About Your Stay | St. Mary's Hospital and Health Care System

about your stay at st. mary's hospital in athens, ga

What to expect during your stay at
St. Mary’s Hospital

If you are coming to St. Mary’s for an overnight stay, we want you to feel welcome. We know that, as an inpatient, you will have special needs and concerns. During your stay at St. Mary’s, our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible while providing the highest quality health care technology and service available.

Here is some helpful information to help you prepare for your hospital stay. If you have any questions, please contact your physician, the unit to which you are being admitted, or Patient Registration at 706.389.2000.

Packing for your stay

You might want to bring:

  • Robe and slippers, warm socks, pajamas, sleepwear, or loose, comfortable clothes
  • Personal grooming items: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hairbrush, shampoo, etc. Bath soap and hand sanitizer will be available in your room.
  • Telephone numbers of family and friends, along with a pre-paid long-distance calling card
  • Reading material, cards, board games, iPods or personal CD players, etc.

Please do NOT bring:

  • Valuables such as cash, jewelry, wedding and engagement rings, etc.  If you bring something valuable, please allow us to put it in secure storage until your discharge.
  • Electrical appliances, including curling irons, hairdryers, hotplates
  • Food from outside. Normally, food from outside is discouraged but may be permissible if allowed on your diet. Please check with your nurse before bringing in any food or accepting food from family or friends. Certain foods may interfere with your medications or even put you at increased risk of complications.

Please note that smoking is not allowed in patient rooms.  For the health of our patients, visitors and staff, all St. Mary's facilities and campuses are smoke- and tobacco-free.

Coming to the hospital

  • Please do not drive yourself to St. Mary’s. Most patients are not able to drive home safely immediately after their hospital stay and will not be discharged without a safe way home.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions exactly for what to eat and drink and what medications to take in the days before coming to the hospital. If, for any reason, you have been unable to follow your pre-admission orders, please tell us. This is essential for your safety.
  • Be sure to allow plenty of travel time so that you can arrive at the time specified by your doctor.
  • The hospital’s Main Entrance, located at the top of the Baxter Street drive, is most convenient to registration.
  • Patient parking is available in the parking deck. For directions, maps, and details about parking, click here.

Patient registration

When you arrive, please go to the Patient Registration area on the 1st Floor adjacent to the atrium lobby. St. Mary’s uses a pager system (similar to the system used by many fine restaurants) to help protect your privacy and expedite the registration process. Please stay in the registration area or the lobby atrium until your pager alerts. You will then meet privately with one of our registrars. After registering, we will help you get to the right unit.

Please note:

  • Emergency patients who are being admitted will be registered through the Emergency Center.
  • If you are scheduled for surgery or a pre-surgical appointment in our Outpatient Surgical Center, please register directly at the OSC, located on the northwest side of the hospital just past the Emergency Center.
  • Patients coming to St. Mary’s Children’s Specialty Services, Sleep Disorders Center, Outpatient Rehabilitation Center or Industrial Medicine should register at those facilities.

Please bring with you:

For registration:

  • Insurance card
  • Driver’s license or other valid ID
  • Doctor’s orders
  • The name of your referring physician
  • A copy of your Advance Directives or Living Will AD button About your stay
  • Prior approval or pre-certification information (if applicable under your insurance plan)
  • Credit card or check book (for your co-pay)

If you have any questions or want to make sure your insurance pre-certification has gone through, please call us at (706) 389-2750.

If you don’t have insurance or don’t have adequate insurance, please let us know. Our financial counselors can help you apply for assistance or other financial relief, and/or set up a payment schedule that meets your needs. 706.389.3967.

For the rest of your stay:

  • List of current medications [click here for a helpful form]
  • Any materials related to your care (including pre-admission x-rays images, text results, relevant reports from other hospitals, and pre-admission orders.)
  • Anything your doctor has instructed you to bring
  • Personal items needed for your stay

Resources while you are here

Guest/Language Services – If the patient or a family member does not speak English, our certified, experienced staff can help with interpretation in Spanish and other languages. Our Guest/Language Services staff also is available to help you with

  • Advance Directives and issues arising out of your wishes
  • Resolving problems and complaints
  • Delivering compliments to staff and physicians who earn your praise.

Dial 706.389.3273, or dial 100 from any telephone at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Pastoral Care – At St. Mary’s, a dedicated staff of Sisters and chaplains is available to provide a full range of spiritual services in accord with the patient’s religious beliefs. To arrange a visit with a chaplain, please call 706.389.3273 or 706.389.3000 and ask the operator to page the chaplain on duty or visit our Mission Services page.

Meals – St. Mary’s provides up to three meals a day directly to your room. Our Room Service Dining program allows you to order the meal you want, in full compliance with any special needs you may have. Your meals are included with your admission. You will be provided a menu or you can request one from your nurse. Here’s how it works:

  • Make your breakfast, lunch or dinner selection and then dial FOOD (3663) to place your order.
  • Your meal will arrive within 45 minutes.
  • Room Service Dining is available from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • For snacks or beverages, or for meal service after hours, please talk to your nurse.
  • Guest meal trays are available; certificates can be pre-purchased in the Cafeteria.
  • Gourmet selections also are available for patients and guests at an additional charge. Our gourmet meals are great for celebrating special occasions, such as the birth of a baby.

Discharge information

At St. Mary’s, your discharge planning begins as soon as possible to help ensure a smooth transition out of the hospital. Our case management team will work with you, your physician and your nursing team to set up the services you need to maximize your recovery.

Case managers can assist you by:

  • Arranging home health care services
  • Arranging nursing home placement and transfers
  • Arranging rehabilitation center placement
  • Making referrals to community agencies or programs
  • Ordering special medical equipment and supplies
  • Providing information on private duty services you may need in your home
  • Providing information on personal care homes and assisted living facilities in our area
  • Arranging hospice services
  • Providing counseling and emotional support.

Your discharge date and time will be determined by your physician. Before discharge please:

  • Arrange for a family member or friend to drive you home. Most patients will not be allowed to drive themselves. If you need a medically supported transport, St. Mary’s will help make arrangements.
  • Check your room and bathroom for any personal belongings.
  • Remind your nurse to bring you any valuables that might have been put in secure storage during your stay.
  • Allow us to transport you to the exit. Many patients would like to walk on their own, but often overestimate their ability. Our staff is trained to transport you as safely as possible.

If you receive a survey form, please take a minute to tell us what you liked and disliked about your experience at St. Mary’s. Your feedback helps us make St. Mary’s even better.

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