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How to Prepare for Your Stay

Bring a list of all of your medications, including prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbal remedies. Also, let us know about all allergies and reactions to medications, foods or latex. 

Personal items: Keep it simple

Bring essential personal items only: nightclothes, robe, non-slip slippers, toothbrush and toiletries. Battery operated appliances such as electric shavers and radios are fine. Please bring containers to store eyeglasses, hearing aids or dentures. Also be careful to not leave personal belongings on food service trays or in unlabeled receptacles. Do not bring jewelry or valuables: HackensackUMC Mountainside cannot be responsible for replacement of personal belongings.

If you do have valuables with you, we can store them in a safe in our Security office. However, it's best to send all jewelry and valuables home. Keep a small amount of money with you for newspapers and gift shop needs.

Ask about the medications you are receiving

When the nurse brings you your medication, be sure you know what it is, especially if the color, shape or size of the pills is different from what you usually take. It may be a generic drug instead of a brand name, a different brand name, or a different strength of medication as ordered by your physician.

If you are having surgery

Make sure your doctor, nurse and anesthesiologist know your allergies and any personal or family history of reactions to anesthesia. If you need medical clearance from a physician other than your surgeon, please have it faxed to the Pre-Admission Testing department one week before surgery at 973-680-7898. Before your procedure, make sure you get a clear explanation of what will be done during surgery, what preparation is needed, and what to expect during the recovery phase.

The operating room team consists of the surgeon, nurses and board-certified anesthesiologists. Once you have the surgery you will be transferred to the recovery suite where you may stay for one to two hours. Alleviation of pain is our goal. Please inform your physician and nurses of the level of pain you experience - with 0 equaling no pain and 10 indicating a high level of pain - so they can better manage your pain with the appropriate medication.

Food and nutrition

A Food and Nutrition Services host/hostess will visit you at mealtime and can assist with making your meal selections for the special diet determined by your physician. You will receive a selective menu specific to your nutritional needs on your breakfast tray to select for the following day. Breakfast is served from 7:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., lunch from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and dinner from 4:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Menu substitutions and guest trays are available on request. If you have any concerns regarding meal service during your stay, please contact a food service representative at extension 5061. For patients with special religious dietary requirements, we will make every effort to accommodate your needs. Although HackensackUMC Mountainside does not keep a Kosher kitchen for food preparation and handling we will serve frozen Kosher meals.

When can I go home?

Your primary physician will see you daily and will identify when you are well enough to go home. Your nurse will review with you your discharge instructions, medications you will need to continue to take and answer any questions regarding after care. Discharges usually take place before 11 a.m. Please arrange to have transportation ready for your discharge once your physician shares with you when you will be ready to go home.