Patient and Visitor Information

Patient Guide

Thank you for selecting Madison County Memorial Hospital as your medical care provider. Our goal is to make your stay as comfortable and pleasant as possible while following the medical care plan designed for you by your physician. Your health and comfort are important to us and the aim of our nursing staff is to meet your needs and exceed your expectations with compassionate and caring service.

We believe that teamwork is one of the keys to delivering excellent care. Our skilled professional nurses oversee and coordinate twenty-four hour patient care in order to achieve the most favorable outcomes. Our team of professionals work with the patient, family, physician, community resources and other health care professionals to promote the highest level of physical, emotional and spiritual wellness.

WHAT TO EXPECT

We have put together a short list of do’s and don’ts to help you. Please call ahead if you have any questions regarding your visit with us?

THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • Bring your physician’s orders or other paperwork with you, if you were given any.
  • Bring a photo ID, such as a driver’s license.
  • Bring your insurance card(s). We must verify that your insurance coverage has not changed each and every time you visit.
  • Please bring a complete list of the medications and dosages you are currently taking. This list should include all your over-the-counter medications, vitamins or herbal preparations.
  • It will be very important for the nurses and physician’s to know any allergies or intolerances to any medications that you may have.

THINGS TO AVOID

  • We urge you to send jewelry, credit cards, keys, important papers, and large amounts of cash home with a family member for safekeeping. If you must bring valuables with you, you are encouraged to have the nursing staff inventory your valuables and deposit them in the hospital safe.
  • Do not keep medications at the bedside. While you are in the hospital, we are required by law to dispense all of your medications.
  • Do not bring alcohol or other drugs
  • Do not bring electronic gadgets such as laptop computers, cell phones, etc., unless first inspected and approved by the hospital engineering department. Some electronic equipment can interfere with the delicate telemetry monitoring stations in certain areas of the hospital.

Visitor's Guide

To facilitate a safe and secure environment for patients, all visitors are asked to observe the following regulations:

  • General visiting hours are 9:00 am to 9:00 pm daily.
  • Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult and should not be left unattended without adult supervision.
  • Clergy may visit patients any hour at patient’s request.
  • Smoking is not permitted in the hospital.
  • Visitors may be asked to leave while hospital personnel are performing a medical or other hospital procedure.
  • Visitors in Isolation Rooms must be instructed on isolation procedures prior to entering an isolation area.
  • Persons with signs of illness, or exposure to an infectious or communicable disease are encouraged not to visit hospitalized patients. Family and friends may be a source of infection for patients.
  • Visitors should not touch lines/drains/tubes, open wounds/sores, or dressings utilized on or by the patient.
  • Visitors should not bring food or beverages to patients without permission from the * Physician or Charge Nurse.
  • Visitors and patients are asked to speak quietly and to avoid unnecessary noise, so as not to disturb other patients.
  • Visiting privileges may be modified at the discretion of the nurse based on patient’s needs.

YOUR TELEPHONE

Outgoing local calls may be made from your bedside phone at any time, without charge to you. Also, pay telephones are located in the ER lobby. Incoming calls from friends and relatives may be made directly to your room between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. So that patients can rest, incoming patient phone service is not available each evening between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

To place a local call from your room please dial 9 followed by the number. Long distance calls must be either collect or charged to a credit card. Long distance calls cannot be billed to your room.

VALUABLES

The nursing staff will inventory the items and deposit them in the hospital safe. You will receive a list of the inventoried items. Present the list to claim your valuables when you are discharged. If you were admitted through the emergency department, your valuables may have been placed in the safe at that time.

ADVANCE DIRECTIVES/LIVING WILLS

There are times that medicine today has the ability to keep people alive for extended periods of time, even in hopeless situations. For many, this is of great concern and a frequently asked question is, “How can I be sure this does not happen to me?"

If you are at least l8 years of age and of sound mind, there is something you can do to make your wishes known. You can execute an Advance Directive/Living Will. This document can then speak for you if you are unable to do so for yourself, it gives you a way to tell your wishes to those who need to know.

Upon admission you will be given information regarding your healthcare options should you become seriously ill and are not able to speak for yourself. You will be offered the opportunity to complete an Advance Directive/Living Will.

What is an Advance Directive?
It is any written instruction you give relating to the provision of health care in the event you become unable to make your own decisions. Examples of advance directives include: Living Wills; Durable Power of Attorney; and, Designation of a Health Care Surrogate. Using a directive you give specific instructions about your health care in certain situations, or designate a person to act on your behalf in decision making, or a combination of the two.

Is a Living Will the Same Thing as an Advance Directive?
A Living Will is one kind of advance directive; however, at the present time in Florida the standard Living Will only pertains to situations involving a terminal illness. Many conditions and situations may arise which do not involve a terminal illness. For example, in most cases a person who is in a “persistent vegetative state” is not considered terminally ill. The Advance Directive - Living Will is an expanded form addressing terminal illness and other conditions.

What is a Persistent Vegetative State?
The term refers to a condition caused by a brain injury. The victim is unable to respond to his or her surroundings and is not aware of anything, even though the eyes may open periodically. It is similar to a coma in that the person is unresponsive, but it is a permanent condition. A head injury, stroke or other events may result in this condition and a person may be kept alive indefinitely in this condition by artificial means.

Are Advance Directives just for Senior Citizens?
No. A severe illness or serious accident can happen to a person at any age. If you have strong feelings about what choices you would want in such a situation, regardless of your age, you are encouraged to consider an advance directive.

May I Change My Advance Directive?
Yes, you may do so at any time. If you do make changes to any advance directive, be sure to destroy all of the outdated copies and provide copies of the updated version to the appropriate people.

Will My Advance Directive Be Honored in an Emergency?
Usually it is not possible to determine the chance of survival in an emergency situation or to determine the outlook for recovery. After the initial emergency has passed and the prognosis for recovery is known, your advance directive will come into play if you are not able to express your wishes.

Is It Difficult to Stop a Treatment Once it Has Been Started?
No, not if you have an advance directive and your instructions are clear. Particularly in conditions with a sudden onset, it may take days or even weeks before the reasonable degree of certainty. During the time before the outlook is known, it is appropriate to use any treatments which might be beneficial. When the prognosis is established, if your instructions indicate you would not want continued treatment under the circumstances, treatment can be stopped.

What is a Health Care Surrogate?
A health care surrogate is a person you choose to make health care decisions for you if you are not able to do so for yourself. Your surrogate should be someone who knows your wishes and who will make decisions based on what he/she believes you would want, not based on his or her own preferences. You are encouraged to appoint a health care surrogate even if you have made other written expressions of your wishes, since it is difficult to address every situation in a directive.

May I request that I Not Be Given Food and water artificially?
Yes. It is believed your right to make choices includes the ability to choose not to be given food and water artificially, even if withholding this treatment shortens your life.

Are There Any Limitations on Carrying Out Instructions in My Directive if I Am Pregnant?
Yes. Most likely any instructions which would result in withholding or withdrawing life-prolonging treatments would not be honored during the time you are pregnant.

What About My Religious Beliefs?
Some choices you may make in filling out an advance directive may not be in keeping with the teachings of your religion. If this is a concern to you, discuss the matter with your minister, priest, rabbi or other spiritual mentor.

Do I need a Lawyer or a Notary to Complete an Advance Directive?
In most cases, no; the document need only be signed in the presence of two witnesses. One of the witnesses must be someone who is not your spouse, blood relative, heir, or person responsible for paying your medical bills. However, if you have legal effect of these documents or any other aspect of this matter, you should contact your attorney.

After I Complete an Advance Directive, What Do I Do With It?
Give copies to someone who would know if you became seriously ill. You may also want to consider giving a copy to your physician, minister, family members or close friends. Discuss with them the details of your directive and ask that they keep a copy to make available if it is ever needed. Of course you should give a copy to your health care surrogate, if you appoint one.