Your Inpatient Stay
About Your Hospital Room
Your room assignment will depend on room availability and your medical needs at the time of admission. In Pavilions H and HA, private rooms are assigned to patients whose medical conditions require that they be in a private room for their safety or the safety of others. We make every attempt to make your stay as comfortable as possible. If you have a roommate, please be considerate and discontinue television use between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Safety drills: Safety drills are held periodically to enable staff to practice response procedures for emergency situations. Please do not be alarmed if the automatic doors begin to close and announcements are made on the overhead paging system. In the unlikely event there is a true emergency, your healthcare team will assist you.
Tobacco use: Smoking and all other forms of tobacco use, including electronic cigarettes, are prohibited anywhere on UK HealthCare grounds inside and out, including parking garages and personal vehicles. Information on options for patients and visitors who use tobacco is available at any of the information desks located throughout the enterprise. If you want help quitting tobacco, please ask your nurse or physician. Nicotine gum and patches are available at very low cost to visitors at campus gifts shops and pharmacies. Contact our Tobacco Treatment Specialist at 859-323-4222 for assistance. Go here for a map of UK’s boundaries and to learn more about nicotine replacement products. Join us in making our campus a healthy place to get well, visit and work.
Telephones: For your convenience, a bedside phone is provided. Callers may call your room directly, bypassing the hospital operator. Ask your nurse for the phone number to your room. Phones will not ring in patient rooms after 9 p.m. Long distance calls may be placed collect, charged to a third party or made with a calling card. You may use your cell phone; reception is available throughout most of the hospital. Courtesy phones are located at the information desks. Please remember to be courteous to other patients and visitors. Tell your nurse if you need TDD (telecommunication devices for the deaf) assistance.
Television: Free cable TV is offered in patient rooms.
Quiet time: Some nursing units observe a period of quiet time during the day to provide patients uninterrupted rest and sleep to promote healing. During quiet time, family members and visitors are encouraged to take a break as well. Any family member who chooses to stay with the patient during quiet time is asked to ensure there are no unnecessary interruptions to the patient’s rest.
Wi-Fi access: Free wireless Internet access is available throughout the UK HealthCare main campus. For assistance, call our Information Technology help desk at 859-323-8586.
Hourly rounds: A member of your care team will be around every hour during the day, and every two hours at night, to check on you and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Please feel free to use the call light for any assistance needed outside of hourly rounding.
Know Your Care Team
Attending physicians are responsible for leading and supervising the care team. These physicians have a medical degree and at least three years of post-medical school training in a specialty area and are licensed to practice medicine.
Fellows are specialists who have completed three or more years of post-medical school training and are pursuing additional training in a specialized area of practice. Fellows are licensed to practice medicine, and they work under the direction of the attending physician.
Resident physicians have completed medical school and are pursuing initial training in a specialty area. They are licensed and work under the direction of the fellow and/or the attending physician.
Interns are licensed physicians in the first year of resident training.
Medical students have completed their undergraduate education and are in training to become physicians. Medical students may be involved in your care under the direction of the attending physician, although their involvement will be limited.
Physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) are health professionals who are certified by their professional organization. They may be involved in your care under the direction of the attending physician.
Nurses (who wear galaxy-blue scrubs) are the primary point of contact between you and your healthcare team both at the bedside and in outpatient settings. They perform frequent patient evaluations, including monitoring and tracking vital signs and performing procedures such as IV placement, drawing blood and administering medications.
Registered dietitians provide patients and family members with information on special diets and discuss any nutritional concerns. Dietitians are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 859-323-6987.
Pharmacists work closely with your healthcare team to determine the best plan of care for you using the most appropriate medications. If you would like to speak with a pharmacist to clarify medication-related issues, please ask your nurse to arrange a consultation.
Physical and occupational therapists provide specialty care intended to help you return to your former state of physical mobility and function.
Certified nursing care technicians (who wear turquoise scrubs), sometimes called nursing assistants, provide assistance with your activities of daily living under the direction of the registered nurse.
Housekeepers play an important role in your care by keeping your room clean. If you have any concerns or comments about the cleanliness of your room, tell your nurse. You may also contact Environmental Services at 859-323-5133.
Radiologists are medical doctors (MDs) or doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) who specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries using medical imaging techniques, such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography (PET) and ultrasound.
Radiology imaging technologists (who wear black scrubs) are licensed healthcare professionals who specialize in the imaging of the human body for diagnosis and treatment purposes.
Wash your hands frequently. Hand hygiene is the single most important factor for preventing the spread of infection.
It is also very important that family and visitors wash their hands frequently using proper techniques or make frequent use of alcohol hand sanitizer.
Alcohol hand gel is available to everyone. Dispensers are in every patient care room and outside the door of the patient room.
What you as a patient can do:
- Make sure you know your allergies and what medicines you take and share this information with your nurse.
- Speak up! if something does not seem right. Do not assume anything.
- Never forget that your opinion matters and that you have a right to feel respected.
- Become educated by your care providers about your illness and treatment options.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask your doctor during their daily rounding time.
- Ask your nurse to help you if you are concerned about falling.
- Tell your caregiver immediately if you have loss of vision or hearing or other sensory problems such as loss of smell, taste, difficulty swallowing or altered sense of touch.
- Tell your healthcare team if you have problems with standing, walking or moving from your bed to a chair.
- It is an important part of your recovery process to maintain as much independence as possible. However, please tell your caregiver if you need assistance with bathing, toileting, dressing, grooming, eating or other activities. We are here to help you.
What your care team can do for you:
- Every hospital employee involved in your care is expected to introduce themselves by name and to wear a hospital identification badge. If you are not sure who a person is or what their role is in your care, ask them.
- Your caregiver will check your wrist identification bracelet and ask your name and birthdate before administering any medication or treatment. Speak up if you think he or she has you confused with another patient.
- A member of your healthcare team will be around hourly to check on you.
- All healthcare team members are expected to wash their hands before touching patients and also as they are leaving the room. Please feel free to ask staff if they have done so.
- Your healthcare team is there to help you. If there are any questions or concerns, feel free to ask any member of your healthcare team.
Knowing Your Medications
While you are hospitalized, your doctor may prescribe medications for you. Be sure that you understand exactly what they are and why they are being prescribed. Use this checklist to help you get the information you need from your doctor:
- What is the name of the medicine?
- What is its generic name?
- Why am I taking this medicine?
- What dose will I be taking? How often, and for how long?
- When will the medicine begin to work?
- What are the possible side effects?
- Can I take this medicine while taking my other medications or dietary supplements?
- Are there any foods, drinks or activities I should avoid while taking this medicine?
- Should I take this medicine at meal time or between meals?
- Do I need to take the medicine on an empty stomach or with food or a whole glass of water?
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
Keeping pain at a minimum is important to your healing and overall well-being. To ensure that you receive the best care possible, you are encouraged to:
- Ask about proper pain management.
- Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist what to expect from efforts to manage your pain.
- Provide accurate information regarding your medical history, including any prescription and over-the-counter (non-prescription) medicines you may be taking.
- Describe how your pain interferes with your daily activities and/or sleep patterns. Tell your doctor or nurse what has helped in the past to manage your pain.
- Question any instructions or information you do not understand, and make sure you know whom to contact if your pain is not controlled.
Preparing for Discharge
Once your doctor determines it is medically safe for you to be released from the hospital, he or she will tell the rest of your care team. Each member of the team has responsibilities that must be completed before you can leave. This may take some time, so please be patient.
When your doctor tells you that you are ready for discharge, ask your nurse to estimate when you will be leaving. Make sure you collect all of your personal belongings. When all of the necessary arrangements have been made and you are ready to go, someone with Patient Transport or a nurse will come to your room to escort you to the front of the hospital to be picked up.
Meds-to-Beds: UK Pharmacy Services provides a Meds-to-Beds service for UK Chandler and Kentucky Children’s hospitals. The Chandler Retail Pharmacy staff coordinates with the patient care teams to deliver discharge medications to the patient’s bedside during the discharge process. Instead of sending the patient to the pharmacy, the pharmacy comes to the patient. Any copayments are collected upon delivery. All patients are eligible for this program unless they are transitioning to a facility that does not allow personal medications. If you would like to use this service, ask your nurse.
Before going home, be sure you know the answer to these questions:
- What is my diagnosis?
- When should I see my doctor?
- When should I call my doctor after being discharged?
- How do I contact my doctor?
- What are my medications? (Refer to medications chart located in the back of this patient guide.)
- Should I take the medicines I was taking before I was hospitalized?
- What should I be eating? c How do I take care of my incision? (for surgery patients)
- When can I shower or take a bath? c Are there any restrictions to my activity?
- When will it be safe for me to drive a car?
- When will I be able to return to work or school?
For the Caregiver
While your loved one is in the hospital, you may have to be the one to speak up for him or her. You can do this by being your loved one’s patient advocate, who will help the patient work with doctors, nurses and hospital staff. To help your loved one make the best decisions about their care and treatment, take a look at the advice in the caregiver checklist shown below.
While you are making sure that your loved one’s needs are being met either at the hospital or at home, don’t neglect your own. This can be a stressful and time-consuming job. You may neglect your diet, your normal exercise routine and your sleep needs. You may find that you have little or no time to relax, to be yourself, or to spend time with friends or other loved ones. Downtime is important, so don’t be reluctant to ask for help in caring for your loved one.
- Know what condition your loved one is being treated for.
- Know your patient’s rights and responsibilities.
- Know whether your loved one has advance directives and, if so, what they specify.
- Ask questions; if your loved one is too ill or reluctant to ask questions, make note of their concerns and any you may have, and please don’t be afraid to Speak Up! c Help your loved one track medications. The patient may be prescribed medications while in the hospital and may be seen by several different doctors.
If you have any questions regarding your loved one’s post-discharge plan, please contact Case Management by calling 859-323-5501 Monday − Friday, 8 a.m. − 4:30 p.m.
Going Home & Follow-Up Care
From the time your doctor feels you are close to leaving the hospital, plans will be made for your safe discharge. Your doctor and nurse will review with you any special instructions needed for follow-up care. Be sure to take copies of your written discharge instructions and your medicines to your regular doctor and to your specialists the first time you visit them after your hospitalization.
Information will be provided about what medicines you should be taking, and prescriptions will be provided for you to have filled. If you have questions about the new medicines or about whether you should continue to take medicines you were on prior to your hospital stay, please ask your doctor. If you would like to have your discharge prescriptions filled by UK HealthCare pharmacies before you leave the hospital, ask your nurse about our Meds-to-Beds service.
Follow-up care: Most UK HealthCare follow-up is provided on the main medical campus, which includes the Kentucky Clinic, Gill Heart & Vascular Institute and Markey Cancer Center, in collaboration with your primary doctor and the specialist who sent you to UK HealthCare. To schedule an appointment, call UK Health Connection at 859-257-1000 or toll-free 800-333-8874.
Let us know how we did: Your opinion is important to us. Please expect a patient satisfaction survey in the mail soon. This provides us with valuable insight into how we may improve our patients’ experience.