Packing for the Hospital

What to bring to hospital:

Please be aware that you will be responsible for the care and safety of your personal property while you are in hospital.

  • On the day of surgery and for going home, it is helpful to wear loose fitting clothing that is easy to get off and on.
  • Bring your BC Care Card or proof of substitute Medical Insurance Plan. If you do not have these, bring another form of personal identification.
  • Bring an interpreter, if you do not understand English.
  • Bring glasses or contact lenses, hearing aids, and dentures with storage cases labelled with your name.
  • Bring your CPAP, Bi-level machines or dental appliance if you use one for sleep apnea (even for day surgery patients).
  • Reading material or a special toy or blanket for a child.
  • Any crutches, cane, braces, or walker that you have been told by your surgeon that you will need, labelled with your name, and brought in by family/friend after your surgery.
  • If you are having daycare surgery, also bring an empty bag to store your belongings. Before you go to the operating room, your family/friend can take the bag home and bring it back when you are ready for discharge.
  • If you are staying overnight or longer, also pack a small bag with a few personal hygiene items such as toothbrush/toothpaste, brush/comb, ear plugs (to help decrease noise while sleeping), shampoo, sanitary products, razor and shaving cream, deodorant, dressing gown, slippers/shoes (low heels, non-slip and easy to put on). Please limit belongings to one small bag. Family or friends can bring this and any other items you may need to the nursing unit after surgery.
  • If you are staying in hospital for 24-72 hours or less, also bring any respiratory inhalers, eye drops, topical medicated creams, estrogen patches or birth control pills (all other medications and supplements should be left at home). Most other medications are supplied by the hospital.

 What NOT to bring or wear to hospital:

  • All jewellery or body piercing items (These items cannot be worn in the operating room because they increase your risk of infection, injury to the body, and loss or damage to your belongings).
  •  Personal items such as valuables, credit cards and cell phones.
  • Cash in excess of $20.00.
  • Large electrical appliances e.g. portable stereos, fans. 
  • Wear no make-up, false eyelashes, hairpins, deodorant or talcum powder. It is okay to wear face cream, acrylic nails, and nail polish although it is best to avoid dark coloured or metallic polish. If you are having surgery to an arm or leg, nail polish must be removed from that limb before coming to hospital). 
  • Do not wear perfume, aftershave or other scented products.