During your stay


Timeframes


In most instances, doctors determine the arrival times and operating list order of their patients. Patients are seen according to their order on the operating list and theatre requirements and not necessarily in order of arrival.


The amount of time you spend in the admissions lounge will depend on progress in the operating room and may also be affected by emergencies. Your arrival time allows us adequate time to prepare you for your procedure, and may take several hours. There is no need to arrive any earlier than advised.


You may experience delays to your admission assessment and your procedure. We make every effort to keep your waiting time to a minimum and we will keep you informed if any unforeseen delays occur. Staff will check on you to see if we can make your wait more comfortable.


The general stages of your stay in hospital are explained below.



Allocation of private and shared rooms


Epworth has a mixture of private and shared rooms on each ward. While we endeavour to meet your expectations about having a private room, unfortunately this is not always possible. If you are allocated a shared room, you may request to be added to the waiting list for a private room if one becomes available. Allocation of private rooms is based on medical necessity.



Patient rounding


During your admission you will pass through a number of different areas within the hospital. These include reception, admissions lounge, the theatre itself and recovery area or ward. You will be cared for by a number of different medical, nursing and administrative staff members. For this reason, and to ensure your safety, these staff need to check a number of things with you, including your personal details, type of procedure and pain levels.


The questions we ask may seem repetitive, but it is a very important part of a patient safety process called ‘rounding’. Rounding is our system of keeping you informed and involving you in your care, so that the right patient gets the right care and that we keep you safe.



Keeping friends and family informed about your progress


To ensure nursing staff can dedicate their time to patient care, on admission we ask that you nominate one support person to act as the primary contact with the hospital to update your family and friends on your progress.


When you are in hospital, your family and friends might telephone us to ask for an update on your progress. If you do not wish for us to communicate in general terms in response to such enquiries, please advise our nursing staff. It is a breach of confidentiality to discuss your health with others unless you give us permission or they are the guardian responsible for your care.



Multidisciplinary team care


Epworth promotes a multidisciplinary team approach to patient care, overseen by a doctor. Professionals in the fields of physiotherapy, speech pathology, occupational therapy, psychology, social work and dietetics are employed to work at Epworth in the hospitals and at rehabilitation. Patients requiring these services may access them while in hospital.



Pastoral Care services


Pastoral Care at Epworth HealthCare embraces both the secular and the sacred. Support is offered regardless of religious or other beliefs and no attempt is made to intrude or impose particular beliefs. We aim to offer timely and appropriate support, especially at times of acute anxiety and loss. Pastoral care is offered to patients, families and staff by qualified pastoral care staff and chaplains. Accredited visitors from various faith traditions visit regularly or on request. Please ask your nurse if you would like to speak to a member of our Pastoral Care team.



Redevelopment of our facilities


As part of our commitment to providing state-of-the-art facilities for our patients, staff and doctors, Epworth sites are continuously upgraded. These improvements can range from the construction of new buildings to refurbishment of existing facilities. We apologise for any disruptions our improvements may cause and will endeavour to minimise any impact you may experience.



The stages of your admission


There are a number of steps you will go through on your day of admission.


Step 1: Arriving on your day of admission

 
  • Please report to main reception on the day and at the time you have been advised and seek directions to the admissions area. Once you arrive there, a staff member will greet you and record your arrival. There is no need to arrive any earlier than advised.
  • Most Epworth patients are admitted for their procedure through an admission lounge, which is an area similar to a doctor’s waiting room.
  • There is usually no medical need for patients to be admitted to a ward bed prior to their procedure. Your doctor will advise you if you need to be admitted the day before your procedure.



Step 2: Clerical admission

 

  • When your name is called you will briefly meet with an admissions officer to complete and confirm your admission paperwork, sign a health fund claim form (if insured) and complete an informed financial consent document.
  • Payment of any unpaid out of pocket expenses are required at this time.
  • Once this is done, you will be asked to return to the admission lounge.



Step 3: Clinical admission

 

  • A nurse will take you to an interview room to discuss your medical history, confirm your details and take your pulse and blood pressure. Your height and weight will also be recorded. You will be asked questions about the medications you are taking and if you have any known allergies.
  • Blood tests or other investigations, such as an ECG, may also be taken at this time, if required.
  • Closer to your procedure time, you will be asked to change into a theatre gown. Please ask staff if you require assistance.
  • If you are having a procedure, your surgeon and/or anaesthetist will assess you prior to surgery. They may mark the correct part of your body where the procedure will happen. This is done as an extra safety measure to ensure the correct procedure occurs on the correct part of your body. Please tell your doctor or nurse if the mark rubs or washes off before your procedure.
  • You may be asked to either walk or will be taken on a trolley into a holding area prior to entering the operating room.



Step 4: Operating or procedure suite


You will have an opportunity to use the toilet before going into the operating room or procedure suite. You will then be escorted to a holding area. Your support person is not generally permitted in the holding area. Patients are taken to the operating room in the order of the operating list. Although operating lists are carefully planned, patient emergencies can result in a change to the order of the list or longer than expected theatre times. We make every effort to keep your waiting time to a minimum and we will keep you informed if any unforeseen delays occur.



Step 5: Recovery - Day Recovery Unit or transfer to a ward


Same day patients

After your procedure, you will be taken to a recovery area where nursing staff will closely monitor you. The time you spend in recovery will depend on the type of procedure you have and how your recovery is progressing. Your surgeon and/or anaesthetist may review you prior to discharge. When you are ready for discharge, you will be given information relating to your post operative care at home. It is a requirement that you have someone accompany you home and stay with you for 24 hours after your procedure.

Overnight patients
After your procedure, you will be taken to a recovery area where nursing staff will closely monitor you. The time you spend in recovery will depend on the type of procedure you have and how your recovery is progressing. You will then be taken to a ward bed. Your length of stay will depend on the type of procedure you have had.



Step 6: Post operative care


When you are ready for discharge, you will be given information relating to your post operative care at home. We may call you the day after you have gone home to check on your progress. After an operation, we recommend you complete the following exercises:

  • Gentle deep breathing exercises to exercise your lungs and return them to normal function after an operation.
  • While in bed, move your legs about and wiggle your toes to help increase circulation. You may be fitted with compression stockings to assist with this.

 

 


Further admission information