Keeping You Safe if You are Having Surgery

Caregivers will ask for your name and date of birth several times, the kind of surgery you are having and the part of your body that will be operated on. If you have questions, do not understand something or something does not seem right to you, speak up! Remember, it’s OK to ask!

Before some surgeries, the doctor may write his or her initials on your skin to confirm the correct location for your procedure.

We will perform a “timeout” right before your surgery to make sure everyone on your team agrees on what surgery is to be done.

After Your Surgery

Tell us if you are having pain. We want to make you comfortable. Ask questions about new medications and treatments. Ask when you can resume activities, like getting out of bed and walking independently.

What Patients and Families Need to Know about Rapid Response Teams

The Rapid Response Team is a group of medical and nursing professionals trained to help when signs suggest that a patient is getting much sicker. The Rapid Response Team takes action very quickly and will go anywhere in the hospital to see a patient. The Rapid Response Team may suggest things like lab tests, medications or moving the patient to an intensive care unit.

Warning signs that a patient may be getting sicker:

  • Changes in the heart rate or breathing rate.1
  • A drop in blood pressure.
  • Sudden confusion, slurred speech or mental status changes.
  • Something just does not “look right” or “seem right” with the patient.

How you can help:
If you see warning signs that a patient is getting sicker, please immediately contact the nursing staff. You may also activate the Rapid Response Team by dialing 4100 from any hospital phone, including phones in patient rooms. Tell the operator the patient’s name and location. The operator will page the Rapid Response Team overhead to that location.

How to Report Your Concerns about Care, Treatment and Patient Safety Issues

If you are unhappy with your care or something does not seem right to you, please report this to your caregiver. You may also ask to speak with the Charge Nurse or Unit Director.

You can also report any concerns to the Patient Hotline at 202-715–4195.

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The George Washington University Hospital is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.(UHS), a King of Prussia, PA-based company, that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation.          

The George Washington University Hospital

900 23rd St., NW
Washington, DC 20037

© 2015 The George Washington University Hospital. All rights reserved.

Note:The information on this Web site is provided as general health guidelines and may not be applicable to your particular health condition. Your individual health status and any required medical treatments can only be properly addressed by a professional healthcare provider of your choice. Remember: There is no adequate substitution for a personal consultation with your physician. Neither The George Washington University Hospital , or any of their affiliates, nor any contributors shall have any liability for the content or any errors or omissions in the information provided by this Web site.            

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