In order to prepare for going home, the following are some things to keep in mind to make the process as smooth as possible
Insurance does not cover transportation unless you cannot walk and your medical condition requires you to be transported lying down. We recommend you contact your insurance company to explore your coverage for transportation. There are medical vans available through community agencies, the cost usually ranges between $20 - $30 and payment is required at time of service. Taxis are available if you can be transported in a sitting position. The hospital does not have a transportation service available. If you have a concern about transportation please contact the Cedars-Sinai social worker as soon as possible. Ask your nurse to have her paged.
Planning for Family Visits
Once you are admitted to the spine surgical floor, one adult family member may stay over night with you assuming your doctor approves. Since the length of hospital stays varies, your family will need to be prepared financially for hotel costs. The Hospitality Center can provide referrals to local hotels and housing programs.
Childcare may also be necessary once you return home so you can get the rest you need for recovery.
Someone to Help after Discharge
Initially, it is recommended that you have someone stay with you most of the time, until you feel stronger. If you do not have someone who can assist you at home, an attendant can be hired through a community agency. The cost usually begins around $9 an hour. Normally ,insurance does not cover this cost. You may choose to stay for a brief time in a convalescent hospital until you are more fully recovered. Insurance may cover this; check your insurance benefits.
Now that your surgery is over, we want your recovery to go smoothly. Your doctor will assure that all your needs are met in time, so you can go home on your scheduled day. Let your nurse know at what time you will be ready to leave, so she/he can prepare your discharge papers early. Plan to be discharged between 10 a.m. and noon. You will be given final instructions about your medications, wound care, diet, activity and return office visit appointment before you are released.
Make sure to ask questions if any of the instructions are not clear to you. Ensure that all your belongings are packed. Check the room and closet for any items you may have left behind.