Your Stay at the Hospital
Know what to expect during your stay at Winchester Hospital
Your Inpatient Care
At Winchester Hospital, we’re dedicated to giving you the best care possible for your illness, injury or surgery. Our care team works closely with your doctor.
Winchester Hospital is clearly marked with signs directing you to our various departments. If you are unsure where to go, our staff members or volunteers are happy to direct you.
- If you are scheduled for surgery at our Ambulatory Surgery Center, please check in at the lobby.
- If you are scheduled for surgery at Winchester Hospital, please go directly to Day Surgery.
- If you need an outpatient test or procedure, please go to the appropriate service area, such as the Laboratory or Radiology.
When you arrive for testing, surgery or to be admitted to the hospital, we collect important details from you or a family member.
An admissions representative talks with you or a family member in a private space.
You’ll be asked to provide:
- Advance directives if you have any.
- Any doctor's orders or laboratory slips.
- Driver’s license or other identification.
- Health care proxy form, if you have one.
- Insurance cards and information.
- Updated personal information (ethnicity, preferred language, emergency contacts).
When this process is complete, we will guide you to the right patient care unit.
Your Winchester Hospital inpatient care team includes many people, such as doctors, food service workers, hospitalists, housekeeping, nurses, technicians and transport specialists.
Our hospitalists provide high-quality health care to patients in the hospital and collaborate with your primary care physician. Hospitalists are internal medicine physicians who care for patients during their hospital stay. These doctors and nurse practitioners focus on you and your illness.
At Winchester Hospital, the hospitalist team provides care 24/7. This means you may see more than one hospitalist during your stay.
If you need urgent help at any time, use the nurse intercom call system attached to your bed, or use the emergency call button in the bathroom. A patient care team member will respond right away.
If you have questions about your care, please talk to your doctor, nurse or another member of your care team. You also can contact the hospital’s Service Response Center with any needs, comments or questions about our services. Call the Service Response Center at 781-729-9000, ext. 2500.
If you use American Sign Language, don’t speak English or need help communicating with us, we can provide an interpreter or other language assistance.
A case manager may contact you. Our case managers help with care planning, provide counseling and connect you and your family to resources during and after your hospital stay.
At Winchester Hospital, we believe in caring for the whole person. Learn about our spiritual care services.
Your room assignment is based on your diagnosis and bed availability on the day you are admitted. You may be moved to a different unit as your health changes.
At Winchester Hospital, we offer private (single-bed) and semi-private (two-bed) rooms. Most rooms are semi-private. Placement in a private room is based on availability. Please note that insurance usually does not cover the full cost of a private room.
Many rooms provide a remote control for heat and air conditioning. Please ask your care team to show you how to use it.
Your hospital bed is electric. We will show you how to operate your bed. We use bedside rails for your protection. Hospital beds are higher and narrower than the typical bed at home. We raise the bed rails when you are resting, recovering from surgery or taking certain medications.
Bed linens are changed as needed or at your request.
Caring for Your Personal Items
If you wear dentures, ask your nurse for a special container to store them at your bedside.
To avoid accidental loss, don’t leave your dentures wrapped in a tissue or napkin on your bedside table, or on your meal tray.
Please be sure to label all your personal items, such as:
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine
Winchester Hospital is not responsible for your personal items that are lost.
A member of our housekeeping team attends to your room daily to keep it clean and comfortable. Call the Service Response Center at 781-729-9000, ext. 2500, with any concerns or requests.
Our Ethics Committee at Winchester Hospital helps patients and families with difficult care decisions.
It is not always easy to decide the right course of action to take. Sometimes a difference of opinion occurs among patients, family members and health care providers.
If you need a place to discuss these issues, the hospital’s trained ethics professionals can help you and your family. You, your legal guardian or a member of your family may request a consultation for any ethical issue. Ask your nurse if you need help or contact the Ethics Hotline at 781-729-9000, ext. 2860.
Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible while staying with us. Although you may feel some discomfort during your stay, we do our best to manage your pain.
We encourage you to work with nurses and doctors to prevent or relieve pain by:
- Telling your nurse when your pain becomes more than mild.
- Helping us coordinate your pain medication with times when your pain worsens.
- Following instructions for controlling pain at home. Call your doctor if your pain worsens.
Common concerns about pain medication:
- “I don’t want to be a bother.” It’s our goal to control your pain. To do this, you need to share how you feel.
- “I don’t like the side effects.” Nausea, drowsiness, itchiness and constipation are the most common side effects of pain medication. We work with you to manage any side effects.
- “I don’t want to become addicted.” Controlling your pain is important. To avoid addiction, always take the least amount of medicine possible. Only take pain medicine when you anticipate pain. Do not share pain medicine with anyone else. Throw away all unused pain medicine when you no longer need it.
Help us keep you safe and reduce the spread of infections. Remember:
- Hand washing is the most important way to prevent the spread of infections.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Notice whether your caregivers wash their hands. It’s OK to remind any health care provider or visitor to wash their hands.
- Make sure all wounds and cuts are covered and bandages are changed regularly. If you have an incision, don’t touch it.
- If you have a urinary drainage catheter, ask your caregiver to explain why you need it and what you should do to avoid infection.
- If you have been placed in isolation, please ask your caregivers any questions you have. There are other resources available to find answers for you.
A fall can threaten your health and well-being. At Winchester Hospital, we assess all patients for their risk of falling during their hospital stay.
We encourage all patients to take these actions to reduce your risk of falling in the hospital:
- Use your call button to ask for help when needed.
- Use walking shoes when moving throughout your room and the hallways.
- Keep your glasses close to your bedside.
- Always use walking aids when needed (cane, walker or crutches).
- Sit before standing and rise slowly.
- Be aware that some medications and dose changes can make you dizzy.
- Ask your family and friends to alert a nurse when they leave.
Everyone has a role in making health care safe. Patients and family members play a vital role in making care safe by being active, involved and informed.
Research shows that patients who take part in care decisions about their health are more likely to have better and safer outcomes. As a patient, we invite you to:
- Speak up if you have questions or concerns. If you still don’t understand, ask again. It’s your body and you have a right to know.
- Pay special attention to the care you get. Always make sure you’re getting the correct treatments and medicines from the right health care professionals. Don’t assume anything.
- Educate yourself about your illness by learning about your treatment plan and medical tests.
- Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate, advisor and supporter.
- Know what medicines you take and why you take them. Medication errors are the most common health care mistakes.
- Use a hospital, clinic, surgery center or other type of health care organization that has been carefully evaluated. For example, The Joint Commission visits hospitals yearly to ensure they meet quality standards.
- Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.
Winchester Hospital provides free television (TV) and local telephone service in our hospital patient rooms. Public telephones are available on the ground floor near the vending machines.
- Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD). We provide TTD/TTY for telephones available for use by patients who are hard-of-hearing.
- Telephone services. We provide free, local phone service for inpatients. A phone is located next to your bed. Long distance calls must be made collect or charged on a credit card. You may dial “0” and the hospital switchboard operator will assist you.
- Television services. TV service is free in all inpatient rooms. You can find a printed channel directory in your room.
If there’s a problem with your telephone or TV, please call the Service Response Center at 781-729-9000, ext. 2500.
Security services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For emergency assistance and/or escorts to and from parking areas, call the Security Department at 781-729-9000, ext. 2560, or “0” to reach the operator.
Winchester Hospital is a smoke-free environment. We enforce a no-smoking policy throughout our campus and at all ancillary locations.
When it’s time for you to leave the hospital, we ensure a smooth transition to your home or next care location.
A case manager works with you, your family and your care team to outline plans for:
- Accessing community resources
- Alternative living arrangements
- Continuing therapy
- Medication assistance
- Home care
You are a critical member of your care team. To ensure you are ready for discharge, we ask that you:
- Participate in your discharge plan.
- Discuss all needs and ask questions.
- Discuss any issues or concerns you have, such as insurance coverage, your home environment, transportation or prescription coverage.
- Ensure that you and your family understand all discharge plan options.
Your doctor decides when you are ready to go home. The night before you go home, ask a family member or friend to take flowers, gifts and any belongings you don’t need.
It can take a few hours to complete the discharge process on the day you leave.
Before you can go home, your care team:
- Coordinates all services outlined in your discharge plan.
- Ensures you are tolerating your diet.
- Obtains and reviews any final radiology and lab tests.
- Makes sure you are walking safely.
- Provides appropriate educational material to you and your family.
- Provides a list of home care agencies in your area.
When you are ready to leave, a hospital volunteer escorts you to the discharge area on the ground floor.
We welcome any feedback regarding your stay. You may receive a survey in the mail asking for your opinions about the care you received at Winchester Hospital. Please complete and return the survey.
Your honest comments help us make care improvements and recognize staff members who provide outstanding service.