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Going Home After a Hospital Stay

Teen going homeGoing home from a hospital stay will bring its own set of adjustments.

The extent of these adjustments will depend on:

  • The length of your stay
  • The seriousness of your condition
  • Changes in physical abilities or appearance
  • Continued medication and their effects
  • Your need for ongoing care or rehabilitation

In some cases, you may need to do as much planning to go home as you did ahead of time.

Before You are Discharged

Make sure you and your parents know all about any after-care needs. Ask about:

  • Instructions for food, medicine, wound care, and activity
  • Signs or symptoms that would require immediate medical attention
  • Schooling arrangements, any needed changes
  • Follow-up appointments with doctors
  • Rehab options, if needed

Once You Are Home

Some teens return to their normal daily routines quite easily, but some do not. You may:

  • Worry about getting caught up with school
  • Worry about what to tell your friends/teachers/neighbors about your experience
  • Worry about changes in your appearance or abilities
  • Have trouble sleeping

It might help if you:

  • Allow yourself to express anger, frustration or sadness
  • Allow yourself to ask for reassurance/comfort that you might ordinarily think you are too old for
  • Return to your regular routine as soon as possible
  • Write stories, draw pictures, or journal as a way to make sense of your experiences
  • Take a role in your care at home, such as helping change bandages
  • Make a list of questions or concerns that you want to share with your parents, doctors, or teachers