Guide for Patients and Visitors

If you’re heading to the medical center, as a visitor or a patient, there are certain dos and don’ts that will make the trip more pleasant. This helpful list covers everything from what to bring to what not to bring, advanced directives and more.

Ten Golden Rules of Inpatient Etiquette

  1. Leave cash, jewelry, wedding rings, credit cards and other valuables at home. A small amount of cash is OK for discretionary spending. Do bring toiletries, a robe, sleepwear, slippers and personal items such as eyeglasses and dentures. All should be marked with your name.
  2. Do your homework before heading to the hospital.
    • Know what your insurance does — and doesn’t— cover and what charges you might be responsible for.
    • Emergency telephone numbers of family and friends should be listed. Visit our website to find out about parking, visiting hours, etc.
    • Make a list of your current medications, and give it to your healthcare team. Share other vital information such as allergies and how well you get around.
  3. Gifts, flowers and non-latex balloons are allowed and usually welcomed. But make certain the patient, doesn’t have a specific allergy. We are sorry, but flowers cannot be delivered to the Critical Care Unit for infection control reasons.
  4. Newspapers may be purchased from boxes at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center's front entrance. Mail or flowers addressed to you will be delivered to your room. Any mail we receive after you have gone home will be forwarded to your home address. Items should be addressed to:
    WhidbeyHealth Medical Center
    101 North Main Street
    Coupeville, WA 98239-3413
  5. If you have questions, make a list and present it to your doctor when he or she makes rounds.
    You might want to keep a notebook of the doctor’s answers. Ask questions about care, tests and medications. If your doctor writes a prescription, ask him what it addresses. You have the right to know as a patient.
  6. Designate a family member for your doctor and other caregivers to speak with about your condition. The doctor and others will give information to that person, who can relay it to the rest of the family.
  7. No smoking. WhidbeyHealth Medical Center is a smoke-free environment.
  8. If you have a cold, avoid visiting the medical center. Hospitals try to maintain a healthy atmosphere, and discourage visitors with colds, flu or other contagious diseases.
  9. Anticipate support you might need for discharge or at home. Most patients require help getting home from the hospitals, and some support once they are there. Our nursing staff and social workers will help you in that regard.
  10. Make an advance directive. An advance directive contains two vital items: a living will in which you state how you want to be treated in case you are unable to communicate because of a terminal illness. The Healthcare Power of Attorney declares an individual who will speak for you, in the event you are not able to speak for yourself. Visit our Advanced Care Planning (add link here) page for more info and forms.