Surgery Patient Guide
We appreciate the trust and confidence that you and your doctor have in our services and facilities. Your well-being is our primary concern and we will do all we can to ensure that your stay with us is as comfortable as possible.
Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of a network of four major area hospitals. Your physician is associated with one of these hospitals and will tell you at which facility you can expect to have your surgery. His or her affiliation with a single hospital assures you of the continued personalized medical care and quality service you expect from some of the top hospitals in the nation.
In this section, we hope to answer many of the questions you have about coming to the hospital for surgery as they relate to two general areas:
Preparing for Your Hospital Stay
We want to make your surgery experience as stress-free as possible. In this section, you will find information that will help you prepare for your stay with us.
Once you have been scheduled for surgery, a Morton Plant Mease team member will call to verify your insurance information, schedule your pre-admission visit, and arrange for any needed diagnostic testing. This visit will take place approximately 7-10 days before surgery.
Even if you have had your laboratory work done elsewhere, we highly recommend that you come in for this visit. It will give you the opportunity to ask questions and to meet some of the people who will be caring for you. It will also allow us to assess and plan for your nursing and anesthesia needs.
When you come to the hospital for your pre-admission visit, please bring:
- All paperwork from the doctor's office
- Completed pre-anesthesia evaluation form including all medications, doses and previous surgeries
- Your medical insurance card
- A copy of your living will, health care surrogate or durable power of attorney (Advanced Directives)
- Wear loose-fitting clothing that opens in the front
We understand that you may be anxious about your impending procedure, and we will do all we can during this visit to answer your questions. We will discuss what you can expect when you come in for surgery, as well as what takes place during post-op and recovery. You will meet with a registered nurse and/or anesthesiologist, and at your request, a financial counselor can also be available.
Pre-operative patient instructions
When you come to the hospital for your pre-admission visit, you will receive a Surgery/Procedure Handbook. It will contain several important documents such as:
- Patient Rights & Responsibilities
- Notice of Privacy Practices
- Pre-operative instructions
It is very important that you read these documents. It is also important that you follow the pre-operative directions to prevent delay or cancellation of your procedure.
- Do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the night before your surgery. You may brush your teeth or rinse your mouth, but do not swallow.
- Take any necessary medications prior to your procedure only as directed by your doctor.
- Plan to have a designated, responsible adult drive you home after discharge.
- Drink extra fluids throughout the day before your surgery prior to midnight unless otherwise directed by your doctor. No alcohol.
- No smoking for at least 24 hours prior to surgery.
- Bathe or shower before coming to the hospital.
- Wear loose clothing. No jewelry.
- Limit visitors to two in the waiting area.
- Leave your suitcase in the car until after surgery if you are staying overnight.
Items to pack before coming to the hospital
- Non-skid slippers
- Loose fitting clothes to wear home
- Book or magazine
- Hairbrush, comb, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste
- Personal items such as a contact lenses, eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures and prostheses
Please leave at home:
- Valuable items including jewelry, credit cards, checkbook
- Prescription medications
Free van transportation is available to and from our hospitals. Riders must be physically able to get in and out of the van without assistance and live within defined boundaries. To schedule a ride, call:
- Mease Dunedin and Mease Countryside Hospitals: (727) 734-6107
- Morton Plant North Bay Hospital: (727) 859-4730
- Morton Plant Hospital: (727) 461-8548
During Your Hospital Stay
Having surgery is stressful. Everyone would rather be at home than in the hospital. Your peace of mind, however, is important to the healing process. That's why we want you to understand what will happen when you are here. That information is included in this section. Information on many of the small "creature comforts" that are available to you while you are recuperating is also included:
- Day of procedure
- Following surgery
- Videos and televisions
- Translator services
- Disabled assistance
- Pastoral Care
- Social Services
When you arrive on the day of your procedure, a nurse will greet you and review your paperwork. You may give your belongings to a family member who may wait in our lounge. You will then change into a hospital gown and an IV may be started. It will be used to deliver fluids and medications. We'll place you on a gurney, and then you will move to a holding area where you will wait until everything is ready in the procedure room.
Once you move into the procedure room, you may notice the following:
- The room will be cool and brightly lit.
- The lights may be dimmed.
- A safety belt may be placed over your legs.
- The staff will be wearing scrub suits and masks.
- There will be various pieces of equipment that are used to monitor your progress such as a heart monitor (pads on the chest), and an oxygen monitor (on your fingers).
Comfort and pain management
Each person experiences pain in a different way, and we will make every effort to ensure you are comfortable. To help us do that, we may ask you to rate your pain on a scale of zero to 10, where zero equals no pain, 1 is minimal pain, and 10 is severe pain. Be sure to notify the nurse if your procedure site hurts or burns.
Continuing your care
Immediately following your surgery, we will continue to monitor your blood pressure, pulse and temperature. We will check your dressings and encourage you to drink fluids. Coughing and deep breathing are recommended to prevent pneumonia. Your doctor will order increasing levels of activity to also help prevent pneumonia, as well as blood clots.
If you are going home the same day, your nurse will review post procedure instructions with you and your companion. It is important that you follow all instructions. In addition, you must have a responsible adult present for your instructions, to drive you home and to care for you after your procedure.
Before you leave, your physician will write your discharge order, and your nurse will give you written instructions for your care at home and for taking any prescribed medications. Discharge time is at 11 a.m. or one hour after your doctor writes the order. A team member will call for your ride for you once the order is complete and will escort you to your car.
A representative from the Food and Nutrition Department will visit you each day so that you can make your meal selections. However, your medical condition may require that certain meal choices be changed. To ensure that you follow your prescribe diet, please obtain your doctor's approval before visitors bring any outside food to you. Patient meals are served during scheduled times.
Extra meals for guests can be ordered for an additional charge. Let your nurse know in advance if you would like this service. Hospital cafeterias are also available for breakfast, lunch and dinner for visitors.
Mail is delivered to your room Monday through Friday. If you have outgoing mail, a volunteer will gladly mail your letters for you. Stamps are available for purchase. If mail arrives after your discharge, it will be forwarded to your home.
Visiting hours are 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. seven days a week. If our visiting hours do not fit into your schedule, we can make exceptions. Please talk to a nurse for more information. No more than two visitors at a time are allowed, and all visitors must be 12 years of age or older unless a special request is made. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Anyone who has a cold or the flu should refrain from visiting.
Each of our hospitals has at least one gift shop located in the lobby. They offer a variety of candy, games, books, cards, balloons, stuffed animals and more. Visit the Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospital gift shops.
Carts equipped with a combination TV/VCR can be brought directly to your room. The volunteer who delivers the cart can assist you with a movie selection from the list provided.
Translators are available for those who do not speak English. Please call Social Services or ask your nurse.
Parking for disabled patients and visitors is available in every lot on the hospital campus. People using wheelchairs may use the main and emergency entrances.
If you would like spiritual guidance, a chaplain is available at any hour of the day or night to serve patients and their families of all faiths.
Morton Plant Mease Health Care provides professional social work services to patients and their families when needed. Social workers can assist patients in making the transition from the hospital to home, as well as provide community resource referrals and follow-up.