Thank you for choosing one of the many services available at St. Petersburg General Hospital. This guide has been prepared to help you understand what to expect as an outpatient.
Pre-Admission Testing & Interview
Your physician will discuss your procedure / surgery with you as well as any pre-testing that must be completed before your procedure / surgery. Your physician's office will set up a time for your pre-testing and preoperative interview, if needed. Any pre-admission testing ordered by your physician must be completed at least 72 hours before your procedure / surgery date. Testing may include lab work, electrocardiogram (EKG), and X-rays. If your doctor gives you any written orders or test results, please bring them with you to the interview. Your doctor or insurance company may require that your pre-testing be done at a facility other than the hospital. If this is the case, please request an authorized copy of the test results be sent to the hospital.
Patient Insurance Responsibility
On the day of your pre-admission interview, remember to bring your insurance identification card with you. It is important for the hospital to either verify coverage and/or obtain a pre-authorization for hospital services from your insurance company at least 24 hours prior to your procedure / surgery.
If we are unable to verify coverage or your managed care insurance plan will not issue a pre-authorization, then your procedure / surgery may be rescheduled or payment for hospital services will be due before treatment.
Instructions Before Your Scheduled Procedure / Surgery
- If there is any change in your physical condition such as a cold, an infection, a fever, or if you begin treatment for any other medical problem, notify your surgeon immediately. This may affect your ability to have surgery.
- The Business Day Before: You should have already received a call from a same day surgery nurse. If not, please call 727-341-4812 between 4 and 5 pm to verify the time of your surgery. Do not eat, drink or smoke after midnight before your surgery unless instructed otherwise. Your procedure / surgery may be cancelled or delayed if you fail to follow these instructions.
- Transportation: It is absolutely required that you arrange to have someone drive you home after anesthesia / sedation. Patients are not permitted to leave alone after anesthesia / sedation. The nurses can help you estimate your discharge time so that you may make the necessary arrangements.
- Guests: Your spouse, a relative, or friend may accompany you to the Same Day waiting room. Since your stay will only be for a few hours, other guests are discouraged. Visitors in the pre-operative and post-operative patient care area will be limited toone in order to provide a quiet environment for all patients.
- If you are being admitted to the hospital after your operation, you may bring a small suitcase containing toiletries, a robe, slippers, pajamas and other supplies that you may need. Please leave your suitcase in the car until you are in your assigned hospital room; a family member can bring it to you later.
The Day of Procedure / Surgery
- Take nothing by mouth, including water, coffee, soft drinks, juice, chewing gum, or candy unless you are given specific written instructions.
- Take all am medications except diabetes medications and sips of water.
- Bring your insurance identification card(s), a photo I.D. with Co-pay if you have not already registered.
- Bring any additional forms and X-rays your physician has given you.
- Bring a copy of your advanced directives (living wills, healthcare surrogate, etc.), if you don't have these documents and are interested, information is available at the hospital.
- Before you leave home bathe or shower, wash your hair and brush your teeth.
- Wear clothing that is loose-fitting and easy to get in and out of, and low-heeled shoes.
- Do not wear jewelry or makeup.
- Leave all valuables at home including jewelry, money, and credit cards.
- If you wear glasses, contact lenses, dentures, or a hearing aid and wish to have them with you during your pre-and post-procedure periods, please bring containers for them. Please do not wear dental fixatives on the day of your procedure.
Arrive in the Same Day waiting room
Give your name to the receptionist. If you have not pre-registered, you will complete the necessary forms at this time.
- You will be asked to sign a consent form. This is for the procedure / surgery and states that you understand what is to be done, the risks involved, and that you agree to have the procedure / surgery performed by the physician named on the form.
- You may bring a book or magazine to read in preoperative or post-recovery.
- You may also nap or watch television.
In the Same Day area, you will:
- Change into a hospital gown, socks and cap.
- Speak with a nurse who will check your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate and temperature).
- Give the nurse any paperwork you have brought with you.
- Be interviewed by an operating room / special procedure nurse. Please let the nurse know of any special needs you have.
- Talk with an anesthesia care provider who will review your anesthetic plan with you.
- Have an intravenous (IV) line started so we can give you fluid and medications during and after your procedure / surgery, if needed.
- Be taken from the Same Day area to the operating room / special procedures on a stretcher.
After Your Procedure / Surgery
If you had an anesthetic, you will be taken to the recovery room until your condition is stable. The length of your stay there depends on the type of procedure / surgery and anesthesia you had. While in recovery, your vital signs are monitored by a registered nurse. You will be asked to breathe deeply and cough to clear your lungs. You may be encouraged to move your arms and legs. Report any discomfort to the nurse. The earlier it is reported, the easier it is to relieve. At this time, it is common for the doctor to talk with your family. The volunteer in the waiting room will keep your family updated as to your location and progress. If you have had sedation only and are an outpatient, you may be moved to the Phase II recovery area after your procedure / surgery. A nurse will monitor your progress and discharge you when you are recovered. You will receive written instructions at this time, and a prescription or follow-up doctor's appointment, if necessary.
A responsible adult must accompany each patient at the time of discharge.
- Take only those medications that have been specifically discussed with or prescribed by your physician.
- After the procedure / surgery, you may experience some tiredness, dizziness, and decrease in appetite.
- Do not eat or drink until you feel like eating. Resume intake slowly. Start with sips of liquid or chipped ice.
- Any problems or questions should be discussed with your physician. Call your physician's office to arrange a follow-up appointment if one is not already scheduled.