Staying in hospital

Find out what you need to do if you're going to be staying in hospital.

What to bring

If you’re staying overnight in hospital, you’ll need to bring:

  • your admission advice and completed admission form
  • pyjamas or a night gown, dressing gown and slippers
  • toiletries
  • a small amount of money for things like a taxi fare home or using a payphone
  • prescription medicines
  • your x-rays
  • your Medicare card, Pension card or Health Care Card
  • the name and contact number for your next of kin
  • your WorkCover detail, if appropriate.

Checking into hospital

If you don’t know where to go, please have a chat to one of our friendly volunteers.

Surgical and medical

At Cairns Hospital, please go to the transit lounge, on the ground floor in D Block. Use the Lake Street entry. You can also go to the ward where you’ll be admitted.

In all other hospitals, go to the reception counter in the foyer of the hospital.

Women in labour

Please go directly to the birth suite where you’ll be admitted.

Emergency

In emergency departments you’ll see a nurse who will assess your condition.

Please let us know:

  • your medical history and condition
  • your address and phone number
  • details of your GP or other health professionals
  • who your next of kin are
  • your Medicare card or number
  • your private health insurance details, if you have it
  • any current advance health directive or enduring power of attorney
  • if you’d like an interpreter or Indigenous health worker
  • whether you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Meals

We have a variety of meals that meet therapeutic, allergen and religious dietary requirements.  Our dietetic assistants visit most inpatient wards daily to take your menu choices.

Please let us know if you have a food allergy, specific dietary requirements or need to speak with a dietitian.

We’re expanding our menu options based on patient feedback, particularly for our culturally diverse patient groups.

If you’d like to give us feedback on the hospital menu, please complete the online feedback form.

Fasting for surgery

If you’re having an operation you may not be able to eat or drink for several hours. This means all foods and fluids, including chewing gum, lollies, and water.

Your ward staff will tell you how long you need to fast before your operation. This is for your safety. Make sure you tell us if you haven’t followed this instruction.

Patient identification band

We use identification (ID) bands to make sure you get the right medications, treatments and procedures. We’ll put an identity band on your wrist or ankle when you’re admitted to hospital.

You need to make sure your details are correct and wear the ID band until you leave hospital. We’ll ask for your ID details many times during your hospital stay as part of our essential safety measures.

Personal belongings

You’ll have a bedside locker next to your bed for your personal items, but we recommend you don’t bring any valuables with you to hospital.

We’re not responsible for any lost or damaged items that belong to you, your family or any visitors.

Medications

Speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about your medications. They’re happy to answer your questions.

You could ask:

  • what is the medication supposed to do?
  • how do I take it?
  • how long do I keep taking it?
  • should I avoid certain food, drinks or other medications?
  • what if I miss a dose?
  • are there any side effects and what should I do if they occur?
  • how do I store this medication?

No smoking, alcohol and drugs

Smoking isn’t allowed in any of our hospitals and health centres.

You can’t smoke on the premises, the grounds, or within 5 metres of their boundaries. This rule applies to all staff, patients, visitors, contractors and other people who enter our buildings, grounds or vehicles.

You can’t use alcohol or illicit drugs at any of our hospitals or health centres. Don’t bring them to hospital and ask your visitors not to bring them to hospital.

Support services

Counselling and spiritual care

We understand that illness, injury and time in hospital can be difficult for you and your family. We have social workers and multi-faith hospital chaplains who can help you during your treatment and recovery.

Interpreter services

We have interpreter services at all Queensland Health hospitals and health centres for people who are hearing impaired or have difficulty communicating in English.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support

We have support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples including liaison officers who can provide cultural support and advice to Indigenous patients, their families and carers.

Last updated:November 2021