It’s common to be nervous before you go in for your hospital admission. Knowing what to expect before you go can help ease the stress and let you focus on your recovery.
Before you go to hospital
Before your hospital stay, make sure you:
Understand and follow your pre-surgery instructions so your procedure can proceed as planned.
Make arrangements for childcare or pets if required.
Organise a lift to and from the hospital allowing time for traffic. You cannot drive on the day of your procedure if you’ve had general anaesthetic.
Arrange time off work and a medical certificate if you need one.
Let your emergency contact know what’s expected of them, when your procedure is scheduled, and to keep their phone on them.
What to expect at the hospital
Generally when you go in for a procedure you can expect the following things to happen:
Before your admission
You'll receive instructions about your admission telling you what time to arrive and where to go, whether you need to stop eating, drinking or stop any medications in the hours before your admission, what to bring with you and whether you’ll be staying overnight or just for day surgery.
Before your admission, or potentially on the day of your admission, the hospital will perform an ‘eligibility check’ with nib to ensure your health cover premiums are up to date and you are covered for the procedure. You’ll also be required to pay your hospital excess (if you have one).
The day of your procedure
The hospital will ask you some questions to check all your information is current and correct. At this point you may also be asked to complete some admission paperwork, including signing a form to acknowledge that you’ve had any expected hospital costs explained to you and you agree to pay them.
You might be asked to change into a hospital gown at this stage too. Friends or family will usually stay with you until you leave for the operating theatre.
At this point usually you’ll first meet your anaesthetist for the procedure. They’ll ask a few questions to assess you so they can provide the appropriate levels of anaesthesia during your procedure.
Once you go in to the theatre your family and friends can wait in the waiting room or other designated areas of the hospital.
After your procedure
When your surgery is completed, you’ll be moved to a recovery room. In this room you may be feeling a bit hazy and need to sleep or rest to recover. Your doctors or nurses will inform you how the operation went and what your after-care includes. Once you’re ready to leave the recovery room you'll be moved into a ward. Usually your family and friends will be able to come visit you in your ward once you're ready.