Your easy guide to checking out

Posted on 18 December 2015

Your hospital stay is over and you’re ready to check out and head home. Before you leave, though, here’s what you need to do to ensure a smooth check-out.

Your journey from the unit to your home should be a relatively painless one – even if you’re struggling to walk after your procedure.

At Mediclinic Howick in KwaZulu-Natal, you’re likely to meet Tess Dhaljith at the front desk. ‘If you’re having trouble walking, we’ll provide you with a wheelchair to help you get from your hospital bed, out the doors, and to your car,’ she says. ‘If you’re slightly more mobile, you might need crutches instead. These are usually charged to your medical aid, so you’ll purchase them, but it’s a medical aid-approved expense.’

Janie Engelbrecht, from the reception desk at Mediclinic Kimberley, adds: ‘When you’re ready to be discharged, the nursing sisters will get you to sign your file in the ward, then you’ll be assisted to the pharmacy where you can pick up any medication you might have been prescribed,’ she says. ‘You’ll then come to Reception to sign out. From here, our assistants will either help you by wheelchair to your car, or you’ll walk out on your own.’

This is a good time to remind you about our hospital discharge checklist, which gives you a list of the things you’ll need to take care of before you leave. One of the most important things is making sure there’s someone to give you a lift home if you can’t drive yourself.

One last note, especially for new moms with newborn babies: according to South African law, all children under the age of three must be strapped into a car seat – and if they’re not, you as the parent could be hit with a heavy traffic fine. Some hospitals won’t let you drive away unless your baby is safely strapped into a baby chair, so make sure you have one!

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In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, Mediclinic cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.

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