Prepare for your hospital stay
When planning for an overnight visit to the hospital it's important to be prepared to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
What you should bring
- Two pieces of personal ID
- Your health insurance ID card (e.g., extended health care)
- Your WorkSafeBC claim number if your hospital admission is due to a work-related injury or illness
- List of your current medications, including non-prescription drugs and herbal products
- Your current prescription medicine in original labelled containers
- Hearing aids
- Toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, hairbrush, razor
- Pyjamas or a nightgown
What you shouldn't bring
- Don't bring large sums of money or credit cards. When you're discharged, arrange to have someone bring your credit card or chequebook when they pick you up so you can pay for things like a private room or equipment. If you rent a TV or phone payments are due at connection time. Pay-by-phone is also available at VCH's larger hospitals.
- Don't bring valuables such as electronics or jewelry. Rings and watches you usually wear should be left at home. VCH cannot be held responsible for any lost or stolen items. In emergencies, VCH hospitals can store some small valuables for a short time. Ask the admitting department or your nurse.
- Don't bring or wear perfume, cologne or aftershave in a VCH facility. Remind visitors to avoid wearing these products or sending flowers with strong scents. Some people are highly allergic to fragrances and can suffer severe reactions.
Choose someone to be your main contact
Consider choosing a family member or close friend to be your main contact while you're in the hospital. This person can be responsible for relaying information on your condition and updates to the rest of your friends and family, helping reduce the number of calls to the nurses' station.
Let your designated contact know the hospital’s main switchboard telephone number or the phone number of your unit, if available. Nurses can share details about your general condition but they can't give that information over the phone in order to protect your privacy. Depending on your unit or room, you may be able to take telephone calls yourself.
For hospital contact information, visit our find a location page.
Keep a record of your care
It may be helpful to write down your hospital location and health care team for your records. You can print the Location and Health Care Team form and fill it out when you are in the hospital. There are fields for:
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I bring as my primary ID?
You must bring one primary ID with your legal name and date of birth. This can be one of the following:
- BC drivers license
- BC identification card
- Canadian birth certificate
- Canadian citizenship card
- Permanent resident card
- Canadian record of landing/Canadian immigration identification record*
- Study, work visitor, or temporary resident permit (formerly Minister’s Permit)*
- Identity card (Department of Foreign Affairs issued)*
* These items are mandatory if you are not a Canadian citizen.
What should I bring as my secondary ID?
You need to bring one secondary ID that shows your name, signature and/or photo. This can be one of the following:
- BC Services Card or CareCard
- School ID card (student card)
- Bank card (only if patient’s name is printed on card)
- Credit card (only if patient’s name is printed on card)
- Foreign birth certificate (baptismal certificate not acceptable)
- Canadian or U.S. drivers license
- Naturalization certificate
- Canadian Forces identification
- Police identification
- Foreign Affairs Canada or consular identification
- Vehicle registration (only if patient’s name is shown)
- Employee picture ID card
- Firearms acquisition certificate
- Social insurance card (new style without signature strip not acceptable)
- Native status card
- Parole certificate ID
- Correctional service conditional release card
More about hospital care
Staying at the hospital
If you're a patient at one of our health care facilities, you'll likely have questions about what to expect. Find out the steps we take to make your stay as comfortable as possible.