Planning Your Visit Q & A


What should I bring from home? What should I leave?


What should I bring from home? What should I leave?


When you know you are going to be admitted to the hospital, you should bring a living will (if you have one), your Social Security card, and third-party payer identification information for Medicare, Medicaid, or an insurance or managed care plan. You should leave cash, jewelry, and other such valuables at home. Checkbooks and credit cards used to pay the private pay portion of your stay, if applicable, may be returned home with a family member or your designee.

A comforting touch or familiar item from home can help your loved one feel more comfortable and relaxed. Please ask your care team what items you may bring from home.

The following lists are a general guide for preparing for stays at UAB Hospital and provided as a helpful reminder. Depending on the length of your stay, some items may not apply.

Before Leaving for UAB:

  • Name an advocate
  • Gather needed paperwork and requested lab results, x-rays, orders, etc.
  • Prepare list of current medications
  • Prepare list of family and friend email addresses and phone numbers
  • Secure hotel or living arrangements for any accompanying family members
  • Arrange child care, pet care, lawn care and house care
  • Forward mail
  • Pay bills and arrange future payment
  • Change work email and voicemail to out of office
  • Remove perishables from refrigerator and pantry
  • Take out garbage and recycling

While at UAB:

  • Introduce advocate to doctor and head nurse
  • Notify nurse of all medications and allergies including: prescriptions, over-the-counter medicine, any herbal, vitamin or nutritional supplements
  • Wear ID bracelet at all times
  • Confirm information is correct as well
  • Ask for help when standing, if feeling lightheaded or dizzy, weak or unstable
  • Wash your hands and ask staff if they have
  • Notify doctors and nurses of any pain you experience
  • If having surgery, make sure surgeon marks the spot/injury prior to operation
  • Move around if possible

What to bring to UAB Hospital:

  • Slippers or socks with sticky bottoms to prevent slipping
  • Clean undergarments
  • List of phone numbers and emails of family and friends
  • List of medication
  • Prescription medication in original containers
  • Pen and pad for questions or logging care
  • Toiletries
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Chapstick
  • Contacts, extra contacts & solution
  • Glasses
  • Entertainment
  • Books, magazines, etc.
  • Crosswords, Sudoku, etc.
  • Deck of cards
  • Mp3 player
  • Paperwork
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Stationery and stamps  


Keywords: what to bring from home, required paperwork, preparing for my stay