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Your Hospital Stay

Your Hospital Stay

Winter is coming! Did you know that the number of patients cared for at all six Valley Health hospitals increases during the winter season due to cold, flu and other seasonal ailments?

According to Jennifer Riggleman, RN, MSN, director of acute care at Winchester Medical Center, there are steps you can take to help ensure that you or your loved one has a positive experience if you are admitted for an overnight stay:

For patients:

  • Be honest with your care providers, and remember that this is about your health, so speak up for yourself and your welfare.
  • Have a good understanding of your condition and the treatment plan, and if possible, discuss this with your physician prior to admission.
  • Bring a complete list of your medications, including dosages and when you take them.
    • It is also very helpful if you bring a copy of your advance care directive so we’re able to follow your wishes if you are unable to speak for yourself.
  • Plan to have a loved one with you who can act as a second pair of ears (it’s sometimes hard to remember everything you are being told!), and can advocate on your behalf.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We want to know when you don’t feel that things have been adequately explained. Any question is welcome.
  • Keep a positive attitude, and place someone in charge of things at home so you don’t have outside worries.
  • There is plenty of downtime in the hospital, so bring something to pass the time.

For visitors:

  • Remember that this is a public place and the care team’s priority is to care for the patient; visitors should be prepared to meet their own medical, nutritional and other needs.
  • Practice good hand hygiene; make sure you “wash in and wash out” of your loved one’s hospital room using hand sanitizer available at locations throughout the hospital.
  • Practice good cough etiquette, by covering all coughs and sneezes.
  • Get a flu shot to reduce your odds of getting the flu this winter.
    • Visit Valley Health Urgent Care, Quick Care or Valley Pharmacy locations for your vaccination.
  • If you have the flu or flulike symptoms….stay home! Don’t come to visit if you are sick, as that spreads infection and illness among patients and staff.
  • Patient privacy is a priority at Valley Health. You may be asked to step out of the room in order to give privacy and rest time to the patient. Please respect hospital visiting hours.

Patient handbooks and other resources are available online for review by patients and visitors. Visit for more information.