What to Expect on the Morning of Your Procedure or Surgery

Arrive at the designated time for your procedure or surgery and check in at the Patient Reception Desk. Valet parking is available at the entrance of each hospital.

Family and visitors can get discount parking passes at the Patient Reception desk where you check in.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the hospital to ensure your procedure or surgery can begin as scheduled.

When you arrive, give your name to the person at the Patient Reception desk. They will check you in and let our team know you have arrived.

A patient service coordinator will call you and take you to the holding area to get ready for your procedure or surgery. One or two of your family members can wait with you once you are ready.

You will be given a private code when you check in. Give this code to people who have your permission to talk to the doctors and nurses about your care. The code allows your loved ones to check your status on the information screens as you move from one area to another.

The nurse in the operating room will call the patient reception area to give those waiting for you an update during the procedure or surgery. When your surgery is over your doctor will ask to meet them in a private consult room in the patient reception area. A patient service coordinator will page your loved one when the doctor is ready.

It is your right to understand your care plan and you should feel free to ask questions. Ask everyone involved in your care to:

  • Identify themselves
  • Wash their hands or use hand sanitizer

Everyone involved in your care should know your name and what surgery or procedure you are having.

Make sure your doctor or care team marks the place on your body to show where you are having a procedure or surgery.

Ask your doctor or nurse to explain:

  • Medications ordered for you
  • Specifics of the procedure or surgery and what you can expect
  • What you need to do when you go home

In a private section of holding area, a member of the health care team will ask you to put on a hospital gown. No street clothing or underwear is allowed in a procedure or surgery. You will place your personal items in a provided plastic bag. Please leave all valuables at home or with your loved ones.

The nurse will take your vital signs and put in an intravenous (IV) line, if needed. Other pre-operative tests may be done at this time.

  • Vital Signs: Your vital signs include your body temperature, blood pressure, pulse (heart rate) and breathing rate. Small electrode "sticky pads" are placed on your skin to keep track of your heart's electrical activity.
  • Pulse Oximeter: A red light sensor will be attached to your finger. This tells us how much oxygen is in your blood. This is one of the things we will watch before, during and after your procedure or surgery.
  • Intravenous Line (IV): A small tube may be put into a vein in your arm. It is used to bring fluids your body needs during your procedure or surgery and to give you medicine.
  • Pregnancy Testing: All females who can become pregnant will be asked to give a urine sample the morning of your procedure or surgery. This test is a hospital policy.

You will need to tell the nurse how you plan to get home after your procedure or surgery and give the driver’s contact information to hospital staff in the holding area.

As part of a large medical center there will be many people who are part of your care. Several will ask your name, the surgery you are having, your allergies and other questions. This is to avoid errors and ensure you get the proper care you need.

Your doctor and anesthesiologist will talk to you before your procedure or surgery.

When you are taken into the operating room, you can expect:

  • You may be given medication right before surgery to make your feel relaxed or sleepy.
  • You will be taken to the room where surgery is done and moved to a bed or table.
  • Anesthesia may be given through an IV to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may breathe it in from a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
  • A catheter may be inserted into your bladder to drain your urine.

You will go to the recovery room after your procedure or surgery where we can watch you until you are fully awake. Do not get out of bed without asking permission.

When you are awake and ready for visitors, the nurse may call for one or two of your visitors to come into the recovery room. Visitors can take turns seeing you.

Depending on a variety of factors and your condition after your procedure or surgery, you will go home from the recovery room or be admitted to your hospital room.