WA Health system

Preparing for your stay in hospital

Going to hospital can sometimes be a stressful and anxious time for patients and their families.

Before being admitted to hospital, you may be asked to attend a pre-admission clinic or telephone call. This is designed to confirm your personal details, document your medical history, do any tests that will assist the doctors to provide their services, and explain what will happen during your hospital stay.

This is a good time to ask questions and may help to reassure you about what to expect, and prepare you for your admission. Many people find it useful to bring a friend or take notes.

If you are going to hospital for a procedure or operation you will be required to sign a consent form.

Learn about giving your consent in hospital and your rights and responsibilities as a patient.

What to bring


  • your Medicare card
  • things you use every day, like glasses and dentures
  • regular medications in their original containers (including over-the-counter medicines, inhalers and eye drops)
  • mobility aids, if you are using any
  • x-rays or scans related to your hospital treatment
  • details of any private health insurance
  • footwear/slippers, sleepwear and toiletries for overnight stays
  • books, magazines, or other items to entertain you

Don’t bring large amounts of cash, jewellery or valuables with you but remember there may be a fee to access television.

If you are a maternity patient, check with the hospital for any specific items you need to bring.

If you are a smoker you should consider giving up before you come into hospital. Not smoking is better for your health overall. You should be aware that there is a no smoking policy in all hospitals that includes hospital grounds. If you are concerned about not being able to smoke while in hospital, ask your healthcare worker for free nicotine replacement therapy (patches and gum).


If you are in a caring role

If you are in a caring role at home you will need to think about and plan for who will take over that role while you are in hospital and who can assist you in that role when you first return home.

If you have a carer

If you have a person that cares for you at home it would be helpful for that person to be with you on admission. Your carer should also visit regularly so that they can be involved in your care needs and treatment decisions while you are in hospital.

Getting there

Think about how you’ll get to hospital. If possible:

  • do not drive yourself
  • consider booking a taxi, or getting a lift with a friend or family member
  • get to know the hospital’s parking areas and nearest set down and pick up points.

Patient travel

Patient Assisted Travel Scheme

If you live in the country and need to travel to another town, region or to Perth for medical treatment, you may be eligible for travel assistance through the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS).

Talk to your referring GP or your local PATS office before planning your travel.

If you are an Aboriginal PATS patient staying at the Perth Aboriginal Hostels, Country Health Connect can provide transport for you. You can make bookings through your local PATS office.

More information

Download the Going to Hospital booklet.

Video – Being admitted to hospital

Watch more of our videos at the WA Health YouTube channel (external site).

Read the video transcript – Being admitted to hospital.


Patient Safety and Clinical Quality

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

Link to HealthyWA Facebook page