Inpatient Guide

We believe that you, as a patient, are an important part of your own health care. 

We’re here to help you in that role. Being an inpatient at Anna Jaques means that you will be staying overnight at the hospital for at least one night. To prepare better for your hospital stay, please click on the information below to help make your stay as worry-free and comfortable as possible.

Patient Resources

Hibiclens for Patients Booklet Pre-Procedure Brochure

Evaluation and Pre-Admission Testing

Anywhere from four weeks to a few days before surgery, you should pre-register by calling our Access Department at 978-834-8210, open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. When you call to register for surgery, you will be given a date for your pre-operative telephone assessment with a nurse. The nurse will ask you questions about your medical history, and give you detailed instructions about further appointments or testing you may need.

Please call to register at least two days prior to your scheduled surgery.

Preparing the Night Before Surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight, unless specifically instructed otherwise. Your surgery may be cancelled if you do not follow this instruction because it puts your safety at risk.
  • Check with your doctor about taking any medication on the day of surgery, including all of your usual medications, such as heart, asthma, blood pressure, seizure, transplant, thyroid, anti-depressants, insulin and chronic pain medications that are taken daily with a small sip of water.
  • Do not take any vitamins, supplements or herbal preparations the morning of surgery unless specifically instructed to do so.
  • Do not drive yourself to the hospital because you will not be able to drive yourself home. Our staff can help you make arrangements for transportation to and from the hospital in advance.
  • If you are asked to take a pre-operative shower, please follow the specific instructions provided by your doctor or nurse. Many surgeons are now having their patients wash before surgery with Hibiclens, an anti-microbial soap containing chlorhexidine gluconate. Hibiclens defends against a variety of infections. It bonds to skin and provides protection for up to six hours.
  • Read more: Hibiclens Skin Cleanser Baths for MRSA |
  • Inquire about using a pre-surgical body wash. Be sure to follow the directions when using the wash.
  • Plan ahead so that you can get any prescriptions filled once you go home, and have foods in your refrigerator that are easy to prepare and to eat.
  • Please arrive on time.

What to Bring

  • A list of your current medications including: Name, Dose, & Frequency
  • The names of medications to which you are allergic
  • Comfortable clothes and personal items, such as your favorite slippers, robe, sleepwear and toiletries.
  • Your insurance card and identification, if you have not already provided that information during pre-admission testing.
  • A copy of any Advance Directive for Health Care, Health Care Proxy or your Living Will.
  • If needed, feel free to bring your dentures, eyeglasses and hearing aids. Our nursing staff will put these items in special containers so you can keep track of them. Please be especially careful to keep track of dentures, eyeglasses, and hearing aids because despite best efforts these items sometimes get thrown out by mistake in the sheets. The hospital is not responsible for lost or stolen personal items and valuables.

Please leave these items at home: jewelry (including wedding bands, piercings, etc.), credit cards, large amounts of cash, and other valuables. The hospital is not responsible for personal items, clothing, or valuables.

Arriving for Surgery

When you arrive at AJH, there is free Valet Parking available at the covered walkway for your convenience (hours are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.), or please park in the main parking lot. Proceed up the covered walkway to the interior atrium. The Pre-Op Testing and Surgical Services entrance will be immediately on your left.

Before the Surgical Procedure

Upon arrival a nurse/staff member will greet you. Then, a nurse will prepare you for your procedure. This takes about 30 minutes. During this time the nurse will:

  • Verify your information; ensure surgical consent is signed and that all necessary information is documented in the chart.
  • Have you change into a “Johnny” (hospital gown) and assign you a bed, orient you to the surgical environment and all aspects of the planned procedure, and then conduct a full assessment.
  • Explain all interventions, such as intravenous (I.V.) insertions, pre-operative medications, diagnostic testing and laboratory studies.
  • You may receive a pre anesthesia evaluation by an anesthesiologist who will match your medical condition with the most appropriate anesthesia.

During Surgery

Once you have gone into surgery, your family member or visitor may wait in the main lobby. If your family member or visitor stays on the Anna Jaques campus, he/she will be given a pager to notify her when you are out of surgery.

After the Surgical Procedure:

  • You will be taken to the Recovery Room for at least an hour.
  • Nurses will provide immediate care after which your family or visitors will be invited in to see you briefly.
  • After recovery, you will be transferred to the inpatient department for admission to the hospital.

Anna Jaques also has a “Surgical Tracker” that allows your family member to follow your progress through surgery and recovery. Instructions on how to view the Surgical Tracker are provided at the hospital.

Private Rooms

With the addition of our newly constructed Institution Unit (named after the Institution for Savings bank), nearly every patient who stays overnight at Anna Jaques will get a private room for enhanced comfort, privacy and healing. Anna Jaques is one of a small number of hospitals in Massachusetts to offer single-room availability for most patients.

Private rooms enable the level of quality, safety and comfort you and your family deserve during your stay. Private rooms help:

  • Improve infection control throughout the unit.
  • Provide patients with a positive environment for healing.
  • Provide privacy for medical discussions and treatments.
  • Reduce noise in the patient’s environment on the top floor.

These sun-filled rooms on the top floor have their own private bathroom and shower, flat screen TV, closet and rooming-in furniture so a relative or close friend can spend the night. Each room is also equipped with a computer station for nurses and physicians. Dispensing medication, for example, is made safer by matching bar codes to patients’ wristbands and electronic records. Vital sign technology allows the nurse or aide to download each patient’s data directly into the electronic record at the bedside to help reduce errors.

Going Home

Although we love caring for you, we know that you want to be on your way home. We’ll help you make that smooth transition from the hospital to home or an extended care facility. Our nursing staff and/or case management team will identify your continuing needs early in your stay so that you can transition as soon as possible.

Your doctor will decide when you are ready to leave -- or be discharged from -- the hospital. Before you leave, your doctor, nurse and other members of your health care team will provide you, your family and/or caregivers with information and instructions about your post-hospital care.

On the day of your discharge, a nurse or staff member will escort you to the Emergency Department entrance where your driver should meet you.

If you have concerns about discharge planning, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your nurse or contact our Case Management Department at 978-463-1165 for assistance.