Vermont Assistive Technology Program

Tips For Making Hospital Stays
More Manageable

I recently spent several months in the hospital and wanted to share strategies that helped me make it more manageable.

First, I believe that “less is more.” When I prepared for my first surgery, I went to the hospital with just about everything you can think of. Battery chargers, iPads, computers, different headphones, etc. By the time I was discharged from my fifth hospital stay, the only things I chose to bring with me were a change of clothes, my cell phone charger, and my wheelchair charger. I discovered that having too much stuff was overwhelming. One thing I recommend is a 10-foot rubberized phone charging cord. I could charge my phone in bed and use it as a tether to pull my phone up if I dropped it on the floor.

Second, utilize your network. Folks are likely happy to bring you things while you’re in the hospital. Other than your family and friends, your best resource is your nurses. They’re going to be your advocate. If there’s a problem, and you have a good rapport with your nurses, they will help you get the care you need. Seriously, some of the nurses I befriended are some of the most incredible, selfless people I have ever met. Make sure that your nurses know that they are appreciated and valued. If you can, have visitors bring them coffee, flowers for the nursing stations, and of course candy. Your nurses will celebrate with you when things are good, and will also work harder than anyone to get you the care and attention you need.

Third, is of course food. Hospital dining options are healthy, but the menu is pretty limited. Some of my favorite memories were when my family brought me homemade favorites, or when coworkers brought me chicken wings and even homemade banana muffins. It’s also important to note that you can get UberEats delivered to your hospital room at the UVM Medical Center!

Fourth, is music. When I would have a rough night I would listen to music and belt out some of my favorite songs to sooth my soul. Having your headphones handy is great for the times you might have a roommate or need to block out the extraneous hospital noise.

Fifth, create a routine. I would call my dad early every morning.  Then I would call friends that were walking dogs. I would sneak naps in between blood draws and other tests. I also made sure to get up every day at least once, even if I felt like I didn’t have the energy. This helped me get a fresh perspective, and kept my body active and healthy.

Lastly, self-care! Know when you need a friend but also when you just need to rest… There were days when I really wanted to see people but I also knew that I needed my sleep. Knowing that was really hard but really important.

We hope that you don’t find yourself in need of an extended hospital stay, but if you do, know that you’re not alone!
Image Description: Ben Wimett, a man with salt-and-pepper hair sits in his hospital bed smiling. There is an IV line in the foreground.
The contents of this newsletter were submitted by Ben Wimett; A.T Consultant serving Rutland, Windsor, Windham, Bennington, and Addison Counties.

Contact the Vermont Assistive Technology Program by calling 1-800-750-6355 or by emailing For more information visit our website ( And if there is a topic that you'd like to see covered, please feel free to let us know!

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The Vermont Assistive Technology Program is part of the Vermont State Government’s Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living. The Vermont Assistive Technology Program partners with the HireAbility VT (formerly Division of Vocational Rehabilitation) as well as the University of Vermont’s Center on Disability and Community Inclusion to provide assistive technology services.
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