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preparing for the hospital or outpatient center

A hospital stay or surgery can be a difficult time for you and your family. We are here to help. Advocate hospitals are committed to providing the very best care for the whole person, body and spirit. The information below provides some general guidance for a healing and comfortable stay.

Before you arrive

  • Follow the admitting procedures of your particular Advocate hospital
  • Your hospital or medical center will have full details on the services and amenities available, as well as on parking, transportation, and other practical information

What to bring

  • If you are staying overnight, we want you to be as comfortable as possible, so bring your robe, slippers, pajamas, and basic toiletries. Don't forget your contact lenses, eyeglasses and case, denture aids, or other important items
  • Have your insurance information and form of identification with you
  • Electronic devices are generally not allowed to be used except in designated areas
  • We suggest you leave your valuables at home as we cannot be responsible for them

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What to expect if you are having surgery

Your doctor or surgeon will have specific directions for you regarding your surgery. Below is some general information to help you and your family prepare.

Before your surgery

Your surgeon will schedule you for surgery and explain all of the risks, benefits, and alternative treatments available. Usually you will be required to fast after midnight prior to surgery the next day.

On your day of surgery, here is the average sequence of events:

  • Your family may visit you in your room before you are taken to the surgical suite
  • The anesthesiologist will visit you prior to going to the operating room and ask you a variety of questions relating to your health history. This will help determine the mode of anesthesia you will receive
  • When it is time for your surgery, a transporter will come to pick you up and escort you to the operating room
  • Your family members will be guided on where to go if they want to wait through your procedure. They may watch television, read or visit one of the gift shops
  • Following the completion of your surgical procedure, the surgeon will come to the family waiting area and talk to your family. You will be transported to the recovery room for rest until you are fully awake and oriented
  • The hospital staff will keep your family up to date on your progress. Your family will be informed when you when you return to your own room

Returning home after your surgery

  • You will be given instructions of how to care for yourself at home and when to return for a follow-up visit
  • Be sure that you and your caregiver understand the signs the watch for and when to call the doctor
  • Have safe transportation arranged to take you home, such as with a friend or family member
  • Fill your prescriptions promptly so that pain medications, antibiotics, dressings and other important items are there when you need them
  • Keep important phone numbers easily accessible, including those of your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist

When you need additional care or medical therapy at home, contact Advocate Home Health Services at 1-800-564-2025.

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Letting your wishes be known; advance directives

Every patient has the right to make decisions about the health care you receive now and in the future. An Advance Directive is a written statement about how you want medical decisions made if you can no longer make them. Federal law requires that you be told of your right to make an advance directive when you are admitted to a health care facility. 

Telling your family and doctor know how you want to be cared for can help provide everyone a little peace of mind. 

Let others know your wishes.

  • Your decisions may include health-care power of attorney, living will, do-not resuscitate order, and mental health treatment preference declaration
  • Please understand that an Advance Directive is entirely your decision
  • Provide your doctor and other health-care providers with a copy
  • You may always change your mind and revise your advance directive. Be sure to tell your family, your doctor, or any agent or attorney-in-fact you appoint

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