We've made our admission process simple to ensure your initial experience with St. Vincent's HealthCare is a pleasant one. To minimize check-in time in admitting, we conduct many admission interviews by telephone prior to your arrival.
On the day of admission, please arrange for a friend or relative to bring you to the hospital. Enter through the main entrance of the campus you’re attending. Wheelchairs are available, if needed. Valet parking is also available at St. Vincent's Riverside and Southside for patients who have limited ability to walk. If you require further assistance, please ask the security ambassadors stationed outside our front entrances.
When You Arrive
When you arrive at the hospital, an admitting associate will help you with consent forms and verification of your insurance coverage, all of which are necessary for your hospital record.
You will be given an identification wristband to wear at all times. The ID band provides our associates with positive identification, which helps in our efforts to keep you safe. Our staff will frequently check your ID band during your stay.
After the admission process is complete, you will be taken to your room or directed to the department that is expecting you. Please note that minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
What to Bring
It’s important to be prepared for your stay at St. Vincent’s HealthCare, whether that means having all the necessary documents or remembering your favorite pair of pajamas. Below are some guidelines of what you should bring to the hospital.
- Your insurance policy cards, authorization or claim forms, social security number, driver's license or other form of ID.
- A small amount of cash, a credit card or checkbook to pay for required deposits, co-payments or deductibles upon admission. Please send your checkbook or credit cards home with a family member or friend after admission, or contact our Security Office for assistance in temporarily storing these items.
- Pajamas (or a patient gown will be provided).
- Bathrobe and slippers.
- Clothing for discharge.
- Toothbrush, toothpaste and other needed toiletries.
- A list of ALL medications you are currently taking, including dosage and frequency. This should include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
- Copies of your living will, surrogate designation and/or power of attorney forms (if you have executed any).
What Not To Bring
- Items of value, such as jewelry, expensive clothing or large amounts of cash.
- Electronic appliances, such as portable TVs, electric shavers, blow dryers, etc.
Eyeglasses, dentures and/or hearing aids are easily lost, so we encourage you to leave these items at home if you are able. If you do need to use these items, please be sure they are kept in properly labeled containers. Please do not leave any of these items on your bedside table or a meal tray, as they may be lost or damaged. St. Vincent's HealthCare is not responsible for replacement of your lost or damaged items.
St. Vincent's HealthCare cannot accept responsibility for personal items or valuables left in your room. Please ask a family member to take them home or ask a nurse to put them in the hospital safe. If you have lost a personal item, please tell your nurse immediately.
Taking An Active Role In Your Care
Your safety is our top priority. Since you are the center of the healthcare team, we ask that you take an active role in your care. Here are a few specific things you can do to help us serve you better:
- Tell your healthcare providers as much as you can about your medical history.
- Tell your healthcare providers about any medication you are taking, including over-the-counter medicine, eye-drops and herbal and vitamin supplements.
- Before you take a test or receive any medication, make sure your caregiver refers to you by name and either checks your patient wristband or asks for your date of birth.
- If you are scheduled for surgery, make sure you know what surgery you are going to have. You should confirm this with the doctor and/or those involved in prepping you.
- If you don't understand why you are taking certain medicines, ask.
- If you are given a new medication that you were not informed about, it's okay to ask questions. Our clinical pharmacy staff is available to answer any questions you may have.
- For concerns related to care, treatment, service or patient safety, please ask to speak to the Nurse Manager or call 904-308-SAFE.
During your stay, our staff will regularly ask you about your level of pain to ensure you are not only comfortable, but also that your treatment is working. You will be asked to rate your pain on a scale of "0" to "10" with:
- "0" being no pain
- "5" being moderate pain
- "10" being the worst pain imaginable
Using this scale to describe your pain helps the doctors and nurses gauge your pain level and determine whether treatment changes need to be made. You are the key to getting the best relief for yourself—tell your caregivers if you are in pain. And remember; ask for pain medications when the pain first begins, not when you cannot tolerate it anymore.
We support your right to decide whether to accept or deny medical treatment, including termination of treatment that would prolong your life artificially. Federal law also allows for your rights and wishes to be respected. You can make your exact wishes known in the form of advance directives.
Advance directives allow individuals to indicate to their family members and physicians their choices regarding life prolonging medical treatments and other pertinent issues. Examples of advance directives include:
- Drafting a Living Will
- A Living Will is a document that states your wishes regarding whether you want life-prolonging treatments or procedures administered to you if you are in a terminal condition, a persistent vegetative state or an end-stage condition. It is called a "Living Will" because it takes effect while you are still living.
- Executing a Durable Power of Attorney
- A Durable Power of Attorney is a document by which you give authority to another person to make decisions about your financial or health-related issues. You can change or revoke this document at any time before you become incapacitated to make decisions.
- Naming a Healthcare Surrogate
- A Healthcare Surrogate is a person you select to speak for you and make healthcare decisions for you when you lack the ability to do so. Your surrogate is expected to make the decisions you would make if you were able to do so; therefore, your surrogate must have a thorough understanding of your wishes.
These options allow you to make legally valid decisions about your future medical treatment even when you are no longer able to communicate your wishes.
Before deciding which choice is best for you, discuss the issues involved with your family and physician.
During the admission process, you will be asked whether you have executed an advance directive. If you have executed one, please provide a copy to the hospital. Your admission and care will not be affected if you have not completed an advance directive.
You are under no obligation to execute an advance directive. However, if you are interested in creating one, notify your nurse or call 904-308-8554 and ask for a social worker.
At some point, you and your family may need to make a difficult decision regarding your care. Our Ethics Committee, which participates in the ethical policy making process at St. Vincent's HealthCare, is available as a resource for information and advice. The Ethics Committee guides, educates and assists members of the hospital, family, patients and caregivers as they confront difficult, and in many cases, painful decisions. You and/or your family can consult with the Ethics Committee whenever you feel the need for clarification of ethical issues. Requests for committee interaction can be made through your physician or healthcare providers. If you have any concerns, please contact the Care Management Department at 904-308-8554.