While you are in hospital


The following A-Z guide provides information on our facilities and what to expect during your admission and discharge at South Gippsland Hospital.

Advanced Care Planning
Bathrooms
Be Active: seek and give information
Beds – electric
Bed Exercises
Behaviour
Call bell
Community Health Services
Complaints, Compliments and Suggestions
Consent
Discharge
Discharge at own risk
Doctors Ward Rounds
Donations
Drinks
Electrical Equipment
Falls
Fire Safety
Hand hygiene and infection
Hospital Foundation
Hospital Services

 

Advanced Care Planning
If you are over 65, live alone or have a chronic illness you are strongly encouraged to develop an Advanced Care Plan in conjunction with your doctor. This plan will document your wishes regarding future care if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. If you already have an Advanced Care Plan it is really important that you bring a copy of it into hospital so that we are aware of your wishes and can provide your care accordingly. Please see Advanced Care Planning for more information.
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Bathrooms
Three communal bathrooms are available for patient use. They are located opposite wards 3, 6 and past room 10. Please refer to a map on page 9 at the back of this booklet.
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Be Active: seek and give information
SGH has a system that prompts staff to identify when a patient’s health status is worsening. Sometimes you or the people who know you best will be the first to recognise a change. Please inform nursing or medical staff if you recognise a deterioration in your/or your family member’s/friend’s condition, that you believe may need additional treatment, so that we can monitor the patient more closely. We also encourage you to raise concerns during times of bedside handover between staff shifts. Staff support patient and carer involvement and we want you to work with us to create the best experience for you and/or your loved ones.
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Beds – electric
All the hospital beds are electric and have a variety of adjustable positions. These include the head and foot angles and the height from the floor, allowing customised comfort for individual patients. Should you need assistance operating the controls, please ask a staff member for help.
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Bed Exercises
During your hospital stay it is important to regularly move and exercise as movement can aid your recovery and reduce the risk of complications such as:

Pressure injuries
These occur as a result of damage to skin and underlying tissue if you are sitting or lying in one position for too long. Ulcers usually occur over bony areas such as the buttocks, hips and heels.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
As a result of inactivity, blood flow slows down which can lead to blood clots forming in the deeper veins of the legs and pelvis.

Chest infection/pneumonia
The lack of deep breathing and coughing that comes naturally with activity and exercise can result in associated illnesses.

There are things you can do to help.

• Check your skin every day. Report any redness or tenderness in any areas prone to pressure such as the bottom of your back, heels, elbows, knees, hips or your bottom.

• Maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids (if you are not on a restricted fluid intake. Please check with your nurse if you are unsure).

There are exercises that you can do in hospital to prevent the above and aid your recovery.

Your nurse can advise you, depending on your condition, what basic exercises could aid your recovery, such as positional changes, leg movements or deep breathing and coughing exercises.

Patients can also be referred to a Physiotherapist, who visits the hospital Monday to Thursday, or Allied Health Assistants who supervise patient exercises Monday to Friday.

Behaviour
SGH has a zero tolerance policy on aggressive behaviour. Any violence or aggression towards staff, other patients or visitors will not be tolerated. Should this occur, the Police will be called and legal action could be initiated.
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Call bell
If you require assistance do not hesitate to alert the nursing staff by using the green call button located in the middle of the television hand set. This is mounted on your bedside chest of drawers.
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Community Health Services

Community health services are available to everyone. South Gippsland Hospital’s Community Health Centre is part of South Gippsland Hospital and our community services aim to keep you living at home and in your community as independently as possible. Our programs and clinics will help you develop a more healthy lifestyle and prevent or manage illness. Services and program timetable
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Complaints, Compliments and Suggestions
Your feedback is welcomed by the SGH as it gives us an opportunity to improve the services we provide and ensure that we are meeting the needs of the community.

Feedback regarding the care or services you receive at SGH may be made to the hospital verbally or in writing. A ‘Complaints, Compliments and Suggestions’ form and a brochure explaining the process is available in the back of this folder.
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Consent
Certain procedures require your specific written consent for example, surgical and diagnostic procedures, the administration of anaesthesia and blood transfusions.

Before signing the Consent Form, the nature of the procedure will be explained to you by your doctor. It is important that you understand exactly what is involved, so please ask your doctor to clarify any unclear aspects of the procedure and its likely effects.
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Discharge
You may require ongoing treatment once your doctor advises you that you can be discharged from hospital. To ensure that you are safe and comfortable you may require outpatient services such as occupational therapy, district nursing, meals on wheels or home help. These will be discussed with you whilst you are in hospital. However, please inform staff as soon as possible if you have any concerns about going home as it can take time to arrange the appropriate services.

Things for you to consider before leaving hospital are:

Medications
Do you understand the medications you are taking and how to take them? Please ask nursing staff or your doctor to explain. You will receive a current medication list to take home.

Support
Do you have someone who can support you at home? Do you require any equipment or support services such as a shower chair or assistance with showering?

On the day of discharge prior arrangements should be made to have a family member or a friend pick you up at the hospital between 10 and 11 am. Before you leave your discharge details will be confirmed and any follow up information given.
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Discharge At Own Risk
If you choose to discharge yourself against medical advice you will be requested to sign a disclaimer form.

Doctors Ward Rounds

Doctors conduct their ward rounds on a daily basis. If your doctor is away or on a day off, they will ask another doctor to perform this duty. On weekends the on-call doctors will conduct the ward rounds. Your doctor will advise you who will be taking over your care if they are away.
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Donations
As a public hospital, SGH welcomes the generosity of its patients, community groups and local businesses to supplement government funding. Donations are a vital part of our fund-raising activities and are used for capital improvements and equipment purchases to assist in meeting our goal of providing the best possible health care services for our community. All donations of $2 and over are tax deductible. Donations can be made via our website at http://www.southgippslandhospital.org.au/donate/ or a donation envelope can be found at the back of this folder (see also Hospital Foundation).
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Drinks
Water, tea and coffee are available free of charge near the nurses’ station. A coffee and hot chocolate machine is also available opposite the nurses’ station with the charges displayed. Please refer to the map on page 9.
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Electrical Equipment
Personal electrical equipment must be declared on admission and can be used only after testing and tagging by the maintenance department. Examples of electrical equipment include shavers, phone chargers, lap tops and hair driers.
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Falls
It’s surprisingly easy to fall or slip while in hospital. It’s an unfamiliar environment. Medication or fatigue may affect your balance, you may not be as fit or as steady on your feet as you normally are. That’s why we ask you to take particular care. Some patients may be identified as being at a higher risk of falling and these patients are asked to always ring the bell for assistance before standing. If this applies to you please comply with this instruction for your own safety. For all other patients please take your time when standing or moving about, wear your glasses and safe footwear, use the rails/shower chairs provided, use a light at night and use your call bell to obtain assistance if required.
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Fire Safety
All hospital staff are trained in emergency procedures. Fire sprinklers, smoke and heat detectors are installed throughout the hospital. In the event of a fire an alarm will sound and the doors to rooms and corridor fire doors will automatically close. This will contain the fire at its source. Please await instructions from a staff member.
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Hand hygiene and infection
Hand hygiene is the single most important factor in reducing the spread of infections. Please wash your hands carefully with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand rub. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue and clean your hands afterwards.
Staff and visitors are requested to wash their hands before and after patient contact. Pink hand cleansers are located outside each room and at entrances/exits. Alternatively wash basins are located along the main corridor and in the toilets. You have the right to ask a staff member if they have performed hand hygiene before they approached you.
Family and friends with a cold/flu or gastroenteritis symptoms (vomiting or diarrhoea) are asked not to visit until they are well for the safety of current hospital patients.
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Hospital Foundation
The SGH Community Foundation manages donations and bequests of money or property etc. left to the organisation via generous patrons.
Bequests are set out in a person’s Will and provide a lasting legacy that helps to ensure the longevity of hospital services. The foundation ensures that the generosity of donors benefits local residents. If you would like further information please refer to the brochure at the back of the booklet.
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Hospital Services
SGH offers many services apart from inpatient and urgent care. If you are interested in any of the services listed below a brochure can be found at the back of this booklet or you can talk to your nurse or reception staff for further information.
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Identification Bands
An identification band will be placed on your wrist or ankle during your stay so that we can clearly identify you. This is particularly important during emergencies. The band will state your name, date of birth, address and medical number.

You will be asked by staff to state your name and date of birth throughout your stay so that we can ensure that we correctly match you to your intended treatment or procedure eg. medication administration, blood transfusions and surgical procedures.

If you have previously been a patient at SGH, please inform us if your personal details, next of kin, emergency contacts or Medical/Legal Powers of Attorney have changed.
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Interpreter Service
If you believe that your relative/friend while a patient in hospital, requires an
interpreter, please notify a Nurse so that an interpreter can be arranged over the phone or to visit the hospital.
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Laundry
SGH does not have the facilities to launder your personal clothing. Please make arrangements with family or friends to collect and launder those items.
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Leaving the ward
If you wish to leave the ward, for example to go for a walk in the hospital grounds, please advise the nursing staff. Your current medical condition or the medications you are taking may mean that you need assistance.

If you need to leave the hospital grounds for any reason, please liaise with your nurse as permission must be obtained from the staff on duty and a leave form needs to be filled-in and signed. You will be asked to sign in upon your return.
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Lounge
A patient lounge is available at the end of the corridor past room 10. It contains recliner chairs, magazines, books and a television (refer to map pg. 9).
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Mail
Incoming mail is delivered to the ward each morning. Outward mail that is addressed and stamped can be left at the front reception.
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Meals
Meals are provided from the following times:
Breakfast 07:50 am
Lunch 11:50 am
Evening Meal 4:50 pm

Morning, afternoon tea and supper are also served. Please assist staff by clearing your tray table before meals, so that catering staff can place your tray down easily. Patients on a special diet should liaise with hospital staff regarding their
requirements. Food and alcoholic drinks should not be brought into the hospital without approval of the Nurse-in-Charge.
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Medications
On admission, staff will ask you to inform them of any prescribed and complementary medicines or non-prescribed drugs that you are currently taking. We advise you to keep a list of current medications, dosages and administration times and bring it along to any medical or hospital appointments.

Your medications will be locked in your bedside locker and any high risk medications in the drug safe. If any of your medications change during your stay you will be given an updated medication list and the changes will be explained by nursing staff or your doctor. You will also receive a ‘Consumer Medication information’ brochure which explains any precautions, side effects, storage etc.

Please inform us of any allergies or adverse reactions to medications that you may have, no matter how long ago or how insignificant you think they may be.
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Newspapers
Newspapers are delivered to the hospital every morning before 7am and can be purchased opposite the nurses’ station.
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Nursing Care
You will meet many nurses during your inpatient stay at SGH. Generally, a primary nurse is allocated each shift for your care. Depending on the whole of hospital activity, a team model (more than one nurse caring for you) may be arranged. Three nursing shifts cover a 24-period as follows:

Morning shift is from 7.00 am to 3.30 pm, Afternoon shift from 2.30 pm to 11.00 pm and Night Duty from 10.45 pm to 7.15 am.

Clinical handover occurs at the start of each shift. The morning staff will hand over to the afternoon staff at your bedside. You are encouraged to participate in this process by sharing your health information. Observations (blood pressure, pulse, temperature) will be performed at least twice a day whilst you are in hospital and more often according to your health. Nursing staff may need to wake you to undertake these observations but this is necessary to ensure that you receive the care that you require.

The whiteboard above your bed will be used to note any important activities, reminders and dates for the whole of care team looking after you. If you have a concern regarding any of your nursing care, please notify the charge nurse or ask to speak to the Director of Nursing.
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Pastoral Care Program
Chaplains or spiritual counsellors are able to visit the hospital at your request. You can advise a nurse at any time should you wish to receive a visit and you can discuss who you would like to visit. Alternatively you may prefer to make your own arrangements for such visits.
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Privacy
We recognise your right to privacy in regard to your personal and health information. Any information obtained from you is confidential and will be treated in accordance with the strict guidelines developed by the Department of Health and Human Services. Further information can be found in the ‘Rights, Responsibilities and Privacy’ brochure located at the back of this folder.
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Smoking
Smoking is not permitted within the hospital. We encourage you to consider quitting prior to admission.

SGH has a designated smoking area for patients who find they are not able to abstain from smoking while they are in hospital. Staff are not permitted to escort patients to the designated smoking area.

On admission, if you are a smoker or recent quitter, you will be:
• given information about smoking and its health effects
• offered assistance to quit and stay quit
• offered nicotine replacement therapy if confined to bed and not able to go out to smoke, or to assist a quit attempt
• offered advice on where to get information and assistance in quitting.
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Students
SGH is very proud of its reputation as a wonderful place to learn the practical aspects of being a health professional. The types of health professional students you might meet at SGH include nursing, midwifery, medicine and radiology. However, this may extend to other health professions in the future including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dieticians, speech pathologists and social workers.

The students who come to our hospital may be here for a short time e.g. an intense full time two week placement for nursing students or for an extended period of time e.g. the entire two year course for a midwifery student. The students come here to learn patient care in the real world. The students gain knowledge, compassion, empathy and communication skills by working directly with real patients under the supervision and guidance of a competent, experienced health professional.

Patients are a crucial component of this learning. Communication skills, empathy and compassion cannot be taught via a textbook, direct interaction with patients is vital in developing these qualities in our students. The partnership between patient, health professional and student is vital to ensure students become safe, competent, confident, valuable and compassionate health professionals.

SGH is very proud of its contribution to the development of health professionals and the enhancement of the health workforce. It is imperative that we continue to provide a high quality clinical experience to ensure that we have proficient health professionals in the future.

You may refuse to have a supervised student look after you if you have a strong objection to a student providing your care.
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Telephones
Each bedside has a telephone and when you are well enough to receive them, incoming calls can be transferred to you. For the comfort of others and your own convenience please request all callers to restrict their calls to socially acceptable times.

Mobile phones may be used within the hospital, unless advised by staff that specific equipment is being used. It is appreciated if they are switched to vibrate mode. When talking on the phone please keep your voice to a minimum, taking into consideration the noise pollution and distraction to other patients and staff working in the vicinity.
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Television and Radio
A television with built in radio stations is mounted above each bed. The television is operated by the handset mounted on the right hand side of the chest of drawers. There is no fee involved for its use. Please be mindful of other patients in regards to the volume.
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Toilets
Patient toilets are located opposite Ward 3, 6 and just past Ward 10. Public toilets are located opposite the nurses’ station and next to x-ray. Please refer to page 9 for a map of facilities.
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Valuables and Money
It is preferred that you do not bring valuables and large amounts of money with you into hospital. If possible please send them home with family or friends. A small amount of money may be required if you wish to purchase newspapers.
If other arrangements are not possible, please inform the nurse if you have valuables as these can be locked in the safe. Best practice will be for your valuables to be taken home as soon as possible (and removed from the SGH safe) by your next of kin or family for safe keeping. The hospital is not responsible for any lost or stolen property.
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Visiting Hours
Every day 10 am – 12 midday
2 pm – 8 pm
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Volunteers
You may come into contact with SGH volunteers who are members of the local community using their skills and services to assist the hospital. Volunteers form a valuable part of our SGH family and are available for specific tasks such as sitting with a person so their carer can have a break, talking to someone who may be lonely or driving patients to appointments if no one else is available. They are bound by the SGH code of conduct and confidentiality agreement.

The hospital can also refer you to a large contingent of community volunteers who may be called upon to assist you whilst in hospital or at home. Representatives from the local Cancer Support Group or Carers Support Group can be arranged to visit you. Please talk to staff if you would like further information or someone to visit you.
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