Patient Guide

We want your stay with us to be as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or concerns at any time, please let us know. You can also view or download our Interactive Patient Guide Handbook. The handbook offers a complete overview of Providence Saint John’s Health Center, including Patient’s Rights and Responsibilities.

What to wear to the hospital

Please dress in loose, comfortable clothing that can be folded for storage. We will provide a gown and slippers. Leave any jewelry, hair accessories and valuables at home.

You may wear contact lenses to the hospital, but you must remove them prior to surgery. Please bring a storage case with you.

What to bring to the hospital

On the day of a procedure, patients should bring these items to the hospital:

  • Any papers that a physician has provided, including orders, lab results, etc.
  • Medical insurance card(s)
  • A list of medications currently being taken, including dosages
  • Personal items, such as glasses, dentures, hearing aid, cane, etc., including items that will be needed following surgery
  • An advanced directive, living will or durable power of attorney

What not to bring to the hospital

  • Valuables should not be brought to the hospital. If necessary, these can be stored in the hospital safe or in the security office.
  • Any medications, herbal substances, etc. should be given to the patient's nurse. These could interfere or interact with any medications ordered during the patient's hospital stay and will be returned to the patient upon discharge or released to a family member during hospitalization. Patients should notify their nurse of any non-prescription or other medications, or herbal supplements that they have been taking at home.
  • Electronic devices, such as laptop computers, DVD players and cell phones, must be cleared by the nursing staff. However, cell phone usage is generally allowed throughout the hospital.

Providence Saint John's welcomes all incoming patients and makes every effort to ensure as pleasant a stay as possible. If we can be of any assistance, either prior to or during admitting, please don't hesitate to contact a member of our staff.


If you are having surgery, please contact the admitting department, and we will be happy to answer your questions. Please be sure to pre-register by calling the admitting department before coming to the hospital.

During surgery and the initial recovery period, your family and friends may stay in the waiting area. Immediately following surgery, your physician will meet with your family in the waiting area to let them know how the procedure went and to discuss post-operative care.

Calling your nurse

The intercom system in your room is mounted on the wall above the bedside table. This system is used for direct voice contact with the staff members at the nursing station.

Extending from the intercom is a pillow speaker that can be clipped to your bed for convenience. To call the nursing station, press the top bar marked "NURSE," and a staff member will respond via the intercom. When the nursing staff member answers, please make your request in a normal speaking voice. Some beds have the nurse call button built into the side rail. Please clarify with your nurse as to which nurse call system you have.

Fall prevention

Fall prevention is a joint responsibility between patients, family members and the health care team. Your medical condition may change your ability to move safely. In fact, patients often fall because they are on medications that make them dizzy or drowsy, they are weak and unsteady due to illness or medical procedures, or because they've been sitting or lying down for long periods. Your fall risk is assessed when you come in to the hospital and this assessment is repeated frequently during your stay. If you are at risk of falling, a yellow tab is placed on your hospital ID band.

Because we are committed to your safety, we will require that you

  • Do not get up unattended - use your call light
  • Keep necessary items in reach, including your call light
  • Wear the provided skid-proof foot ware
  • Do not go to the restroom without our assistance
  • Do not remove, unplug or disable provided safety alarms

In addition to the above, your health care team will:

  • Provide you with individualized fall prevention strategies
  • Provide special safety equipment (i.e. bed, lift, transfer equipment, etc)
  • Provide supervision
  • Visit you frequently throughout the day and night
  • Educate you and your family on fall prevention


Televisions are provided in each patient room. Please be considerate of others and keep the TV volume down. The sets are controlled by the pillow speaker which may be clipped to your bed or by controls located on the side rail panel. Channel listings are located at the back of your Patient Guide. All televisions have closed captioning available for the hearing impaired.


Telephones are provided in all patient rooms. Incoming calls go directly to your room. Special volume-controlled telephones, ringing flashers and translation services are available upon request.

  • Hospital Operator, Dial "0"
  • Local Calls: Dial "9" + Number
  • Calls Outside Area Code 310: Dial 9 + 1 + Area Code + Number
  • Toll and Long Distance Calls: Dial "0" and a hospital operator will connect you with the telephone operator. Long distance calls are billed: Collect, 3rd party or credit card

Electrical appliances

Electrical appliances including hair dryers, curling irons, razors, radios, heating pads, portable heaters, VCRs, computers and other devices are not permitted in patient rooms. You may use only battery-operated devices. If you have brought an electrical device, it must pass a safety inspection by the Providence Saint John’s biomedical electronics personnel. Please talk with your nurse and ask to arrange an inspection.

Food services

Overall health depends a lot on the foods you eat. That is why here at Providence Saint John’s, we make every effort to prepare wholesome, nutritious, well-balanced meals that comply with your doctor’s guidelines and reflect your personal preferences.

Each morning you will receive the next day’s menu. To help us know your preferences, just circle the items you want and we’ll do the rest. Our dietetic staff will review your selections to ensure that we meet your needs, and you will receive your meals the next day. If you prefer not to make a selection or cannot make a selection we will make sure you receive a meal selected personally for you.

If for any reason your meal may be delayed due to medical treatment we will make every effort to serve you after your treatment.

For most of our patients, going home from the hospital following treatment or a procedure is welcome news. That is because their discharge enables patients to return home to the loving care of family members and friends.

With the exception of obstetric patients, discharge from Providence Saint John's Health Center is usually completed by 11 a.m. By observing this discharge time, patients and their families can help Providence Saint John's better serve and accommodate other patients who are in need of beds. In every instance, going home from the hospital occurs only after the attending physician has signed a patient's discharge orders.

  • Providence Saint John's Health Center recommends that all patients arrange for a family member or friend to drive them from the hospital to their home upon discharge. For the comfort of our patients, we request that people delegated to drive patients home arrange to retrieve their car in advance of a friend or relative's discharge. Patients will be discharged to Valet Parking Lot C.
  • It is recommended that patients wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes on the drive home in order to maximize overall comfort and minimize any pain following a procedure.
  • In some cases patients should request pain medication prior to leaving the hospital in order to ensure their comfort during the drive home.  If medication is needed, please be sure to request it from a nurse at least one hour prior to departing from the hospital.
  • If you receive a prescription for medications you will need after going home, please be sure to fill your prescription promptly so you don’t run out of needed medications.
  • Follow-up care instructions. Make sure you have paperwork that tells you:
    • What, if any, dietary restrictions you need to follow and for how long
    • How to properly care for any injury or incisions you may have
    • What follow-up tests you may need and when you need to schedule them
    • What medicines you must take, why and for how long
    • When you need to see your physician
    • Any other home-care instructions for your caregiver, such as how to get you in and out of bed, how to use and monitor any equipment, and what signs and symptoms to watch out for
    • Telephone numbers to call if you or your caregiver have any questions pertaining to your after-hospital care
  • If any assistance is required at home following discharge from the hospital, this should be discussed with the patient's nurse or the RN/case manager on the patient's unit. Staff will be happy to assist in whatever way possible to make sure that any needed assistance is available upon discharge, particularly for those who live alone. Some areas of assistance may include:
    • Home health services
    • Locating a rehabilitation or nursing facility
    • Obtaining medical equipment

All patients cared for at Providence Saint John's are covered by a series of "Patients' Rights." At least one of these rights is directly applicable to those being discharged: Be informed by the physician, or a delegate of the physician, of continuing health care requirements following discharge from the hospital. These health care requirements should be made clear upon discharge; if they are not, please ask your nurse to clarify.

Please remember, our responsibility to patients does not necessarily end when someone is sent home. Patients should feel free to contact us at any time with questions pertaining to the care they received at Providence Saint John's Health Center.

No smoking policy

Because we care about your health and that of our employees and visitors we do not allow smoking within our Providence Medical Centers. Smoking is, however, permitted only in designated areas. Please ask one of our caregivers where the designated smoking area is for the Saint John’s campus.


Special regulations are in effect in areas where patients are receiving oxygen. Electrically operated equipment and aerosol products are not permitted in these areas.

Fire drills

For your protection, the hospital conducts fire and disaster drills regularly. If a drill occurs while you are in the hospital, you will hear an announcement prior to the drill. Please stay calm and remain in your room. The hospital is a fire-resistant building and the staff is trained in fire protection and safety. In the unlikely event of an actual fire, our staff will assist you.


All medications you take while in the hospital are prescribed by your doctor, are dispensed by the hospital pharmacy, and are administered by a nurse. Patients are not permitted to administer their own medicine or keep personal medications at their bedside.


Wheelchairs are available on all nursing units. Your medical condition, medical procedures you have had, or medications you have been prescribed may make getting in and out of the wheelchair difficult without assistance. Please ask for help from a member of the hospital staff before getting in or out of a wheelchair, even if you feel fine.

Gifts for patients

Visitors should check with the nurse before bringing gifts of food or drink to patients. If you are sending flowers to a patient please keep in mind that large plants and flowers are difficult to transport upon discharge. For your protection, flowers and plant arrangements are not allowed in our Intensive and Coronary Care Units, as well as our Sub-Acute Unit.

Caring for a loved one that is ill can be a daunting responsibility. At Saint John's Health Center, we strive to provide compassionate support not just for our patients, but for the loving caregivers that support them on their journey to optimal health.