Your physician will make arrangements for your hospital admission except in emergencies.
If you're a surgery patient, you'll be scheduled for an admission time when you come for your routine preoperative tests, usually one to two weeks before admission.
When you arrive, you don't need to preregister for your scheduled appointment or test – simply check in at your service area.
Patient Registration Locations
- Patient Registration at the ACH in Augusta is located on the first floor. Please call (207) 626-1583 for info or help.
- At the TCH in Waterville, Patient Registration is located on the right as you come in the main entrance. Please call (207) 872-1108 for info or help.
You can make appointments, pay your bill and update your information any time through MaineGeneral's FollowMyHealth® Patient Portal.
What to Bring
Pack lightly and simply. We will provide a personal care kit that includes a washbasin, water pitcher and soap. You should bring:
- Toothbrush, comb and other personal toiletries
- A list of your medications, both prescribed and over-the-counter
- Protective containers for eyeglasses, contact lenses and dentures
- Night clothes, robe and slippers, if desired
- Current health insurance information
Please do not bring large sums of money or other valuables.
What to Expect During Your Stay
When you arrive in your room, the nurse caring for you will introduce herself or himself and help you settle in. She/He will tell you what to expect in terms of your care, meals, your room, etc.
Some of this information is included here, as well as in the Guide to Our Services and Staff you will find waiting for you when you arrive. The hospital information and education channel on your TV also contains helpful tips to make your stay more comfortable.
During your stay, you may receive care from several nurses and other health care professionals. All MaineGeneral staff members and volunteers wear photo identification badges, so you will know who they are and what they do.
Everyone who cares for you will introduce themselves to you. If you have questions or concerns at any time during your stay, just ask! We're here for you and your family.
Your Care Team
Your care is a team effort at MaineGeneral Medical Center. Our health professionals work together to provide you with the best possible care. Following are some of the care team members you may meet while you're here.
If your physician will not be caring for you during your stay, you will be cared for by an attending physician or "hospitalist." This physician will coordinate your care, check on you regularly and consult with specialists and other care team members as needed. Your family physician can monitor your progress and consult with your attending physician as well.
A resident is a physician receiving specialized clinical training in a hospital, usually after completing an internship. Because MGMC is affiliated with Maine Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency, we have residents caring for patients throughout the hospital in conjunction with patients' regular physician.
Physician Assistants/Nurse Practitioners
Physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. They work closely with physicians to provide daily medical monitoring and management. They also conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care and write prescriptions.
Your nurses are at the center of your care team. Nurses work with other members of the team to plan, coordinate and carry out your day-to-day care. They will also provide education on your condition, medications, treatments and at-home care. If you have any questions about your care, please ask one of your nurses.
A social worker is available to talk with you about any personal, financial and other needs related to being in the hospital. Our social workers provide support to you and your family during this time and let you know about support groups that might be beneficial. If you want to meet with a social worker, please speak to your nurse, doctor or care manager.
Care managers work with patients, families and the treatment team to ensure you are receiving appropriate and timely care. Your care manager is a resource throughout your stay and will coordinate your safe return home or to another care environment, making sure all the equipment and services you need are in place. Learn more about Care Management.
Depending on your needs, you may receive physical, occupational, speech or respiratory therapy during your stay. The goal of therapy is to help you achieve your maximum level of functioning and regain your independence.
If your doctor prescribes a special diet for you, a dietitian may visit you during your stay to explain the diet. The dietitian will also explain any special instructions to you and your family prior to discharge so you can maintain your prescribed diet at home, as needed.
More About Care Management/Social Services
While being in the hospital can be disruptive and stressful for patients and family members, coming home may present a different set of challenges. MaineGeneral Medical Center's Care Management staff can make it easier to go from hospital to home or to another care setting.
How We Can Help
We are licensed social workers and nurses who are here to help make your hospital stay and discharge as stress-free as possible. We can help you and your family members by:
- Helping coordinate your care. We work very closely with your care provider(s), nurses and other staff to make sure your care is coordinated. Your team wants to make sure you are involved and kept informed about the care you receive each day, and about the plan for your hospital stay.
- Explaining what services are covered by insurance. We can help you understand Medicare, MaineCare and many insurance company guidelines for what hospital care may be covered and for how long. This is important because there are differences in coverage for an inpatient stay, a skilled nursing facility and for home care. If we don't know the answer, we will try and find out!
- Supporting you throughout your hospitalization. Your health care team is here to help and support you. As part of your care, Care Management can provide you with extra support during stressful periods of treatment.
- Overseeing special discharge arrangements. These include:
- Home health care (visiting nurses, therapists, social workers, aides, etc.)
- Durable medical equipment (hospital bed, etc.)
- Home IVs
- Respiratory care at home
- Rehabilitation in an acute rehab or skilled nursing facility
- Long term care in a nursing or boarding home
- Other outpatient services and support
Please note that some outpatient services also are available through your primary care provider's office.
Other Services and Benefits
Your care manager can also provide information on a range of non-health care-related resources. These include:
- Information on ways to help pay for your care
- Transportation resources
- Help with the cost of medications
- Support group information
- Delivered meals
- Advocacy help
Call our office to arrange a visit with a member of the Care Management staff. You can also ask your doctor or nurse to contact us at (207) 626-1284.
Discharge and Going Home
The goal of hospital care is to help you recover from your illness or injury so you can go home or to another care facility. We also want to make sure you know how to take care of yourself after you leave.
The discharge process begins soon after you arrive. We give you a folder where you should keep important information about your stay. On the white board in your room, we write down your treatment goals and what you need to do before you can safely leave the hospital.
Your doctor will tell you what day you can leave. To make your transition as smooth as possible, your care manager will help arrange for any post-discharge care or medical equipment you may need.
Please arrange for a ride home as soon as you know when you will be discharged. If you need help making these arrangements, please ask your care manager.
As you get ready to go, please look around your room to make sure you have all of your belongings and any personal care items you received during your stay. If you have valuables in the medical center safe, ask your nurse to bring them to your room before you leave.
A staff member or volunteer will escort you to the entrance and stay with you until your ride arrives.
When you leave the hospital, you may need to do many things to take care of yourself and continue your recovery. You may need to see your doctor, for example, take new medications and exercise more.
Everyone involved in your care will agree on this plan of care. You will also get written instructions to take home with you. Your nurse will review these with you and your family.
You will get a copy of the plan; please keep it in your folder for ready reference. A second copy goes in your hospital record and medical history and a third goes to your regular doctor.
Your care manager will communicate with your primary care provider or home health agency to ensure a smooth transition from the hospital to home or another care setting.
You are the Key
The success of your treatment depends on you. Please take your medication and follow any diet and therapy plans outlined in your discharge instructions.
If you are not sure what you need to do to take care of yourself when you leave the hospital, please ask your nurse. She/He will gladly review your discharge instructions with you again.
One of our nurses and/or care managers may call you after you leave the hospital. We care about how you are doing. If you have questions or concerns, please ask us when we call.
After you return home, you will receive a patient survey asking about the services you received at MaineGeneral. Your opinions are very important to us and help guide improvements in our care and services. When you receive your survey, please fill it out as completely and honestly as possible.
If you are scheduled for lab work or other tests at the medical center, please report first to Patient Registration. You will meet with a patient account representative who will direct you to where your test or lab work will take place.
Patient Registration at the Augusta Campus is located in the main lobby. For more information, please call (207) 626-1583.
At the Thayer Campus in Waterville, Patient Registration is located on the right as you enter the main entrance. For more information, please call (207) 872-1108.
Special Care for Child Patients
A hospital stay can be particularly scary for a child — and a parent. That's why we take special care of our youngest patients, making sure they're comfortable.
A lot of us are parents, too, so we try to treat your child the way we would want our children to be treated — with respect and lots of TLC.
We help children understand what is happening, and we encourage both children and parents to ask questions and be a part of the care team.
We welcome and encourage one parent to spend the night with your child; we will provide bedding for you to sleep on.
An Advance Directive is a legal document that allows you to communicate your wishes and preferences for health care if you are too sick to speak for yourself.
It helps loved ones and doctors know what kind of treatment you would want. You do not need to see a lawyer to complete this form and it can be changed and updated at any time.
Advance Directives do not replace thoughtful, thorough and compassionate medical care during times of serious illness. In fact, they support good care by letting your health care team know about your wishes.
Advance Directives commonly have two parts:
- A "medical power of attorney" or "health care agent" form that names a person who will make health care decisions for you if you cannot speak for yourself.This person is someone with whom you have discussed your wishes as expressed in your living will and who would honor them.
- A "living will" agreement which allows you to put into writing your choices for the medical care you would or would not want in certain situations.This helps your family and doctors make decisions about the use of medical treatments when you cannot make those decisions yourself.
If you are asked whether you have an Advance Directive, it is not cause for alarm. We are legally required to ask this question and it is unrelated to your present condition.
You should discuss your Advance Directives with your doctor and give copies to your health care agent, doctor and hospital of choice.
If you would like more information about Advance Directives, our staff can tell you more about them and provide the appropriate forms.
You can also download forms and information here.