What to expect when you are admitted to a Nuffield Health Hospital
Every hospital stay is personal and what happens during your stay depends on what procedure you are having, what anaesthetic type you are having, your medical history, and how quickly you recover. To help you understand what to expect when you arrive, we have put together general guidance on what may happen during your stay in one of our hospitals.
Before your procedure
When you arrive at the main reception, a member of our ward staff will come and escort you to your private room on the ward or if you are having a smaller procedure, they may escort you to a Patient Lounge. Please be aware that your admission time into the hospital is not your time into the operating theatre.
Your admitting nurse will see you and tell you more about what to expect on the day. They will go through several questions with you to ensure everything is fine.
Your consultant and, where required, an anaesthetist will also come to see you before they start in theatres. They will discuss what will happen during your procedure and answer any questions you may have.
At this time, you will be given the expected time that you will have your procedure. Theatre lists are subject to change, so we are unable to confirm the exact time of your procedure, however, our staff on the ward will keep you updated where possible.
You may also have a visit from our pharmacist to discuss your regular medication and from one of our physiotherapists depending on the procedure before you go to the theatre.
Our catering staff will also visit you to take your food orders for later in the day.
When it is your time to go to the theatre, a member of staff will come and accompany you to the theatre department. Your escort may wheel you to the theatre department on a trolley or they may ask you to walk to the department.
During your procedure
On arrival to the theatre department, a member of our experienced theatre team will ask you various questions you may have been asked earlier in the ward as part of their safety checks.
If you are having an anaesthetic for your procedure, the anaesthetist and their assistant will then join you in the anaesthetic room. You may be connected to a monitor and have the following attachments: - a blood pressure cuff, a small finger probe that gives information about your pulse and oxygen level, also three chest leads to monitor your heart. You will be provided with a sheet and blanket to keep you warm.
Once in the operating theatre, trained theatre practitioners as well as the surgeon and, if required, anaesthetist will always accompany you. Your dignity is maintained throughout your procedure. After the procedure, you will be carefully transferred onto a trolley or back into your bed and taken to the recovery area.
A trained member of staff will be at your side when you wake up and will stay with you throughout your recovery period. Monitoring of your pulse and blood pressure and administration of oxygen are routine practices while you are recovering from the anaesthetic. The recovery staff will assess your pain while you are in the recovery room and administer postoperative pain relief if required.
When the recovery staff and anaesthetist are happy with your recovery, a ward nurse will attend the recovery area to receive a handover that includes details of your care. The ward nurse and porter will then wheel you to your room where they will transfer you to your bed or to the Patient Lounge.
After your Procedure
Our staff work hard to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible and, where required, our physiotherapy team will be on the ward to help you mobilise as soon as it is safe to do so.
Visitors are welcome to visit you. We understand how important the support of family and friends is, so we aim to be flexible with our visiting hours. Please check with the relevant hospital to confirm their specific visitor policy.
Your consultant may have advised you of the expected length of your hospital stay following your procedure. Your discharge, however, depends on when our clinical staff on the ward deem you to be well enough to go home. This can mean that your stay in the hospital may be a bit shorter or a bit longer than you anticipated. Your discharge time is subject to change depending on your recovery and we will keep you updated throughout your stay. Before your discharge, our experienced clinical staff will answer your questions and provide detailed information about wound care, healing, pain relief and any medication you will require. We will provide you with a written report, including advice about your recovery for you to refer to later. They will also provide you with a fit note if required. Please be aware that your consultant may not always be able to see you after your surgery, especially if you are due to go home the same day.
It is important that you plan your travel home before your admission because you may not be able to drive home after your procedure. Please be aware that, if you are having your treatment under general anaesthetic or sedation, you cannot drive until at least 24 hours after your procedure and you should have a responsible adult staying with you during this time.
Our involvement in your recovery does not end when you go home. We will arrange any necessary follow-up appointments and provide you with a direct number to contact us once you are back home.