Hospital - The Experience

Tips to help prepare you for a hospital stay


doctor.gif Going into hospital can be a very stressful experience. It's the fear of the unknown, change of environment, and different routines, that people find stressful.

When you have PD, your daily routine may not fit into the ward routine. The routine you may have worked on for months will be suddenly shattered in one blow. Nurses and doctors only know their routine and what they have to do. This is through no fault of their own. Breakfast is at 8am, washed by 9am, medication at 10am, doctor's rounds at 11am, lunch at 12 noon, etc. This could confuse anyone not used to hospital routines.

Here are a few tips for the next time you are admitted to hospital.

  • Upon admission, inform the nurse who is admitting you of your condition. Explain your daily routine, and how often you may have an "on" or "off" period during the day.

  • Discuss your drug regime with the doctor, and the benefits of allowing you to take your tablets as you require them, as medications are only distributed by the nurses three times a day on the drug trolley rounds.

  • Ask to have a urinal or bedpan beside your bed at all times, in case of a sudden "off" period when you might to need to use the bathroom.

  • Always write down the questions you may want to ask the doctor. It is very easy to forget them while the doctor is standing in front of you.

  • During conversations with staff, always ask whether or not you can be understood properly, especially if your speech is bad at the time.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for any assistance or equipment that might be of benefit to you while in hospital, e.g. a monkey pole for your bed, to help you move around in it more easily, or more pillows if required.

  • As PD is so unpredictable, your condition may change several times in one day. It is important to explain this to the nurse on duty. Put safety first. Ask for assistance if needed for washing, dressing, turning in bed.

  • Walk at your own pace in the way that you are used to at home. Don't be afraid to inform nurses if you prefer to walk unaided.