PULSECenter for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy


Instead, bring a basket (or bag) filled with hand / body wipes, hand sanitizer, pens and a notebook.
Additional items might be candy, like lollipops or chocolate or cookies for the staff. Leave in the patient’s room and be sure the staff (nurses, nurse assistants, etc) know that it’s there. They will be sure to visit more often.

Bring our Patient Safety Tips Quick Guide to help as an advocate.

Does the patient have a Facebook page? Print out photos of happier times

and attach to My Story Board and Message Board. Print out 'My Story Board'

and post for visitors to leave messages.

Bring index cards to prepare a "Care Coordination Chart" for family and friends.

Have a book or newspaper to read. The patient should not be expected to entertain you.

Bring money for food, parking or to purchase things you may need / want.

Bring tape to hang up cards the patient may have received (and the Story Board).

A Patient Pod is a great gift and an excellent tool to keep items close by the patient.

It's less expensive than flowers, much more useful and will last longer. Your cell phone,

eyeglasses, and inhaler don't get moved or lost. You have hand sanitizer right there, to offer

to anyone who's about to touch you, so you can keep germs at bay. And the Patient Pod

shuttles your personal items from room to room, and keeps your notes and discharge plans

neat and organized.

What's worked for you as a patient or visitor? Share your stories. Send to


How to prepare before going to the hospital.