Most hospitals have single and shared rooms which accommodate both public and private patients. Rooms are allocated on clinical need. Very ill or infectious patients always have priority to single rooms. Your bed allocation may change during your stay.
Please bring enough clothing for your hospital stay or arrange for your family to launder and return items to you. Some hospitals do have limited personal laundry services for a small fee.
If you are staying overnight, you will be offered a choice from the hospital menu. Special diets can usually be accommodated.
If you are having an operation you will not be able to eat or drink for several hours before. Nursing staff will speak with you about this.
Some wards have tea and coffee making facilities for patients.
Most hospitals have café or vending machines for refreshments for visitors.
Queensland Health has communication staff who can help you if you are approached by the media during your hospital stay. Your privacy and health is our primary concern. A general condition report using standard terms (good, stable, serious or critical) is the only information given in response to a media call. Patients will be asked for their written consent before any media activity takes place.
Medical research is important in improving health care and you may be asked to be involved in research activities. You will be given information about the research and you will be asked if you wish to take part. You do not have to take part if you do not wish to and your care will not be affected in any way.
Please show the staff on the ward any medicines you have brought with you. During your stay your doctor will discuss these and any new medicines you need to take.
Organ and tissue donation is a personal choice and it is very important to discuss your intentions with your family. You can register your intention to donate after your death on the Australian Organ Donor Register. For more information please refer to the Queenslanders Donate website.
Most hospitals have a pastoral care team of representatives from various religious groups. They offer advice, guidance and support and will help anyone regardless of their beliefs. If you or your family would like to see a pastoral care worker please see a staff member and they will provide you with contact details.
If you are staying in hospital overnight take some time to have a look through the patient information directory located in your bedside locker. You will find all the information you need about the hospital from visiting times to details of amenities.
If you are staying overnight you will have a bedside locker for your personal belongings. It is helpful if all your belongings are labelled with your name. Please do not bring large amounts of money, jewellery, televisions or other valuables into hospital. Please leave these at home. While our staff take every care, Queensland Health does not accept responsibility for any loss or damage that may occur to items you bring into hospital.
In the event of a fire or other general emergency, please remain calm and wait for staff to tell you what to do.
Smoking is not permitted in any area other than an outdoor Nominated Smoking Place, if available. Ask staff for the location.
If you are a patient coming into hospital and you smoke, your smoking will be assessed and you will be offered nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine patches or gum) to help you not smoke during your hospital stay. The patches and gum will reduce any withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, irritability and anxiety.
All staff and volunteers wear hospital identification badges that include their photograph, name and job title. If you are concerned about the identity of a visitor, call a staff member.
Queensland Health hospitals are teaching facilities and doctors and nurses in training could be present. Your doctor should introduce them to you. If you would prefer not to have these medical staff present please let the doctor know. Asking to be seen alone will not affect your care in any way.
Many of our hospitals have special services to help you. If you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, are hearing impaired or need an interpreter, please let the staff know so assistance may be arranged for you. Chaplaincy and counselling services can be arranged.
Information about these services can be found in the patient information directory. Only battery-operated personal electrical equipment can be used in hospital. For the comfort of other patients earphones must be used with personal radios or CD players. Some hospitals rent televisions for patient use – ask the ward staff when you arrive.
Some hospitals have bedside telephones. There are public phone facilities for use by patients and visitors. More information about telephone calls and numbers will be in the patient information directory in your bedside locker.
Seeing family and friends is important to your care. Check with the hospital prior to your admission about visiting times for your ward so that you can tell family and friends. Encourage friends and family to call the hospital to check on visiting times for your ward prior to coming to see you in case you have been moved to another ward.
Patients usually have a rest period during the day when visitors are not allowed.
At times, for patient comfort and safety, visitors may be limited to no more than two at a time.
Visitors who have colds or other infections should not visit until they are well.
If you would like to visit someone in Intensive Care please check with the staff as there may be special guidelines for visitors.
Our hospital patients, staff and visitors appreciate the dedicated efforts of our volunteers. They help with a wide variety of support services and wear identification badges.