Preparing for Admission and Discharge

When you need surgery, our goal is to prepare you mentally and physically, and to assist you to a full recovery with a minimum of discomfort and time. Your surgeon has decided whether you will be a Same Day Surgery patient (have your surgery done and return home the same day) or Same Day Admission patient (have your surgery done and be admitted to the hospital for a few days of recovery).

We hope the following information will help your prepare for your operation. Please feel free to call ext. 4292 at (717) 316-3711 or (800) 673-2426 with any additional questions you may have.

Before Your Surgery

  • A member of our staff will call you after 4 p.m. the day before your operation to tell you what time to come to the hospital and where to report. If your surgery is to be done on a Monday, you will receive your phone call on Friday. If we have been unable to reach you by 6 p.m., please call the Same Day Surgery Unit at (717) 316-7837 or 1-800-673-2426, ext. 7837. By arriving at the specified time, you can help avoid delays and permit test results to be available to your doctor.
  • The evening before your surgery, you may eat supper unless otherwise instructed by your physician. For the remainder of the evening you may eat lightly, but avoid fatty or greasy foods.
  • Patients should follow the instructions regarding medication and oral intake from the pre-admission testing office and/or doctor's office.
  • Additional medication instructions will be given to you when you are called with your surgery time.
  • If you use tobacco, don't smoke for 24 hours prior to surgery and absolutely do not use chewing tobacco after midnight.
  • Notify your physician if there is any change in your physical condition prior to surgery, such as a fever, an infection or a cold.
  • Please arrange for a responsible adult to bring you to the hospital and to take you home after surgery.
  • Someone should spend the evening and night with you following surgery.
  • We recommend bathing or showering with an antibacterial soap the evening before or the morning of your surgery.
  • Try to get a good night's rest before your surgery.

What to Bring

  • While you are in the hospital, we will be taking care of most of your needs. However, you may wish to bring the following personal items: a robe, slippers, sleeping apparel, and toiletries.
  • Maternity patients are asked to bring a going home outfit for the baby and a car seat. A low cost car seat rental program is available through the Hospital Auxiliary.
  • Dentures, eyeglasses, and contact lenses must be kept in protective containers when not in use.
  • Your physician will order all your medications, and they will be administered by a member of our nursing staff. Only those medications approved by your physician may be taken while you are in the hospital. Please bring a list of all the medications you are taking and give it to your nurse.
  • It is very important that you bring information about your insurance with you when you come to the hospital. Please be sure to have your policy identification card and other pertinent information with you. If your insurance carrier does not provide coverage, or if you have questions about your bill, please contact the hospital's Financial Counselor at 717-633-2133, ext. 2133. We will assist you in every way we can. (View a list of our accepted insurances.)

What to Leave Home

  • Aside from a few dollars for incidentals, patients are strongly urged to leave money and other valuables including rings and jewelry at home. The hospital does not provide storage and cannot assume responsibility for money or personal belongings left in your room.
  • Because the hospital is filled with sophisticated electrical equipment, personal electrical appliances (including television sets, hair dryers, radios, electric blankets, heating pads, cellular telephones, fans, and the like) are not permitted in your room. A radio with improper insulation could endanger the proper functioning of life-saving equipment.

The Day of the Surgery

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes.
  • Do not wear make-up or fingernail polish.
  • Please remove all piercings. (Piercings may need to be cut off in order for you to have your surgery.)
  • Leave all valuables at home including jewelry.
  • If you wear dentures or a prosthesis, they will be removed at the hospital prior to surgery and returned to you after your operation.
  • If you wear contact lenses, please leave them at home and wear your glasses.
  • Slippers will be provided for you.
  • Children scheduled for Same Day Surgery may bring a favorite toy, blanket or book with them.

At the Hospital

  • Valet parking service is available. Have your designated driver pull up to the Main Entrance and inform the concierge. Valet hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Concierges will retrieve your car until 8 p.m.
  • If you and your designated driver choose to park on your own, please use the Patient and Visitor Parking Lot off Allegheny Avenue.
  • Same Day Admission patients should use the Main Entrance and report to the Patient Registration Office, located in the main lobby, at your appointed time.
  • Same Day Surgery patients should report directly to the Same Day Surgery Unit. (Take the main lobby elevators to the fourth floor and proceed straight down the hallway to the Same Day Surgery Registration Area. )
  • We allow only two people to accompany you the day of your surgery.

Your Admission to the Hospital

For Same Day Admission patients, patients who are being admitted for a hospital stay, your first stop is the Patient Registration Office adjacent to the lobby. A member of the Patient Registration staff will ask you for information necessary for hospital records and for submission of your hospital bill to your insurance company. A driver's license or document indicating proof of your present address, in addition to your insurance card, will be required at time of admission.

Everything you tell us is confidential and will be used only by health care personnel during your stay.

The staff member may request a cash deposit or credit card if your insurance coverage is not adequate to cover costs or if you lack insurance. You, or a responsible person authorized to sign for you, will also sign forms that:

  • allow authorized medical personnel to administer medications and treatments prescribed by your physician
  • permit the release of information from hospital records to your insurance company
  • release the hospital from responsibility for valuables
  • accept financial responsibility for any charges not covered by insurances
  • are required for Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement (when applicable)

You will receive a copy of "A Statement of Patient Rights and Responsibilities" which outlines policies developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and endorsed by the hospital.

Before you are escorted to your room or to a hospital department for any tests that have been ordered by your physician, an identification bracelet will be placed on your wrist. It must remain on your wrist during your entire stay in the hospital. The bracelet guarantees proper identification while you are asleep or under medication.

In Your Room

A bedside cabinet and small closet are available for storing your personal belongings.

For your safety, here are a few suggestions to make your stay as trouble-free as possible:

  • Keep the side rails raised while in bed to avoid rolling out while asleep or under sedation.
  • To prevent loss, store eyeglasses and dentures in the drawer of your bedside table, and be sure to place dentures in the special cup that is available for that purpose.
  • Check with a nurse before leaving your room.
  • If your doctor has authorized you to bring your own medication, inform the nurse who will store them for you. The nurse will be responsible for dispensing your medication.

Preparing for Discharge

  • When you return to the Same Day Surgery Unit, you will be encouraged to drink. You will be expected to walk with assistance to the bathroomand to sit up in a lounge chair.
  • When you have sufficiently recovered, your anesthesiologist will approve your discharge.
  • You will be given written instructions on post-operative care and a prescription if medication is needed.
  • You will be transported by wheelchair to the Main Entrance for discharge.

Going Home

Your physician may write additional orders or prescriptions for your continued recovery. You may be scheduled to return to his/her office for follow-up care or to the hospital for further test and treatments as an outpatient. Please don't hesitate to ask questions, since a complete understanding of these instructions will speed your recovery.

For your safety, you will not be permitted to drive yourself home, so when your physician authorizes your discharge from the hospital, you will need to make arrangements for your transportation home. You are encouraged to depart before 11 a.m. on the day of the discharge, so that the room can be prepared for incoming patients. Patients who do not leave the hospital by 8 p.m. on the day of discharge will be billed for an additional day of service.

You or your representative must stop at the Cashier's Office (located on the first floor, adjacent to the Visitor's Lobby), to finalize billing arrangements unless other arrangements have been made previously with the Financial Counselor. Final payment of the portion of the hospital bill which is the patient's responsibility, such as the phone and television charges, private room differential, and insurance deductibles, will be expected at this time. The balance may be paid by check, cash, credit card, or money order.

When you are ready to leave, a nurse or volunteer will accompany you to the discharge area. Your driver should pull up at the Main entrance under the covered portico where the nurse or volunteer will assist you into the car.

Plan to spend a quiet evening at home. You will be tired and your body will need rest. Follow your physician's orders regarding diet, rest, and pain medication.

Our staff will be calling you the day after your surgery to determine how you are recovering. If you have a question or concern regarding your post-operative care and recuperation, please remember we are only a phone call away at (717) 316-7837 or 1-800-673-2426, ext. 7837.