Thank you for choosing Lower Keys Medical Center for your healthcare needs. It is a privilege to care for you.

Preparing for surgery

We strive to make your admittance to our hospital as smooth, comfortable and quick as we possibly can. One way to ease any concerns you may have is to take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with our processes before your arrive. Please be sure to ask any member of your healthcare team if you have further questions about your upcoming surgery.  

In order to best prepare, be sure to:

  • Stop eating and drinking after midnight before surgery, or as directed.
  • Ask when to stop taking aspirin or other blood thinners, herbs, vitamins and supplements. Some of these can interfere with surgery or interact with other medications.
  • Ask which medications you should continue to take. If told to take your medication on the day of surgery, do so with only a sip of water, or as directed. If you smoke, reduce or quit.
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled surgery time.

Bring comforts from home

The following guidelines are for you to use when bringing personal belongings from home while a patient at our hospital.

  • For your added comfort during your stay with us, you are welcome to bring personal toiletry items.
  • It is important that you inform your nurse of any medications you may have brought with you to the hospital including any complementary/alternative medications (i.e. herbal products).
  • To prevent electrical shock or fire, bringing in personal electrical devices is strongly discouraged.  If you do bring in any electrical equipment, it is a requirement that it be checked by the Plant Operations Department prior to use.
  • We strongly recommend leaving your valuables at home where you know they are safe.  The hospital will not accept liability for any valuables you choose to leave in your room. 

When you arrive

It is our goal to make your hospital stay as comfortable and pleasant as possible. You are the reason we are here. Taking care of your every need is a top priority for our team.

When you arrive at Lower Keys Medical Center, please check in at the outpatient waiting room, located in the rear hallway near the emergency waiting room. Our admitting specialist will greet you and begin the registration process. Depending on your situation, you will be given an identification bracelet that must be worn until you are discharged from the hospital. If this bracelet comes off for any reason, please notify your nurse and ask for a new one.

To prepare for the registration process, please bring the following items with you:

  • Your health insurance card
  • Personal identification (such as driver's license or picture ID)
  • List of current medications
  • List of current physicians and their phone numbers
  • A copy of your advance directives (if you have created one)
  • Any medical records, x-ray films or test (if you doctor has requested them)

If you are having a surgical procedure, a member of our team will escort you and your family to our surgical suite.

A surgical waiting room is available near our surgery suite for the comfort of your family and friends.

Depending upon your procedure, you may be directed to an exam room where you will change into a hospital gown. If you are scheduled for a procedure that requires an overnight stay, your personal items will be identified and taken to the nurse's station on your unit. Please send home any valuables that you have with you.

If you must keep your valuables at the hospital, we urge you to place them in the hospital safe.Your nurse may conduct a brief examination, which could include taking your temperature, blood pressure, height and weight, and listening to your heart through a stethoscope.

At some point, your surgeon and anesthesiologist will speak to you prior to surgery. You will be asked to sign a consent for procedure form if you did not previously complete one in your surgeon's office.

Advance directives

The Patient Self-Determination Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1990, requires health care facilities to provide information on "advance directives" to their patients upon admission. An advance directive states an individual's treatment choices.

It also allows you to name someone to make treatment decisions - to accept or refuse medial care - for you if at some point you cannot make them yourself, and the decision to make, after a person's death, an anatomical gift. This type of advance directive is often called a "medical power of attorney", a "durable power of attorney" or a "health care proxy".

The person named in this type of advance directive can make all health care decisions for you that you could have made for yourself if you were able, whether or not you are terminally ill, or only those decisions you list. According to the law, the person you choose cannot make decisions that he/she knows goes against your religious beliefs, basic values, and stated preferences.

These documents are signed, dated and witnessed by two individuals and may be completed any time prior to or during hospitalization.

Upon your admission to Lower Keys Medical Center, you will be asked if you have an advanced directive. If you do not, you will be offered information on your rights to make advance decisions regarding your medical care. You do not have to make an advance directive. The decision is yours to make.If you do have an advance directive, it is important that we obtain a copy for your medical record. If you do not have a copy of your advance directive with you, you will be asked to advise your physician and nurse of the content in your document.

At no time will the provision of care be conditioned upon the existence of an advance directive nor will a patient be discriminated against because of the existence of an advance directive.

Preparing for discharge

Once your physician has determined that you are ready to go home, our staff will give you discharge instructions and pamphlets that help you care for yourself following your hospital stay. Be sure you are clear about discharge instructions, including medications you need and information regarding a follow-up visit. Make sure you are given a phone number to call if you have any questions.  

For your safety, we will provide wheelchair transportation to the lobby exit where a family member can safely pick you up in the car. Be sure to gather all of your personal belongings and ask for any valuables you may have in our hospital safe.  

Please know that our case management department will work closely with all other departments in our hospital to give you and your family access to all available services that  help advance your recuperation and rehabilitation. Our discharge planners assess each patient at the time of admission and follow their care until discharge.  

LKMC Case Managers can assist with coordination of the discharge plan, which may include:

  • Nursing home or assisted living facilities
  • Working with your insurance company
  • Home health care
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Rehabilitation of veterans hospitals
  • Transportation
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Hospice
  • Home infusion therapy
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Substance abuse
  • Community resources

Our case management department office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. To speak with one of our case managers, please call (305) 294-5531, extension 3363.