OSF St. Joseph Medical Center

What to Expect

What Should I Do The Week Before Surgery?

Please be sure to arrive on time for your scheduled pre-testing appointment at the Ambulatory Care Unit of OSF St. Joseph Medical Center. Allow one to two hours for the following procedures to be completed:

  • Registration
  • Lab work
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • X-Rays
  • Health history questionnaire (Please bring your medications, or a list of them, with you.)
  • Anesthesia evaluation

If you are not scheduled for a pre-testing appointment, you will need to have any testing ordered by your surgeon completed at least three days prior to your surgery date. You may enter through the Ambulatory Care Unit (Entrance E) when you arrive for your pre-testing appointment. Please allow 30 minutes to one-hour for all of your testing to be completed.

For patients not having their pre-testing done at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, a pre-testing nurse will call you to review your health history. Please be prepared to confirm:

  • Your date of surgery
  • Procedure to be done
  • Your medications

If you have questions, please call the Pre-testing Department at (309) 661-5164 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to speak to a pre-testing nurse.

The pre-testing nurse will also review any preoperative instructions with you.

If you are having an outpatient procedure, you must have someone available to drive you home from the hospital.

What Should I Do The Day Before Surgery?

Please complete your pre-operative preparations (such as enema, Betadine® douche, or Hibiclens® shower) as instructed. Your surgeon's office or the pre-testing nurse will give you instructions on when to stop eating and drinking. If you have not received instruction or are unsure of what to do, you should stop eating, drinking, and smoking at midnight. Do not chew gum or suck on breath mints, hard candy, or ice chips.

There is a pre-testing nurse available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to answer any questions. To reach the pre-testing nurse, call (309) 661-5164.

Please bring with you:

  • Any medications instructed to bring
  • Loose, comfortable clothing
  • Toiletries, robe, and slippers (if you will be staying overnight)
  • Inhalers, nitroglycerin, and eye drops (if applicable)
  • C-PAP machine (if applicable)

Please do not bring with you:

  • Fine jewelry
  • Large amounts of money
  • Irreplaceable items

What Should I Do The Morning Of Surgery?

Take only the medications you were instructed to take with a sip of water. If you have a fever, are vomiting, have diarrhea, a rash, or cold symptoms (i.e. cough, sore throat, or a cold sore) please notify your surgeon prior to surgery. Your procedure may have to be delayed or rescheduled.

*Please remember prior to going into surgery, dentures and glasses will be removed.

The following may not be worn during surgery:

  • Fingernail or toenail polish
  • Makeup
  • Jewelry
  • Hairpins or barrettes
  • Contact lenses
  • Wigs

Please arrive at the hospital two hours before your scheduled surgery time. If your insurance company requires a co-pay, you will be expected to pay this at the time of admission.

What Happens After I Arrive At The Hospital?

Parking is available in the Surgical Staging parking lot. When you enter the building (Entrance E), continue directly ahead into the Ambulatory Care Unit/Pre-Admission Testing Unit. A nurse will admit you for surgery. Your family and/or friends may be asked to wait in the waiting area until the nurse has completed your admission process. During this admission process, the nurse will take your vital signs and start an IV. You will also sign your consent for surgery and receive any pre-operative medications ordered by your surgeon. There are lockers available to place any personal belongings.

If I Am Having Outpatient Surgery, What Does Discharge Involve?

You will remain in the Ambulatory Care Unit approximately one to four hours. You must be alert, take fluids without vomiting, and urinate before discharge. Your nurse will give you written discharge instructions based on your surgeon's orders. Do not drive or drink alcohol for 24 hours after your surgery. Please plan to have a competent caregiver available to drive you home and stay with you to assist you the day and night of surgery.

At the time of discharge, your discharge medications will be called into the pharmacy of your choice. Eastland Pharmacy, located at Entrance C of OSF St. Joseph, is also available to dispense medications. Payment is required when the medications are picked up and cannot be added to your hospital bill. Many prescription cards are accepted. If you have any questions or concerns during your stay, please ask your nurse.