Patient frequently asked questions

How can my family and friends call me?
The telephone in your room cannot be dialed directly from the outside. All calls must come through the hospital switchboard, (831) 624-5311. Your family may call you directly at any time on most nursing units. Some nursing units, such as ICU, require all calls to go through the nursing station because the patient rooms do not have telephones. We also suggest that you designate one person close to you for family members and friends to call for information. Our staff is unable to screen calls or to provide information on your condition over the telephone in most cases. Your caller can ask the operator for you by name unless you have chosen "no information status."

How do I make a long-distance telephone call?
Dial "0" for the hospital operator to assist you if needed. If you would like to bill the call to your room, dial "9" plus "1" plus the number you are calling. For international calls, dial "9" plus "011" plus the number you are calling.

To reach hospital departments from inside the hospital, dial the last four digits of the phone number (example: Patient Business Services can be reached by dialing 4910).

Are cell phones allowed in the hospital?
Yes.

Can a family member spend the night with me?
Adequate rest is important for you. However, arrangements can be made for a family member to spend the night with you and many rooms include pull-out couches.

Where can I smoke?
Community Hospital is a smoke-free environment. Patients are not allowed to smoke. Help is available to stop smoking. Please ask your nurse for assistance. Visitors may smoke only in their cars.

How long will I be at the hospital?
The length of your stay is based on your progress and your treatment. Please check with your doctor.

When will my doctor visit?
Your doctor will see you daily. The time of the visit depends on your doctor's schedule. Check with your nurse for an estimated time.

When will I have tests?
Tests and procedures are scheduled daily, with emergencies handled first. Your nurse will know if your test or procedure will be done in the morning or afternoon.

What if I want a second opinion?
Second opinions are not uncommon. Discuss your desire for another opinion with your doctor. You can ask your nurse to help you with this.

Why can't I use my own medications when I'm in the hospital?
Our Pharmacy is committed to making sure patients use prescription drugs safely. When you bring medication from home, we don't know if the drug has been properly stored or is otherwise safe. To make sure our patients receive medication in the exact dosage needed, they are given only those medications ordered by their doctor from the hospital Pharmacy.

Medication brought from home must be stored in the Pharmacy or returned home.

When are meals served?
Mealtime depends on the location of your room. Between-meal snacks are available from the nursing department pantries or room service. Check with your nurse for specific mealtimes and assistance with room service.

Guest trays are available for one visitor. To order a guest tray, dial 4939 one hour before mealtime. A fee is charged and is not covered by insurance. A folder listing room service and guest tray menus is in your bedside table. Guest trays are not available in ICU or Garden Pavilion; dining at the Fountain Court Café is encouraged for visitors.

Can I wear my own pajamas?
Please check with your nurse. Some treatments and procedures require hospital clothes.

Why can't I use electrical equipment from home?
For your protection, electrical equipment from home may not be used in the hospital. All electrical equipment used in the hospital must be properly grounded for electrical and fire safety. You may use battery-operated equipment.

When is the gift shop open?
The gift shop is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You may also Shop online.

What time is checkout?
Our goal is to have you ready to leave by 11 a.m. Your doctor will write your discharge order after the morning visit. Please arrange for transportation home. Visit Transportation for more information.

If I go home late, will I be charged for an extra day?
No. There is no charge for the last day of hospitalization.

How and where do I get the medication I'll need when I'm discharged?
Your physician will give you prescriptions for the new medications you need, which you will take to your own pharmacy for filling, or your physician will phone the prescriptions to the pharmacy of your choice.

When does the bus stop at the hospital?
Bus schedules are available at the Auxiliary Reception Desk, which can be reached by dialing 4881 from your bedside telephone. For direct assistance, call Monterey-Salinas Transit, (831) 899-2555.  Visit Transportation for more information.

What do I do if I have questions about my bill?
You can call Patient Business Services, extension 4910, while you are in the hospital or at (831) 625-4922 after you go home.