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Leaving the hospital after treatment can be a relief, but it also comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. Whether you or a loved one is preparing for discharge from a hospital in British Columbia, understanding the process and what to expect can make the transition smoother and safer. Here’s what you need to know.


What You Should Consider Before Returning Home from the Hospital (Discharge)


Your Restrictions

Upon discharge, your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions regarding physical activity and any restrictions you may have. It’s crucial to understand these limitations to avoid complications and ensure a speedy recovery.


Your Diet

Depending on your condition, you may have dietary restrictions or requirements. A nutritionist at the hospital can provide guidance on what foods to eat or avoid, and offer advice on how to manage your diet at home.


Your Medications

You’ll likely receive a list of medications, including dosages and timing. Make sure you understand which medications are new, which ones you should continue, and any changes to your existing prescriptions.


Home Safety Precautions

Before you leave the hospital, consider the safety of your home environment. You may need to make modifications to prevent falls or accommodate mobility aids.


Healthcare Equipment

If you require medical equipment at home, such as a walker, hospital bed, or oxygen, arrangements should be made prior to your discharge. The hospital staff can assist in coordinating these needs.


What If You Don’t Feel Ready to Leave?


If you’re concerned about your ability to manage at home, speak up. Discuss your worries with your healthcare provider, who can assess your situation and determine if additional recovery time in the hospital or a transition to another care facility is warranted.


Consider receiving help from a personal nurse, while still in the hospital



Personal nurses in the hospital can facilitate a smoother transition to home by preparing you for post-discharge care. They offer guidance on medication, wound care, and equipment use, and can help modify your home for safety and recovery. Their expertise ensures you have a clear and confident plan for continuing care at home. Click here to find out more.


Planning Your Hospital Discharge


What Care and Services You May Need


Planning for additional care services, such as home care or physical therapy, is an important part of the discharge process. Your care team can help you understand your options and set up necessary services.


What Equipment You May Need

Make sure you know what medical equipment you’ll need for your recovery at home. The hospital staff can help you arrange for these items and instruct you on their proper use.


Leaving the Hospital (Discharge)

When it’s time to leave, you’ll receive discharge papers and instructions. Review these documents carefully with a nurse or doctor and ask any questions you may have.


Create a Care Plan


A care plan is a detailed approach to managing your health and recovery after leaving the hospital. It should include:


  1. A medication schedule with clear instructions.
  2. Follow-up appointments with your healthcare providers.
  3. Contact information for your care team.
  4. A list of symptoms to watch for and instructions on what to do if they occur.
  5. Details about any home care services or therapies you will receive.


Your care plan is a crucial tool to help you and your caregivers understand your treatment and support needs. Make sure you have a copy of this plan and that it’s easily accessible at home.


How Do You Request Your Health Records?


Access to your health records can help you stay informed about your medical history and treatment. In British Columbia, you can request your health records from the hospital’s health records department or through your healthcare provider. You may need to fill out a request form and provide identification. Some health records may also be available online through health portals.


Get a Professional to Take Care of You at Home








For those who need continued medical care at home, hiring a professional nurse can be an excellent option. Home health care agencies in British Columbia can provide nurses who specialize in different areas of care.


To find a qualified nurse, you can:


Ask for a referral from your hospital discharge planner or social worker or Reach out to local home health care agencies and inquire about their services.


Ensure that the nurse you choose is qualified to handle your specific health needs and that you’re comfortable with them. It’s important to have clear communication and a good rapport with any healthcare professional providing in-home care.



Being discharged from the hospital is a significant step in your recovery journey. In British Columbia, there are many resources and services available to help make the transition as smooth as possible. By understanding the discharge process, planning ahead, and taking advantage of the support systems in place, you can focus on your recovery and return to your daily life with confidence. Remember to communicate openly with your healthcare team, adhere to your care plan, and reach out for help when needed. Your health and well-being are the top priorities during this time.

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