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During Your Stay

Your Role in Health Care Safety

Everyone has a role in health care safety. You, as the patient, can also play a vital role in making your care safe by becoming an active, involved and informed member of your health care team. To help prevent health care errors, patients are urged to “SPEAKUP.”

  • SPEAK UP if you have questions or concerns, and if you don’t understand, ask again. It’s your body and you have a right to know
  • Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you’re getting the right treatments and medications by the right health care professionals. Don’t assume anything.
  • Educate yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are undergoing and your treatment plan.
  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.
  • Know what medications 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 undergone a rigorous on-site evaluation against established, state-of-the-art quality and safety standards, such as that provided by The Joint Commission.
  • Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.

For more information about health care surrogate and living will forms, click here.

Pain Control

Keeping your pain under control while you are in the hospital is important to your well-being.  It can help you eat and sleep better, move around more easily and visit with family and friends. Effective pain control is a partnership between you and your health care team.   

We want you to be an active participant in your pain management.   You will be asked to set an acceptable level of pain (your goal) and then, on a regular basis, to describe your pain using a scale of zero to 10, where zero is no pain and 10 is the worst possible pain. During your hospital stay you will frequently be asked to measure and communicate pain levels to your health care team.

It is important to remain comfortable during your hospital stay with mild pain (3 or lower on the pain scale). Do NOT wait until the pain is severe (6 or higher) before you tell staff you are experiencing pain. When you report pain or ask for medication, the nurse will give it as often as prescribed by your doctor. It is important to inform your health care team about any previous history of medication use for pain. Tell your nurse if the medication does not improve your pain.

When given as prescribed, pain medications are safe and effective for treating painful syndromes and post-operative pain. Pain medications are rarely addictive when given in this manner. Taking pain medication prior to walking or exercising with physical therapy can make the activity easier and may even speed your recovery time. If side effects should occur, other treatment options can be considered to address them.

Pain Management Team

For times when pain is difficult to manage or not responding to prescribed medication, Tampa General Hospital’s Pain Management Team can be called to provide a consultation and follow-up care for adult and pediatric inpatients with acute and chronic pain conditions. Team members work with you and health care staff in all departments of the hospital to make sure you are comfortable. Consults with the Pain Management Team can be requested by your health care team at any time.

Members of the Pain Management Team include physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists. They also work with the Integrative Medicine Program, which complements mainstream medical care by addressing physical and emotional symptoms. Practices such as breathing for relaxation, meditation, guided muscle relaxation and simple soothing imagery and music help decrease your perception of pain, leading to greater relaxation, better rest and healing.

Pain management treatment plans may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Medication Management
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Epidural
  • Spinal Anesthesia
  • Nerve Block
  • Injections (i.e. steroids)
  • Multimodal Therapy

Our goal is to provide optimal care during your hospital stay. By sharing this information we can allow patients to be more involved in their care plan throughout the course of their stay.

Integrative Medicine

TGH's Integrative Medicine Program provides video resources to walk patients through some of the practices that they can incorporate into their recovery as well as their daily lives. Also available is a video with soothing imagery and music.  

Click here to access the Integrative Medicine Program's video resources.

Inpatients may request an integrative medicine consultation to determine if integrative medicine techniques may benefit them. There is no additional cost to inpatients. For more information about TGH's Integrative Medicine Program, click here.

Patient ‘B’-Assured Program

The Patient ‘B’-Assured Program is available for patients and families to call a ‘Medical Emergency Team’ if they feel they are in an emergent situation and/or their needs are not being recognized or met. The program is a proactive measure to increase patient safety and satisfaction, and enhance the relationship between patients, families and the health care team. ‘B’ stands for the name of a patient whose family was instrumental in developing this program at TGH. If as a patient or family member you feel the primary care nurse, charge nurse and physician have not adequately addressed your concerns, you should utilize the Patient ‘B’-Assured Program. Concerns may include:

  • A noticeable medical change in a patient and the health care team is not recognizing the concern
  • A patient or family member feels there is a breakdown in communication and/or confusion in the plan of care
  • A patient or family member feels their concerns are not being heard or the needs of the patient are not being recognized and met

To use the Patient ‘B’-Assured Program, dial ext.1111 on any hospital telephone and put the patient’s call light on. Identify the call as the Patient ‘B’-Assured Program. Provide your name, location and reason for the request. A Medical Emergency Team will respond to assess and treat as necessary.

Safety and Security

Your safety is our first concern. Our Safety & Security department provides protection through their safety programs and around-the-clock security patrols. Please report any safety concerns to the Security Operations Center at ext. 7363.

Service Response Center

During your stay, if you are in need of the Housekeeping Department between visits from Housekeeping staff, please call the Service Response Center at ext. 1111. Please provide your name, location and the reason for your call.

Mailing and Physical Address

Any mail received for patients after they are discharged is forwarded to their home address. Send regular mail to: Tampa General Hospital P.O. Box 1289 Tampa, FL 33601-1289 Send overnight deliveries to: Tampa General Hospital 1 Tampa General Circle Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone

For your convenience each patient room has a telephone. We do not charge for local calls within area code 813 or calls to area code 727 (Pinellas County). For both area codes, dial ’29′ and then the number. Long distance calls cannot be charged to the room. These calls must be billed to a calling card, a prepaid calling card, a third party or placed ‘collect’ to the called party. Prepaid calling cards are available for purchase in the hospital Gift Shop in the Main Lobby. Patient rooms in most areas can be dialed directly. The phone number to dial your room directly is posted on the wall in your room. To allow our patients to rest, incoming calls are not connected to patient rooms between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Outgoing calls can be placed at any time. Public payphones are located at the East Pavilion entrance by McDonald’s, near the West Pavilion elevators, and in various other locations throughout the hospital. Cell phone use is prohibited in certain areas of the hospital as posted. Amplified handsets and portable TDDs are available. Ask your nurse for assistance.

Wireless Access

Our free wireless network, GuestNet, is available to anyone with a wireless enabled device. Chose the GuestNet wireless option from your wireless enabled device.

Patient Education On-Demand Video

Free educational videos are available for you to watch while you are in the hospital. A list of topics and instructions to access the system is found on Channel 67 of your television.

Meals

Your food is prepared according to the diet ordered by your physician. Based on the prescribed diet, a member of the dietary staff should visit you several times each day to assist you in making your meal selections and to deliver your meals. If the daily menu selections do not meet your food preferences, an alternative menu option will be presented to you by the dietary staff. At your request, a registered dietitian is available to assist you with your dietary needs.

Smoking

Tampa General Hospital is a tobacco-free campus. Smoking is not permitted on any part of the TGH campus. To see a map of the campus click here.

Medication

Please give your nurse a list of any medications you are taking. Your physician will order all necessary medication during your stay. For your safety, please send all other medications, including vitamins and herbal supplements, home or notify your nurse.

Patient Representatives

Our patient representatives can help you while you are in the hospital. They can be reached at ext. 7249. Services they provide include:

  • Comfort and personal support services
  • Assistance with hotel accommodations
  • Hospital and community resources
  • Notary services for hospital related services
  • Answering your questions related to hospital rules and regulations
  • Patient advocacy

Pastoral Care

The chapel is located on the first floor near the West Pavilion elevators and is always open for prayer and meditation. A hospital chaplain is available for visitation or counseling 24 hours a day. During business hours the pastoral care office can be reached at ext. 7063. After hours or weekends, the on-call chaplain may be reached through the hospital operator (dial “O”).