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About your stay

Information you need to know

Here you will find the information you need to know about your stay at Hospital for Specialist Surgery (HSS) as a patient. We encourage you to read this information carefully. Feel free to contact us on (02) 8624 5000 or email us at admissions@hssaustralia.com.au

Arrival time

On the week day prior to your admission a staff member from HSS will call you between 1pm and 5.30pm to advise you of your admission time and fasting details. Please ensure you provide a reliable contact number so we can get in touch with you during this time. Unless you provide authority, we are unable to leave messages with others. If we have not contacted you by 5.30pm on the day prior to your admission (or the Friday prior if your surgery is on a Monday) please contact HSS on (02) 8624 5000. Operating lists have to be carefully arranged in the appropriate order, and this information will not be available until then.

Fasting

Fasting means you must not take any food or fluids. Do not chew gum or smoke. This is vital for your safety. You will be told for how long you must fast before your operation. Do not fast longer than this, as you will become very hungry and dehydrated by the time your operation is over. Brushing your teeth is encouraged. If the patient is a child, please ask HSS for specific instructions well before admission, as fasting times vary with age and the procedure.

Your own medications

Normally you should take all your medications at the usual time on the day of admission with water. However, there are some exceptions including oral hypoglycaemics (tablets for diabetes) and insulin. Asprin, Clopidigrel (Plavix, Iscover) and other blood thinners are sometimes best stopped pre-operatively and you should ask your doctor about this. Bring your medications with you in their original boxes and if you are unsure of what to do simply contact HSS Pre-admissions Clinic for advice.

Colonoscopy patients

If you are having a colonoscopy, you will be given bowel preparation information before admission. If is very important you complete this preparation as instructed before your admission. Incomplete bowel preparation may make the examination impossible or inadequate, requiring a repeat procedure at a later date.

What to bring

• Medications you are currently taking in their original containers, clearly labelled
• X-rays and pathology test results requested by your doctor
• Original P-re-admission forms (if not previously handed-in)
• Overnight bag if required to stay overnight or in Rehab. Please note that large luggage and suitcases cannot be accommodated. If possible, arrange for a relative/friend to bring your overnight bag to you after your surgery

Valuables

We recommend that you do not bring any unnecessary valuables with you as the hospital cannot accept responsibility for them. We ask that you remove all jewellery, makeup and nail polish before your arrival. Piercings will usually be taped but the decision to remove them will be made by the anaesthetist on the day. Wedding rings can be taped if you do not wish to remove them. Mobile phones must be switched off within HSS as they can interfere with medical devices. If you need to make a phone call the staff will be happy to arrange a phone for you.

On the day of admission

Please try to arrive on time. We suggest you don’t arrive too early as it will prolong the waiting time for you. On arrival, please register in the Admission area. Once you have completed your paperwork and paid any outstanding amounts, you will then be directed to the appropriate area. Newspapers are provided but some reading material of your choice may be useful. We recommend you shower and wear comfortable, loose clothes and shoes. Please note that many people feel cooler than normal after their operation so track suits are an ideal choice. No deodorant or perfume to be worn.

Delays

Due to the nature of operations, occasionally delays are unavoidable. In the event of a delay, every effort will be made to ensure that you are not inconvenienced ― if possible we will inform you of any delays before you leave home so you can delay your departure. We ask you to please be flexible if any delays occur, and allow a minimum of two to three hours for your stay at HSS. Larger operations will require a longer stay.

Anaesthesia consultation

Your anaesthetist will visit you after admission, ask questions to ascertain your fitness for anaesthesia, and decide what kind of anaesthetic would be best suited to you. This may be a general or regional anaesthesia or sedation. Please feel free to ask any questions concerning your anaesthetic, planned post-operative pain relief or fees for the service.

Your surgery/examination and recovery

You will be taken to theatre by the anaesthetic nurse, placed on a bed or operating table, and the anaesthetic will commence. While you are pain free, the planned procedure will be performed. You will then be taken to the recovery room where the nurses will monitor your recovery and administer any pain-relieving and/or other drugs ordered by the anaesthetist. You may not recall much of this stage. Once you are awake and recovering you will be moved to a comfortable armchair to complete your recovery or if you are staying with us you will be transferred to the surgical ward. Everyone experiences and responds to pain differently. Our care team is committed to ensuring you are comfortable during this time. Do not hesitate to speak with the team caring for you should you have any concerns.

Rehabilitation program

A comprehensive rehabilitation program is offered post-surgery. Prior to coming into hospital, it’s advised that a walking aid is purchased or hired, and that you bring it with you on the day of your admission. Patients are encouraged to wear their normal day clothes during their stay to participate in the therapy gyms. The facility also offers a hydrotherapy pool so you should pack a swimming costume if you plan to use the pool during your stay. Following rehabilitation, we offer an outpatients day program. Please discuss this during your admission.

Smoking

HSS has a no-smoking policy throughout the facility including the grounds. HSS together with your doctor will provide the option of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). If you choose to smoke while a patient at HSS you do so at your own risk.

Meals times

Service begins from the following times:
Breakfast: 7.30am
Lunch: 12.30pm
Dinner: 5.30pm

Personal laundry

Please make arrangements with family and friends to have your laundry requirements met as the hospital does not have the facilities to provide this service.

Televisions

Televisions are fitted in all rooms at no extra cost.

Wi-Fi connection

WI-FI is available for all patients. Please see Reception staff for password access.

Lounge areas

Welcoming and comfortable lounge areas are available on the wards for patients and their visitors.

Your rights and responsibilities

For most people being a patient is unfamiliar and therefore it is important that you understand your rights and responsibilities.

You have the right:

  • To be treated with courtesy, and have your ethnic, cultural and religious beliefs respected
  • To be informed about facilities and services, costs, medications used, methods of treatment and referrals to other services
  • To confidentiality of personal information
  • To involvement in decisions about your care
  • To staff who identify themselves to you
  • To an explanation of treatment and its risks before giving consent
  • To advise on seeking a second medical opinion
  • To advise on care after discharge
  • To discharge yourself at any time against the advice of your doctor or hospital staff, however, you must accept the associated risks and sign a form taking responsibility before you leave the hospital
  • To provide feedback about your care, and have your concerns addressed in an appropriate manner

You have a responsibility

  • To answer questions about your health honestly and to comply with prescribed treatment
  • To tell staff about any regular medication you are taking
  • To make sure you understand what is being said to you
  • To abide by the hospital’s non-smoking policy
  • To advise staff if visitors are worrying you
  • To show consideration for other patients
  • To treat your health care workers with respect and courtesy regardless of their cultural and ethnic background
  • To pay your fees to HSS and your doctor in a timely manner
  • To inform your health professional if you have an Advanced Care Directive or Power of Attorney for any health or personal matter, or you are subject to a guardianship order.
  • If you have any questions regarding your stay with us please feel free to contact our friendly admissions staff on (02) 8624 5000.

Your personal info and privacy

The privacy of your information is afforded the highest level of importance by HSS.

We must comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPS) under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and other privacy laws that govern how private health services handle your personal information, including the disclosure of your information, security and storage of your information on and off site, and how we respond to your request to access and change information. Possible uses of your personal information are listed in the consent form which forms part of the About Your Stay and Pre-admission form booklet. You are under no obligation to consent to the use of your personal information for any of the indicated purposes. A full copy of this HSS privacy policy is available on the footnote of each page of this web site.

If you have questions about the privacy of your information or if you have a complaint, please contact the HSS General Manager on (02) 8624 5000.

personal-info-privacy

We welcome your feedback

A patient survey is available in your room/treatment area or you can ask our staff for a copy of this form. Complaints may be made directly to the Nursing Unit Manager or Director of Nursing. All complaints are investigated and you can be assured your care will not be adversely affected.

If you are not satisfied, complaints can be made to the Health Care Complaints Commission on toll free number 1800 043 159.

compliments-complaints

Where to next?

We have some helpful information for you about your discharge and going home.