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Hospital Admissions (cont.)

Hospital Services

Many services are available at hospitals but some may be limited by your doctor and your medical condition.

  • Feeding and meals: Generally, you will be given choices and menus for meals.
    • Some people are placed on restricted diets. For example, kidney failure patients are given low sodium, low potassium, and low protein diets; diabetic patients are given special low sugar diets.
    • At any time you may be restricted from eating at all, for instance before a test, surgery, or treatment.
    • At times, family or friends may want to bring you food from the outside. Check with your doctor or nurse for permission.
  • Visiting hours are usually posted.
    • There may be restrictions on children, so check prior to bringing them.
    • Other restrictions may be placed to protect visitors or patients. These could include the use of gowns or face masks while visiting.
    • People in the hospital are susceptible to contracting infections. Care should be taken not to visit someone in the hospital whenever you are sick with a communicable disease, such as the flu.
  • Family boarding: Hospitals may allow family members to stay overnight in a person's room.
    • This is usually allowed for parents of admitted children.
    • If you wish to board with a child or adult family member, check with the hospital to see if it is allowed.

Other services

Medications: Although the nurse gives you your medications, your doctor writes the orders for them, including the following:

  • Route (oral, IV, intra-muscular, rectally)
  • Frequency
  • Times of day they are to be given
  • Your admitting doctor may allow you to use your own prescription and other home medications, ask your doctor about their use because using the hospital pharmacy for all medications can be costly

Television: Some hospitals provide television for free, but many charge for this service. Make sure you understand if you are being charged and if your insurance covers this charge.

Telephone: You may or may not be charged for local calls. Check before you call. Long distance charges will, of course, be added to your bill.

Internet: Some hospitals provide free wireless internet services; most require an ID and password that can be obtained from the nurses.

Billing: Before you leave the hospital, you can check with the hospital administration about your bill. Some hospitals offer payment plans and some you can negotiate the final amount owed. If you are a self-pay (no insurance) patient, negotiation of the bill amount is something you should attempt.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/2/2012

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