Patients & Visitors
What to Bring
We understand that being admitted to the hospital can be a stressful time and we want to assure you that we will provide everything you need for your care. Some things that might increase your comfort are:
- Personal toiletry items (toothbrush/paste, hand lotion, lip balm, tissue, hair brush, etc.)
- Robe or slippers (a hospital gown will be provided)
- Assistive devices such as hearing aids, dentures, glasses, prosthetic devices, walkers
Glasses, contact lenses, dentures and hearing aids must be kept in their cases in a secure place when not in use. If you do not have a case for your dentures, please ask your nurse to provide one. Dentures wrapped in a tissue or napkin and left on a meal tray can easily be discarded by accident.
Other important items to bring:
- An accurate list of all medications (including herbals, vitamins, and over-the-counter medications) that you are taking, reason for taking, when/how often you are taking them, and name of the pharmacy where the medication is filled.
Keep this record with you at all times. If you bring your current medications in, you may be asked to have a support person take your medications home after being reviewed by the medical team.
- Allergy list and detailed information about previous reactions
- Insurance card(s) and photo ID
- Copy of your Advance Directives
Please DO NOT bring any of the following with you to the hospital:
- Credit cards
- Other valuables
We cannot be responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
Taking Your Own Medication
Patient’s use of own medication or self-medication is not permitted*. Medications brought to the hospital should be identified by the nurse and then returned home with a family member or stored in the pharmacy until dismissal. All medications prescribed by your physician and dispensed by the St. Mary’s pharmacy are individually packaged and bar-coded for your nurse to scan and check each dose to ensure accuracy before it is administered to you. Medicare will NOT pay for medications you take at home or receive in the following hospital settings: emergency room, observations status, surgical day care, and all other outpatient settings.
*Exception—Using the patient’s own medication is permissible in three situations:
- Nasal inhalers (because it does not require individual dose packaging)
- Eye drops (because it does not require individual dose packaging)
- Any medication that cannot be provided by the hospital pharmacy
Family Contact Person
We realize that having a loved one in the hospital is very stressful. In order to help facilitate communication between the nurse caring for your loved one and you, we recommend using one family member as a contact person. This will allow the nurse to quickly and efficiently communicate laboratory, procedure, and surgical results. The less time that your loved one’s nurse spends on the phone, the more time he or she will have to care for your loved one. This also causes less confusion when there is one person receiving and communicating information. Shift change occurs throughout the hospital from 6–8 a.m., 2–4 p.m., and 10 p.m.–midnight. During these times it will be more difficult for the nurse to communicate with you.