. Especially in the case of rare medicine, it can take some time for the clinic to provide them.

Personal things you need for your stay:

  • Toiletries and sanitary products
  • Enough clothes: bathrobe, comfortable, loose clothing (so that bandages or compression stockings can be worn underneath), pyjamas, slippers
  • Personal tools for everyday life (glasses, hearing aid, cane etc.
  • Things to pass the time (books, music, photos, electronic devices)
  • Phone (if the use of phones is prohibited in the patient room, you can use it outside of the clinic’s rooms).

It is of course possible that you as a patient with an individual life and medical history need further documents or have to clarify different issues. Therefore, the checklist above should serve as an orientation that can make your preparation for the hospital stay easier. It would be best if you go through your list together with your doctor and close relatives. Four eyes can see more than two and six eyes can see more than four.