During your stay

During your stay

What to expect while you’re in our care

Our goal is to ensure that you come to hospital prepared, and enjoy comfortable accommodation, healthy meals and the support you need during your stay.

We believe that working with you and your family is the key to providing exceptional healthcare. It’s a philosophy we call person-centred care and it means that we involve you in planning and delivering your care, so we can meet your individual needs. 

By being active members of your health care team, you and your family can play a vital role in making your stay in hospital a safe and positive experience.

Below are some tips on how you can get involved. We also recommend you read the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.

Tell us what you need

We encourage all patients and their families to talk openly with their health care team about their condition, health and options for treatment. You should feel comfortable to ask any questions and raise any concerns you may have, for example:

  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns or if something doesn’t seem right.
  • Tell staff if you think you’re about to receive the wrong medication or have the wrong test, or if you think you’ve been mixed up with another patient.
  • Let a staff member know if you’re in pain. Ask about options for pain relief.
  • Ask someone you trust to be with you when you’re having important discussions with staff about your care and treatment.
A concierge greets a patient

Don’t be afraid to ask us about anything that’s unclear

  • Ask staff to explain something in a different way if you don't understand.
  • Read all medical forms and make sure you understand them before signing.
  • Know what medications you take and why. Also learn about any side effects to watch out for.
  • Learn about your diagnosis, the medical tests you’re having and your treatment plan.
  • Ask about other options for treatment or how to seek a second opinion.
  • Ask about our plan for keeping you safe, for example, preventing falls and reducing the risk of a pressure injury (bedsore). You can also read more here.

Staying safe in hospital

Our goal is to provide you with the safest possible care. Healthcare in Australia is among the best and safest in the world, but there are still risks when spending time in hospital. They include the risk of infection, a fall, or a pressure injury (bedsore).

Hand hygiene

The best way to help prevent infection during your stay is to wash your hands often and well. This also includes anyone who visits you, including family and friends, nurses and doctors. It’s ok to ask health care workers to wash their hands before providing your care.

Use soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub to keep your hands clean.

Always clean your hands and ask others to clean their hands:

  • When entering and leaving your hospital room
  • Before and after eating or touching food
  • After using the bathroom 
  • After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose

Other ways to help prevent infections during your stay:

  • Please do not touch or fiddle with your bandages, dressings or drips. This includes family and friends. 
  • Don’t delay telling your nurse if your intravenous lines (drip), tubes, drains or wounds become red, swollen or painful.
  • Always ask staff if they have cleaned their hands – this is especially important before they touch your wound or intravenous drip. Our staff will not be offended if you ask.
  • Ask your family, friends or carers not to visit if they’re unwell.
  • If you’re prescribed antibiotics to take home with you, it’s very important to complete the entire course.

Medication safety

Medication is an important part of your treatment. When you come to hospital, we’ll ask you about the medicines you take. Please tell us if you’re using:

  • Tablets from a pharmacist or supermarket
  • Liquid medicine, for example, cough syrup
  • Natural therapies such as herbs and tinctures
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Medicated creams
  • Puffers/inhalers
  • Eye drops

You can help ensure safe medication use by:

  • Bringing all of your medications to hospital with you
  • Keeping an up-to-date list of your medications and showing it to our staff when you come to hospital
  • Letting the staff know if you’ve had any allergies or bad reactions to medicines in the past
  • Knowing the name of each of your medicines, what it’s for, how it should be taken and any side effects. This is especially important for any new medications
  • Asking what medicines you're receiving and why, and ensuring you receive an updated list of medications with information about each before you go home.
  • Understanding which other medicines, foods or drinks to avoid when taking the medicine.

Patient identification

You will be given an identification band when you're admitted to hospital that will be placed on your wrist or leg. Our staff may refer to it as an 'ID band' or a 'wrist band'. It will include your name and date of birth.

You should:

  • Make sure the information on the ID band is correct
  • Check that you have a red ID band if you have any allergies
  • Wear your ID band at all times

Staff should check your ID band before every test or procedure and before giving you any medication. They’ll also ask you what your name is and other details, to make sure that the right patient is getting the right treatment every time.

All our hospital staff should be wearing an identification badge. If you can't see their badge, or you're not sure who someone is, please ask.

Preventing falls

Falls are the most common cause of injury in hospital and can delay your recovery. Falling over is more likely in hospital because you're in an unfamiliar environment and may be physically weaker than usual.

It's important that you, your family and staff all work together to reduce the risk of falls by:

  • Making sure you can reach the call bell beside your bed
  • Using the call bell to ask for help whenever you need it
  • Calling for help as soon as you can. We’ll try to answer it immediately but if the ward is busy, it may take a few minutes before a nurse can get to you
  • Wearing supportive, flat, non-slip shoes or slippers
  • Bringing your walking aid, glasses or hearing aids to hospital and keeping them close to you
  • Turning the light on so you can see before getting out of bed
  • Walking and staying active when family, friends and staff are there to help you
  • Listening to the advice and recommendations of staff. Recovering from illness or surgery takes time, and you might need more help with walking and getting to the bathroom than you realise
How family and friends can help to prevent falls

If a patient is confused, family members and visitors can help by staying with them as much as possible and letting staff know how to reduce their confusion, if possible. It’s also a good idea to let a staff member know when you leave so that they can check on the patient regularly.

Preventing pressure injuries

A pressure injury, also known as a bedsore or ulcer, can form when you sit or lie in the same position for a long time. The risk of a pressure injury increases if you have to stay in bed, have poor circulation or you're not eating well.

A pressure injury can look like a reddened or blistered area on the skin. Bony parts of the body like the heels, tailbone, toes and back of your head are at most risk of a pressure injury.

To help prevent a pressure injury you can:

  • Keep moving (as much as it's safe to do so)
  • Change your sitting or lying position as often as you can
  • Look after your skin and tell a staff member if you think it looks or feels different
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet

We prepare a pressure injury management plan for every patient who will be staying overnight in hospital. Ask your nurse to explain the plan to you.

Reducing the risk of blood clots

Medication, surgery or being confined to bed can increase your risk of developing a blood clot in your legs or lungs. We’ll assess your risk of developing a blood clot, but please feel free to ask your nurse or doctor about your level of risk.

To reduce the risk of developing a clot:

  • Take any tablets or injections that your doctor prescribes
  • Keep your compression stockings on 
  • Avoid sitting or lying in bed for long periods, if possible
  • Walk as often as your doctor or nurse recommends
  • Ask what to do to avoid the risk of a blood clot when you go home

More information

Safety tips from the Australian Government

Information for visitors

Your family and friends are welcome to visit you during your hospital stay. Each hospital has set visiting hours, but you may be able to request approval for visits outside of these times.

Find out more about visiting hours and getting to hospital


More information for during your stay

An Advanced Care Directive is a document developed in consultation with your doctor or specialist that outlines your health preferences in the event that you’re unable to make these decisions. These preferences can be related to end-of-life decisions and/or any future treatments.

If you don’t have an Advanced Care Directive and you’d like one, please inform our staff and we’ll facilitate a discussion between you, your family and your treating doctor. We’ll also keep a copy in your medical records.

Interpreters

We aim to help you understand your health care options and make informed choices. If English is your second language or you have trouble understanding the information that’s given to you about your treatment and recovery, we can arrange for an interpreter to help. Please speak to one of our staff to arrange this.

Social workers

Our social workers are available to help you and your family with:

  • Aged care planning and placement
  • Community aged care packages
  • Rehabilitation
  • Financial hardship
  • Counselling
Not all services are available in all hospitals. To find out more, please speak to one of our staff.
Coming to hospital is a different experience for everyone, and it may lead to feelings of isolation, uncertainty and vulnerability. To help with these feelings, you and your family may find it useful to speak with one of our pastoral and spiritual care staff.

Our pastoral and spiritual care staff offer:
  • A friendly visit and time to listen to you and your family
  • Emotional and spiritual support in times of crisis
  • Sharing the joys of life and healing
  • Help in times of grief and sadness
  • Support when feeling anxious, fearful, lonely or isolated
  • Compassionate listening if you and your family wish to talk about aspects of your belief and/or questions of faith
  • Spiritual nourishment through prayer, reflection, blessings, or sacraments such as Communion, and Anointing of the Sick.
Our pastoral and spiritual care staff are sensitive to all religious, non-religious and cultural traditions. Please speak to one of our staff if you would like to arrange a visit by a chaplain or representative from your own faith.
Smoking isn’t allowed within the hospital grounds because we’re a smoke-free environment. If you smoke, you may want to discuss the use of nicotine patches with your doctor prior to admission. Electronic cigarettes are also not allowed.

Find more services at a hospital near you

Patient Rooms

Our patient rooms are well equipped to ensure your hospital stay is as comfortable as possible.

Our wards feature some shared accommodation, with many rooms for single private accommodation. Most shared accommodation is in areas of high demand.  If a patient is hospitalised in a unit where there are shared rooms, the patient can request a private room and, depending on availability and clinical need, their request will be accommodated.

Chapel

The hospital chapel is located on the ground floor at the front entrance of the hospital. You and your visitors are welcome.

Pastoral Care

Our spiritual care practitioners offer a unique service of respectful listening, supporting families through transition, providing spiritual focus or sacramental support or arranging a representative from your own faith.

Chapel

The Giovanni Chapel is located on Level 1. It offers a tranquil location for you, your visitors and our staff to enjoy some quiet time. Please feel free to use the Chapel for prayer and contemplation. 

Mass is held 6 days a week, excluding Saturday.

Communication Boards

Located on the wall in your room is a Patient Communication Board. This is to assist with communication between staff and patients, and includes information about the name of your nurse, and your plan of care. If you (or your family) have any questions or concerns, you may use the care board to remind yourself about questions to ask your doctor and nurse.

Housekeeping

Your room will be cleaned daily. Please notify a member of the nursing staff if you have a concern regarding any aspect of the housekeeping service.

Meals

You can order fresh, cooked-to-order meals, which will be delivered in under 45 minutes from placing your order.

Room service is available from 6.30am to 6.30pm daily. To place a room service order, please use the telephone at your bedside and call Extension 3663.

Room service menus are located on the tray table in all patient rooms.

If preferred, you can pre-order a meal or snack for delivery at a specified time and a family member or carer can place an order for you by telephoning (07)4688 5588 (if calling from outside the hospital).

If you have special dietary requirements or food allergies, these will continue to be managed via our Clinical Information systems. Only food items that meet your individual requirements will be offered.

Complex dietary requests will be referred to the hospital’s Clinical Dietitian. If you are on a modified or complex diet, a Room Service Assistant will take the menu orders. They can assist you with special needs to choose from the range of options available on the menu, so that good nutrition remains paramount.

Chapel
The chapel is located at Entrance 1, opposite the front reception desk. It is open at all times for prayer, reflection and spiritual comfort. Mass and prayer services are celebrated on a regular basis and their times are displayed on the chapel noticeboard.
 
Pastoral and spiritual care
Our pastoral and spiritual care staff can be contacted on 07 4690 4018, Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm.
 
To access these services after hours, or on weekends and public holidays, please phone the After Hours Nurse Unit Manager on 07 4690 4033.
 
Flowers and gifts
Flowers are available through our on-site florist Dawn Osborne Florist. You can also choose from a range of other gifts such as balloons, teddy bears, chocolates and toys.
 
The florist is located at Entrance 6 in the Clive Berghofer Wing. Phone 07 4639 3295 or visit www.dawnosborne.com.au
 
The Cosmetic Elegance Clinic, is also located nearby the hospital in the Medici Centre. They sell deluxe pamper packs especially for new mums. To discuss and arrange your gift, phone 07 4638 2700 or visit www.cosmeticelegance.com.au
 
Internet access
We provide free wifi for you and your visitors with smartphones and/or laptops. Please present these devices to our staff for checking prior to use.
 
ATM
If you need cash, an ATM is located next to the hospital at 55 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy.
 
Coffee shop
Our coffee shop is located on the ground floor of the hospital. It offers coffee, drinks, hot and cold meals, and snacks. Opening hours are Monday to Sunday 6.30am to 9:00pm.
 
Flowers and gifts
Gifts can be purchased at the coffee shop and pharmacy located on the ground floor. You can buy a range of gift items, cards, books, magazines and newspapers along with toiletries.
 
Flowers can be purchased at Flowers for All, located between the main entrance of St Vincent’s Private Hospital Fitzroy and Brunswick Street. They also have an online shop which offers free delivery to St Vincent’s Private Hospital Fitzroy and St Vincent’s Private Hospital East Melbourne. Additional gifts including teddies, chocolates, wine, helium balloons, stick balloons and candles can be added to your flower purchase.
 
Phone 03 9417 6303 or visit www.flowersforall.com.au 
 
Pharmacy
Medications, some surgical equipment and toiletries are available from our on-site pharmacy located on the ground floor.
 
Mail
Incoming mail and flowers will be delivered to your room daily. Anything that arrives after you leave hospital will be forwarded soon after to your home address.
ATM
If you need cash, an ATM is located nearby at the Hilton Hotel, on the corner of Wellington Parade and Clarendon Street, East Melbourne.
 
Coffee shop
Our coffee shop is located on the ground floor of the hospital. It serves coffee, drinks, hot and cold meals, and snacks.
Opening hours are:
  • Monday to Friday 7:00am to 6:00pm
  • Saturday 8.30am to 4.30pm
  • Closed Sundays and public holidays
 
Flowers and gifts
Gifts can be purchased at the coffee shop and pharmacy located on the ground floor. You can buy a range of gift items, cards, books, magazines and newspapers along with toiletries.
 
Flowers can be purchased at Flowers for All, located between the main entrance of St Vincent’s Private Hospital Fitzroy and Brunswick Street. They also have an online shop which offers free delivery to St Vincent’s Private Hospital Fitzroy and St Vincent’s Private Hospital East Melbourne. Additional gifts including teddies, chocolates, wine, helium balloons, stick balloons and candles can be added to your flower purchase.
 
Phone 03 9417 6303 or visit www.flowersforall.com.au 
 
Pharmacy
Medications, some surgical equipment and toiletries are available from our pharmacy located on the ground floor.
 
Mail
Incoming mail and flowers will be delivered to your room daily. Anything that arrives after you leave hospital will be forwarded soon after to your home address.
 
ATM
If you need cash, an ATM is located a short walk from the hospital on High Street, Kew.
 
Pharmacy
Medications, some surgical equipment, and toiletries are available from our pharmacy located on the inpatient ward.
 
Mail
Incoming mail and flowers will be delivered to your room daily. Anything that arrives after you leave hospital will be forwarded soon after to your home address.

ATM
If you need cash, an ATM is located across the road at the Werribee Mercy Hospital.

Coffee shop
Our coffee shop is located on the ground floor of the hospital. It offers coffee, drinks, hot and cold meals, and snacks. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 7.00am to 4.30pm.

Pharmacy
Medications, toiletries, and gifts are available from our on-site pharmacy located on the ground floor.

Mail
Incoming mail and flowers will be delivered to your room daily. Anything that arrives after you leave hospital will be forwarded soon after to your home address.

Our rooms
For your comfort, we offer private rooms to all our patients. We are one of only two private hospitals in NSW to offer this.

ATM
The nearest ATM facility is located in the main foyer of St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, next to the cashier’s office.

Chapel
Our chapel is located on level 4 and is open daily from 7am to 9pm.
Mass is celebrated on:
  • Wednesdays at 11.30am
  • Saturdays at 10.30am
  • Sundays at 10:00am
It’s also televised throughout the hospital on channel 24.

Coffee shop
A coffee cart is located at reception. Opening hours are:
  • Monday to Friday 7:00am to 6:00pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 8.30am to 4:00pm
We also have The Wintergarden Coffee Shop, located in the foyer of St Vincent's Clinic. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 7.00am to 5.00pm.

Flowers and gifts
Flowers, plants and small gifts are available from the Fragrant Plum, located in the main foyer of the Hospital.
Opening hours are:
  • Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am to 3:00pm
  • Sunday closed
To place an order, phone 02 8382 3032 or email fragrant_plum@yahoo.com.au
For infection control purposes, potted plants aren’t allowed in your rooms and flowers are not allowed in the Intensive Care Unit.

Internet access
We offer free wifi to all patients. Connection instructions are available from reception and are also displayed on-screen once you are connected to the network, called Patnet.
Loan notebooks are available for patients who don’t have their own notebook or laptop. For more information, please speak to the receptionist on your floor.

Laundry service
An overnight laundry service is available for a fee. Items are collected by 10:00am and returned the next morning. This service does not include ironing.  For more information, phone 02 8382 7200.

Library service
Our volunteers provide a library service where you can borrow books and magazines.

Mail and postage
Personal mail is delivered to your room. Stamps for outgoing mail can be purchased from the pharmacy.

Meeting and function facilities
We offer fully equipped meeting and function facilities. Our functions department can assist with any requests. For more information, phone 02 8382 6410.

Newspapers
Daily newspapers are sold through Volunteer Services, Monday to Friday, from 8:00am to 12:00pm.

Pharmacy
Our pharmacy is located in the foyer and opens Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.15pm.
As well as medical supplies and prescriptions, the pharmacy offers a wide range of gift ideas that may be delivered to patients. To place an order, phone 02 8382 7465.
We also offer surgical garments, including:
  • Medical compression stockings
  • Travel stockings
  • Body supports and braces
Trained healthcare professionals are available weekdays for assessment, measuring and fitting. Please make an appointment for this service.
For more information, phone: 02 8382 7257.

Public telephone
The closest public telephone is located on the left hand side of the foyer entrance of St Vincent's Clinic.

Chapel

The chapel is located near the main hospital entrance. It is open at all times for prayer to people of all faiths, or as a place of solitude and reflection.

Coffee shop

Our coffee shop is located on the ground floor of the hospital, where you and your visitors can enjoy a selection of meals and snacks. A smaller coffee shop is also located within the Mater Clinic.

Opening hours are:

·         Monday to Friday 7:00am to 6:00pm

·         Saturday & Sunday 8:00am to 6.00pm

For infection control purposes, potted plants aren’t allowed in your rooms and flowers aren’t allowed in the Intensive Care Unit.

Healing Garden

The Mater Healing Garden is a serene haven for quiet reflection and comfort. It’s located in the courtyard behind the coffee shop on the ground floor of the hospital and is open to you, your visitors and our staff.

Internet access

We provide you with access to free wifi. Please speak to nursing staff or reception for assistance. 

Pharmacy and gift shop

Our pharmacy Is located on the ground floor and provides a full range of medicines and gifts. The pharmacy is open Mon - Fri 7am - 6pm, Sat & Sun - 8am - 6pm. For more information call 02 9046 7100.
 

Chapel and garden
The chapel is located behind the main administration area next to the quiet reflection garden.

Coffee shop
Our coffee shop is located in the foyer of the hospital and serves coffee and light meals for breakfast and lunch. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.

Internet access
We provide you and your family with access to free wifi. Please contact reception if you have any questions.