How to Keep Working while at the Hospital

hospital_cellphoneThe day was like any other day, but in minutes, the norm would twist 180 degrees to the abnormal.  Little things like a ring of a telephone will make your heart race, sleep becomes a luxury, and the fatigue of explaining the circumstance becomes clouded as days pass. Precious time, which once was, is delegated to high priority business opportunities are quickly delayed by a child asking you to play.  That is how quickly life turns when a family member is in the hospital.  The luxury of being self-employed is a burden, as dealing with clients, marketing, and simple correspondence becomes a challenge as your business office transforms into a hospital waiting room.  Simply answering the phone means running down a corridor to a cell phone approved area. What was a well-planned month becomes a landmine of rescheduling or cancelling appointments all together.  That has been my life these past months.  I have warrior scares to prove that you can survive being a caretaker, father, husband, and balloon entertainer/business owner.

Here are some survival tips that I have learned on how to keep working while in a hospital.

  • Get a bag, briefcase, or purse that can convert into a portable office.  You are going to need to carry vital business tools, food, Kleenex, and other things. So find a bag that has not only a handle, but also a shoulder strap.  Keep in mind hospitals are tight corridors and mobility is key.
  • Bring a cell phone charger with you.  You are going to be in constant communication with family and friends and it is vital that your phone does not run out of juice.
  • Make sure you telephone numbers are up-to-date.  While in the hospital waiting room, you will overhear many telephone conversations and one running theme is… “I don’t have (insert name here) telephone number, can you call them.”  Nowadays, smart phones make it very easy to have all your personal and business contacts in one location.  Take the time now to make sure phone numbers are correct, so you have it, when you need it.
  • Bring your appointment book with you.  Having a secondary reference calendar can help you better plan your days. Many times, we jot down notes in these books and do not transfer them over to the smart phone; giving you access to critical information.
  • Bring paper, you are going to need it for notes, not just business notes, but questions that you need to ask of the medical staff.
  • Bring pens – not just one, but 3-4 pens.  Look at your desk and you will see that you have about 3-15 pens at your disposal.  When at the hospital you will not have this luxury and will need them.
  • Mentally prepare yourself that this is your new office.  Find chairs, desks, or rooms that you can step into, have a quick business conversation, and immediately get back to your love one.
  • When making a call or receiving a call, let them know that you are in a hospital visiting or acting as a caretaker and the call may quickly ended, but you will call them back.  You will find that most people will get right to the point and tell you the important information upfront.  If the call is just to chat, they will quickly excuse themselves allowing you to get to matters that are more urgent.
  • Get ready to camp out.  We see people on TV lining up hours, days, and sometimes weeks waiting for concerts, playoff, or opening day tickets. This will be you waiting for doctors.  These elusive beings know the art of sneaking into a room and just as fast, disappearing down the hall.  Out maneuver these individuals by strategically placing your hospital office in a spot that you can see who enters or leaves our love ones room. It is easier to call someone back then it is to track down medical staff.

This is how I have been surviving and running my business while at the hospital.  I hope these tips help you and if you have any ideas or comments, please feel free to share.

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1 thought on “How to Keep Working while at the Hospital”

  1. Good info, Dale. Having been through this myself, I’d like to also add:
    **Bring lots of anti-bacterial gel, for when you can’t get to soap & water to wash your hands.
    **Bring singles (as in dollar bills) and coins. You never know when you may need to use the vending machine for a quick snack.
    **Bring some “mindless” stuff to read or look at, stuff that won’t take a bunch of brainpower, but will be a good & much needed diversion from your other stresses.
    ~~Holly Nagel

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