Preparing for My Hospital Stay

Before Your Hospital Admission

Before you even enter the hospital, a number of preparations will be made via phone, including:

  • Your doctor’s office staff will help get approval from your insurance provider. (Some plans require pre-approval.) Ask your insurance provider about costs for which you will be responsible.
  • Hospital staff will review your health history.
  • Your nursing needs, anesthesia needs (if having surgery), and other care will be planned.
  • Appointments will be made for any needed pre-operative diagnostic tests.
  • Use this time to ask any questions you may have, including payment plans available.
  • Arrange to have a family member or friend pick you up and bring you home the day you will be discharged. (If you need help with transportation, please ask us how we can help.)


6500 38th Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
Tel: (727) 341-4808

The Night Before Your Surgery

  • If you are having surgery, please make sure not to eat or drink anything (even water) after midnight before your surgery.
  • Your doctor may give you additional instructions.

Leave These Items at Home

  • Valuables such as jewelry, money, credit cards, etc. The hospital will not assume responsibility for valuables brought into the facility.
  • Electrical appliances. (If you have a specific need, please talk with your nurse.)
  • You may bring your glasses, dentures, hearing aides, etc., but St. Petersburg General Hospital cannot be responsible for breakage or loss of items kept in your room.

How to Get the Best Health Care

Have a Living Will (Advance Directive)

  • Let your loved ones know in advance what decisions to make on your behalf, in the event you are suddenly unable to do so.
  • Make sure your Healthcare Surrogate has a copy of your Living Will, understands your wishes, and agrees to follow your wishes.
  • It is also a good idea to have an alternative Healthcare Surrogate.

Be involved in your health care

  • Know your health issues.
  • Know what is being recommended by your physician(s) and why it is best for you.
  • Know your rights and responsibilities.

Ask questions until you understand

  • Why is the test or treatment needed?
  • How will it help my condition?
  • Is it covered by my insurance?
  • What costs will I be responsible for?
  • When will I get the results?
  • What medications am I being given and why?
  • What medication interactions and reactions should I look for?
  • What foods should I avoid with these medications?

Take Notes

  • Ask your health care provider to repeat key points.
  • Have a friend or relative listen with you. Two pairs of ears are better than one!

Keep a list of the medications you take

  • Make sure your health care providers know what medications you take.

Have a friend, family member, or advocate come with you

  • Have someone speak up on your behalf.
  • Be comforted by having someone support you.

During Your Stay

We are committed to providing the very best care during your stay.

  • Your doctor will visit you as much as needed based on your condition and recovery.
  • Our nurses will make sure you receive the care your doctor orders.
  • If you have concerns about the care you receive or actions of our staff, please contact the unit Clinical Manager or Director. Their pictures and contact information are posted in patient rooms.
  • If you are at risk for falling, please be sure to follow instructions to keep you safe.
  • Each person who cares for you will wear an identification badge.
  • We are committed to maintaining your privacy and confidentiality.

Discharge from the Hospital

Our Case Management team assists with arrangements for your discharge from the hospital, including:

  • Any necessary home assistance from a visiting nurse.
  • Medical equipment or supplies.
  • Short-term nursing facility placement, if necessary.