While You are a Patient
To ensure your best possible health outcome, Westerly Hospital believes a warm and open Patient and Family Centered Partnership is vital. For that reason we promote four core principles:
- Standards of care based on dignity and respect
- Information sharing
Your health care team includes:
- Your doctor(s) (primary care and specialists)
- Registered nurse or licensed practicing nurse
- Certified nurse assistant
- Case manager
You may also team with other specialists such as:
- Physical/Occupational/Speech therapists
- Respiratory therapists
- Diagnostic imaging technologists
- Phlebotomist and others
We look forward to working in partnership with you!
Day of Admission
To help us care for you and move you through your care more quickly, you will first meet our admission staff. They will ask you questions and give you documents to sign during your admission process. Please keep all documents as you may want to read or refer to them later.
You will also receive a patient ID bracelet. If you have an advance directive, such as a living will or a health care agent, please bring a copy with you. A living will cannot be honored unless it is attached to your chart.
And you may be asked for documentation including medical insurance cards, your Social Security card and a list of all medications you are currently taking.
After arriving at the hospital, you will be introduced to your surroundings by a member of the patient care staff.
When you need help or want to talk to a nurse, use the intercom system that links your room with the nurse’s station. A nurse will come to your room as promptly as possible.
Westerly Hospital’s hospitalist team is comprised of board certified doctors who are specialists in acute inpatient care. They work together with your primary care doctor and your specialist doctors who choose to participate in this program. During your stay, if your primary care doctor or specialist does not make hospital visits, you will be seen by a hospitalist. Your hospitalist will also make appropriate arrangements for you to resume seeing your primary care doctor after you leave the hospital.
Our Care team members (Nurses and Certified Nurse assistants) will round (visit) you throughout your stay to monitor your condition and answer any questions you may have.
Bedside Shift Transitions
Each day during your stay your care team changes shift. When this happens, members of your in-coming and off-going teams will visit your room to ensure vital safety precautions are in place and ensure your medical information is shared. Please partner with us! Let the teams know if you have any additional questions or information to share. If you agree, family members are welcome to be present during this transition time.
The hospital may be an unfamiliar setting for you. You may be taking medication that makes you dizzy and disoriented, or your illness may cause you to feel weak and unsteady. Any of these elements could lead to accidents and/or injuries in the hospital.
For this reason, it is important you follow your physician’s instructions about time out of bed, walking and use of a wheelchair, and that the nursing staff knows your whereabouts at all times.
If you are unable to walk unassisted or reposition yourself in bed while you are here, we may move you using a mechanical lifting device. Patient lifting equipment improves your care quality by increasing your safety, comfort and dignity.
While you are a patient, a case manager will visit you soon after you arrive at the hospital and regularly thereafter. Case managers are registered nurses who act as your advocate, and work with your healthcare team to ensure timely, high quality, cost effective services throughout every aspect of your hospitalization and beyond. The goals of case management include: achieving your optimal health, along with providing access to care and appropriate use of resources, which are balanced with your right to self-determination.
Silent Hospitals Help Healing…SHHH
Westerly Hospital has a program called SHHH (Silent Hospitals Help Healing). A quiet, restful environment is essential for healing, that is why we promote SHHH. Please partner with us to ensure we maintain this environment for every patient. Remind us if we are being too loud – we don’t mind!
In keeping with our mission of healing, Westerly Hospital is a smoke free campus. There is no smoking allowed anywhere in the hospital or on hospital grounds. If you smoke, please discuss this issue with your physician prior to admission.
We periodically offer a smoking cessation program. For more information, call 401-348-2300.
Television and Telephone in Your Room
To report problems with your bedside telephone, please dial 0 for our Main Switchboard. To report problems with the television, please dial our Maintenance Team at extension 3200.
Cell Phones and WiFi
You may use your cell phone in patient care areas. You also have access to WiFi; ask a care team member to provide you with the pass code.
Complementary Therapy Services
You have opportunities at Westerly Hospital to enjoy complementary therapies, which may promote your comfort, reduce your anxiety and enhance your healing. The Complementary Therapy Program and Spiritual Support program are offered primarily by trained volunteers upon request. Acupuncture is also available; please discuss your interest with your physician and request an acupuncture consult. In addition, a variety of music and relaxation CD’s are available for you to borrow during your stay. Those having a scheduled procedure or surgery at the hospital are invited to participate in the Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster™ program.
Complementary therapy services may be requested directly by patients, family members or hospital staff by calling the Volunteer Services office at extension 3969 from a hospital telephone. Please leave a message with your first name, room number and specific request. Every effort will be made to accommodate your request based on the availability of our volunteers.
We also welcome practitioners in the community who wish to volunteer their time and services within this program. Contact the Manager of Volunteer Services at 401-348-3969 or extension 3969 for more information.
To protect you and our staff, the hospital maintains a public safety program that includes 24/7 watch by uniformed public safety officers. If you ever require the assistance of a public safety officer, please call extension 4324 from your hospital phone or ask your care team member to help you.
You have a white board in your room, which features the names of your primary care team members and any additional information you would like us to list. Help us to partner with you and share what you want us to know about you!
You will enjoy delicious, healthy meals during your stay, prepared by our talented, dedicated Food & Nutrition staff. If you have any religious, ethnic or other special diet restrictions, be sure to tell us; we would be happy to accommodate your preferences.
Your doctor determines the type of diet you need during your stay. Then our clinical dietitians assess and monitor your nutritional status, and develop your personalized nutrition care plan. They may also provide nutrition education to you and your family if your doctor requires it.
Your meals will be served at the following approximate times:
Breakfast: 7:45am – 8:15am
Lunch: 11:45am – 12:15pm
Dinner: 4:45pm – 5:15pm
You will receive a menu from the Food & Nutrition Department within a few hours of admission for your meal selections; a representative from the Food & Nutrition Department will visit each morning to assist you in menu selection and to pick up your menu for that day. To ensure you receive your menu choices, please circle your selections as soon as the menu is given to you. If you are on a liquid diet, we will contact you once your physician allows solid foods. Sometimes your meal may be delayed or missed if your doctor orders diagnostic tests. We will send you a light meal once you are allowed to eat.
Food brought from home and restaurants
Ordering food from outside sources or bringing food from home, while not banned, is strongly discouraged. Here’s why:
- You may be on a special diet that cannot be monitored when you eat non-hospital food.
- You may have low immunity or be highly stressed due to your illness, and therefore more susceptible to food-borne illnesses.
- You may be exposed to harmful bacteria from external food sources because of unsanitary food preparation and maintenance.
Mail & Flowers
Mail and flowers are delivered to patients every day by our hospital volunteers. Mail received after your discharge will be forwarded. Please have your mail addressed as follows:
25 Wells Street
Westerly, RI 02891
When you’re an inpatient, you receive a copy of The Westerly Sun Newspaper daily–special thanks to The Westerly Sun for their generosity! The Westerly Sun, Boston Globe and Providence Journal are available in the Honey Dew Coffee Shop on the first floor of the hospital. New magazines are available for purchase in the Gift Shop. Volunteers also bring our comfort cart containing donated books, magazines and other items to you during the week.
A journey through illness or injury can be stressful for you and your loved ones, and may raise issues of faith and meaning. The hospital considers chaplaincy a part of your health care team, providing refreshment for the spirit through prayer, reflective listening, emotional support, ritual, literature and scripture, meditation and companionship.
Our hospital chaplaincy delivers spiritual care in several ways:
Volunteer spiritual caregivers visit you and can provide literature, comfort and contact your own clergy if you wish to request a visit for a sacrament or blessing.
Local clergy members also visit the hospital frequently, and if you specified a place of worship during admission/registration, it allows your own clergy to know you are hospitalized in some cases. In addition, spiritual care is available to you and your family 24/7 through the ministry of the “On-Call Clergy” program provided by the Westerly-Pawcatuck Clergy Association. Ask your nurse or one of the spiritual care volunteers to request a pastoral visit at any time.
The hospital’s chaplain is available for additional spiritual and pastoral care, meeting you wherever you are in your walk with faith. Our clinical chaplain can assist in crisis of faith, meaning making, quality of life and other issues. Feel free to ask for a chaplain’s visit from your nurse or hospital staff at any time during your stay with us.
Call the hospital’s chaplaincy services office at 401-348-3979. Leave a message if prompted and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
Westerly Hospital’s beautiful, non-denominational chapel on the first floor is always open for you and your family and friends. We encourage you to use this quiet space to seek peace and relief. Feel free to sign our prayer book or just sit a while.