When you arrive on the ward
A nurse or ward clerk will usually greet you and explain the ward routine to you. Please feel free to ask any questions about your stay and let the ward staff know if there are any outpatients appointments you will miss while you are in hospital.
Interpreters are on hand to help you if your first language is not English. Please ask the nurse in charge on your ward for more details.
Smoke free environment
All Irish hospitals operate a smoke free policy and means that smoking is not permitted anywhere on hospital property except in clearly marked smoking areas. Fines can be imposed on anybody found in breech of this policy.
Mobile phones must be switched off at all times on hospital premises, because the signals can interfere with sensitive equipment and so cause harm to patients.
Information about your treatment
Your doctor and the nurse responsible for your care will be happy to answer any questions about your condition or treatment. Please tell them if you are in pain or discomfort at any time. Information about your treatment is strictly confidential. We will not pass it on to anyone outside the hospital apart from your GP, unless you give us permission.
Giving your consent to treatment
If you are going to have an operation or an anaesthetic or are about to undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment, you will be asked to sign a consent form.
Your doctor will describe what will happen during the operation how you can expect to feel afterwards. It is important to understand everything that is going to happen and you should sign the form only when all your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.
Some medicines prescribed in the hospital may be of animal origin. If you have any concerns related to this please ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
If you are under 16, your doctor will still explain everything to you and to your parent/guardian. Your parent/guardian who is responsible for you will be asked to sign your consent form.
Food on the ward
You may want to have food brought in for you by your relatives. We discourage this because it will not have gone through the same sort of quality assurance process as hospital food, which is designed to keep the risks of food poisoning to a minimum. You eat food prepared elsewhere at your own risk, and the nurse will make a note of this in your records.
We have strict conditions for bringing food from home into the hospital, which is detailed in our Food Hygenie Policy. If you wish, please ask your nurse for a copy of this, together with the catering services and standards that you can expect during your stay. The name of the catering manager will be given to you when you arrive.
Restaraunts, refreshments, and vending machines
Hospitals provide facilities for patients and visitors for food and refreshments at either restaraunts, cafes, or vending machines. The nurse in charge will be able to let you know if you are allowed to access these facilities and give you their location.
All members of staff wear name badges, but if you are not sure who someone is or what they do, please feel free to ask them to introduce themselves and explain what they do.
There is a nurse in charge of each ward, who is responsible for ensuring that you receive the best possible nursing care. (Female nurses in charge of a ward are called Ward Sisters, men in the same job are known as Charge Nurses.) Please speak to the Sister or Charge Nurse if you have any questions about your care, or any difficulties during your stay in hospital.
One of the doctors in Mr. Sultan’s team will visit you regularly and will be responsible for your care under the direction of Mr. Sultan. If you are unsure of any aspect of your treatment, you are welcome to ask the doctor to explain. Mr. Sultan and his team will also carry out regular ward rounds with nurses and other staff involved in your care such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.
Many doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are trained here at University Hospital Galway. As students they learn from working alongside qualified staff treating patients. Your treatment may provide an important opportunity for such training. If so, we hope you will not mind the students’ being involved in your treatment.
You have the right to refuse to take part in student training at any time without your care being affected at all. If you have concerns about this, please talk to your nurse.
Undergraduate medical students are based in University Hospital Galway. They are taught by doctors and other health professionals. It is very important that the students have this first-hand contact with patients like you. The teaching is varied and you may be asked to participate in several ways.
- A student may ask to interview you (take a history), then examine you. The student will take notes and later present the information and discuss their findings with the doctors involved in your care.
- You may be asked to meet with a small group, supervised by their teacher, to discuss your illness, and how it effects you. (Bed-side teaching)
- Students may be present as observers in outpatients or during procedures and operations
- Those students who are trained and deemed competent may be asked to help the doctors by doing simple procedures, such as measurement of blood pressure, taking a blood sample or recording an ECG.
- The students will have access to your medical records and test results, to study and learn. They are bound by the same standards of confidentiality and data protection as are fully trained doctors.
Behaviour towards staff
All hospitals are committed to ensuring the safety and security of all members of staff and any person with permission to be on the premises, whilst providing high quality care to our patients. All forms of harassment, threats or actual violence faced by staff from patients, their families or friends are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Enquiries on your progress
Relatives, friends and carers who want to know how you are can telephone the hospital and ask for the ward you are on. It helps the nurses if your friends and family can arrange for just one person to contact the hospital to find out how you are and then tell everyone else who wishes to know.
For reasons of confidentiality we cannot give detailed medical information over the telephone, but your nurse will say how you are getting on. If you are having an operation your nurse will tell your family when it would be best to ring to find out how you are.
Most wards have open visiting times, however, some hospitals will not allow visits between 12.30 and 2pm when patients are eating lunch. It is always best to check times with your particular ward. If normal visiting times are difficult for your visitors, please speak to the nurse in charge who will arrange alternative times.
Children under 12 years old may only visit you if the nurse in charge gives permission and an adult should accompany them. The number of visitors allowed to see you at any one time varies from ward to ward. If you have a query about this, please ask one of the nursing staff. Seriously ill patients may be visited at any time and sometimes we can arrange for close relatives and friends to stay overnight. Please ask your nurse about this.
It is possible that you might be more susceptible to common infections after your operation. You might want to ask anyone with a cough, cold, stomach upset or any other possibly infectious condition to wait until they are feeling better before visiting you. Your visitors may also have to wait for a short time outside the ward if doctors are seeing patients.
Everyone is welcome to use the hospitals’ chapels for private prayer, and services for patients of other faiths or denominations may be held there by arrangement with the chaplains. Most hospitals have access to a team of chaplains from different religious faiths who care for the spiritual needs of patients, their friends and relatives.
Religious services on the wards…
The chaplains will be pleased to administer the sacraments on the wards or pray with those unable to attend chapel services. If you would like to see a chaplain during your stay in hospital, please ask the ward staff to contact the appropriate chaplain for you. If you have come some distance to be a patient at the hospital, and even if you do not consider yourself to be religious, a chaplain will be happy to visit you at your request.
Your own clergy or ministers are always welcome visitors and, if you wish, the chaplains will help you in contacting them.
Patient, staff and visitor safety is of the utmost importance to Prof. Sultan.
CCTV system is used throughout the hospitals that Prof. Sultan practices at for the purposes of the prevention, investigation and detection of crime, apprehension and prosecution of offenders, patient, public and employee safety, and the monitoring of the security of the site.
Based on the University College London Hospital’s patient guide. Copyright University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.