1) Items you must pack: A padlock, comfy & warm jammies, an extra blanket, warm socks, slippers, a tooth-brush, toothpaste and floss, and most importantly .. this cannot be stressed enough ... quality tp.
2) Supply lines are critical. You will need a steady supply of laundry, rides and meals. Someone to go out and scrounge up local take-out menus is also a plus.
3) Just because you picked it from the menu doesn't mean that you will get it. Beware Fish Fridays!
5) The TV and phone service are scams. Find a wifi connection asap and remember to bring your cell-phone charger.
6) Despite the joy and happy purple kittens that it brings, pain killers also bring dyschezia. Fibre is your friend.
7) They have drugs for almost everything; Do not be afraid to ask. While this might seem facetious, they cured my hiccups.
8) Hording is key. If they will give you extra of ANYTHING, take it.
9) Suck up to the Chaplin. He can get you discounts on parking.
10) Roomates are a blessing or a curse. Your best bets are coma patients or people whose spouses like to bake. In the event of an overly Chatty-Cathys or the late night flatulents/nurse callers, try slipping a few random meds into their breakfast. If nothing else, the side-effects might provide some entertainment.
11) Sleep when you can. Nurses' shifts start early and the bloodsuckers and orderlies start even earlier. Between that, bed checks and midnight meds and tests, I usually got my best sleep after morning rounds. They usually leave you alone for a while after that.
12) Make sure that the guy giving you that exam is a qualified medical professional and not someone who just wandered down from the psych floor. Boy, did I learn that one the hard way.