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What to Expect During Your Stay

Your Healthcare Team

While you are the center of your healthcare team, there are many others who will be supporting you during your stay in our hospital. You will benefit from a hospital team who is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality care in a compassionate, courteous and efficient manner. In addition, Summa Health serves as a major teaching facility with a commitment to education, research and innovation, and to train the next generation of the healthcare workforce. For patients, this means that resident doctors, medical and nursing students and other healthcare professional students may assist in your care.

Here are some of the hospital team members you may encounter during your stay:


  • Attending Physician: An attending physician is the doctor in charge of your care while you are in the hospital.
  • Personal Physician: Your personal physician is your primary care physician, or family doctor. You may or may not see your personal physician during your hospital stay. Your personal physician may request that your care be followed by a hospitalist physician while you are in the hospital.
  • Hospitalist: A hospitalist is a doctor who specializes in caring for patients while they are in the hospital. A hospitalist is a substitute for your personal physician while you are in the hospital.
  • Consulting Physician: A consulting physician is a doctor with expertise in special areas. Your physician may request a consulting physician to see you while you are in the hospital.
  • Resident Physician: Resident physicians are doctors that have graduated from medical school and are continuing their education in specialized medical areas.
  • Medical Student: Medical students observe and work with the medical team under the careful supervision of other doctors.


  • Registered Nurses (RN): Registered nurses coordinate your care and manage the nursing team. They communicate with you, your doctor and your family. During your stay, under the direction of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and other nursing team members may also assist with your care.
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN): An APRN is a registered nurse with additional education and training in a specific area of healthcare. Advance practice registered nurses have expanded skills in planning and evaluating your care. They may include clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse anesthetists and nurse practitioners.
  • Transitional Care Coordinators (TCC) and Case Managers: Transitional Care Coordinators and Case Managers are RNs who will work with you on discharge planning.

Other Care Providers

  • Occupational Therapists: Occupational therapists evaluate and help improve your ability to perform daily tasks or activities, such as dressing or bathing.
  • Physical Therapists: Physical therapists assist you after an illness, injury or surgery to regain or improve your physical abilities, such as walking or moving.
  • Speech-Language Pathologists: Speech-language pathologists evaluate and treat you for communication and swallowing disorders.
  • Respiratory Therapists: Respiratory therapists evaluate and care for your breathing needs.
  • Social Workers: Social workers provide assistance with discharge planning as needed.
  • Dietitians: Registered and licensed dietitians evaluate your nutritional requirements and needs. They consider diet restrictions, allergies and physical ability to eat in their healing-focused recommendations.

Safe Care

Providing safe care and service to you while you are in the hospital is our number one priority. Our staff is trained in safety behaviors, and we have policies and procedures in place to support staff in delivering the safest care possible to you. If at any time you have questions about your care, we encourage you to ask us.

Partnering In Your Care

  • We encourage you to be an active participant in your own healthcare. You are the center of your healthcare team and we encourage you and your family to be active, involved and informed.
  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns. If you still don’t understand, ask again until you understand. It’s your body and you have a right to know.
  • Pay attention to the care you get. Always make sure you are getting the right treatments and medications by the right healthcare professionals. Do not assume anything. Always ask when unsure.
  • Educate yourself about your illness. Learn about the medical tests you get and your treatment plan.
  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate, advisor or supporter.
  • Nationally, medication errors are the most common healthcare mistakes. Therefore, know what medicines you take and why you take them.
  • Feel free to talk to your healthcare professional. Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of your healthcare team.

Patient Identity

With your safety in mind, please remember to always check your own identification band to make sure all information is correct. Staff will frequently ask you to identify yourself. This is to assure you are receiving the proper medication, treatment or procedure.

Check your identification arm band and make sure it has your correct full name and birth date. The identification band will be used to identify you prior to giving medications, blood specimen collection or diagnostic testing by your caregivers. We encourage you to ask staff to check your arm band before any procedure, test, or medications are given.

Site markings such as the marking of arms, legs, etc. prior to surgery and/or invasive procedures is being done to keep you safe and to actively involve you in your care. Please speak up if you have questions or concerns. Thank you for your patience and cooperation with these safety activities.

Staff Identity

Employees are expected to wear identification badges and introduce themselves to you. You have the right to know the identity and professional status of individuals providing service to you and to know which physician or other practitioner is primarily responsible for your care.

Immediate Concerns about Your Medical Condition

The Rapid Response Team gives you a way to gain the attention of a healthcare provider immediately in the event you or your family
believes it is a critical situation, you are not receiving adequate medical care, or feel no one is listening to your medical concerns.

You or your family can activate the Rapid Response Team if after speaking with your healthcare team you feel they are not acknowledging your concern and you have concern about the care you are receiving, or how it is being managed.

You may activate a Rapid Response Team:
  • At Summa Health System - Akron Campus by calling 330.375.7735 (Ext 1)  from room phone.
  • At Summa Health System - St. Thomas Campus by calling 330.379.3993 or 93393 from room phone
  • At Summa Health System -Barberton Campus by contacting any staff member

A Rapid Response team will then be activated, which alerts a team of medical professionals to report to your room and assess the situation. Additional clinical support will be brought in as needed.

Medication Safety

Please Alert Us!
If you, a family member or visitor notice a change in your condition, or something just does not seem right, please notify a staff member right away. Our Rapid Response Teams can be mobilized immediately to help.

Taking your medication correctly during your hospital stay is an important part of your treatment. Sometimes taking different medications at the same time can cause problems. Your doctor, nurse and the hospital’s pharmacist will carefully monitor your medication use to avoid these problems. It is very important that you take only those medications provided by the hospital’s pharmacy and administered by your nurse. Look at the medication before you take it. If it does not look like the medication you usually take, then ask why. It is possible the medication looks different because it is a different brand or dosage.

Medication education will be provided when a new medication is given and reinforced for current medications. Always ask questions when you are unclear about any medication given to you. Provide the staff with a complete list of all your medications, including medication patches, infusion pumps, non-prescription, herbals, over-the-counter medications and vitamins you take. Also include the name and phone number of your pharmacy. If you must bring your medications due to insurance regulations, always give your medication to the nurse so it can be properly identified.

Your Safety As A Patient
Please inform the doctors and nursing staff of known allergies or any reactions you may have had with medications in the past. When you are prescribed new medications or different doses, ask the following questions:
  • What is this medication for?
  • Are there any side effects; if so, what do I do if they occur?
  • Is this medication safe to take with other medications?
  • What food, drink or activities should I avoid while taking this medication?

Avoiding Skin Breakdown

When you are very sick, you are prone to have skin breakdown wherever the weight of your body presses into any surface. You are at the greatest risk if you move very little, or are in bed or a chair for a very long time, especially if you also have been losing weight.

Consider the following suggestions to help prevent skin breakdown:
  • Change positions at least every two hours.
  • Use pillows to protect common pressure points where skin breaks down easily, including the heels and elbows, the back of the head, the buttocks and between the knees.
  • Ensure that you are eating a balanced diet. Good nutrition promotes skin health.
  • Keep all areas of skin clean and dry. Moisture from weepy skin, perspiration, urine or bowel movements causes skin breakdown.
  • Apply gentle massage with moisturizing lotion or cream to the back, arms, ears, hands, legs and feet.
  • If you or your family notices reddened or broken skin on pressure points, notify your doctor or nurse immediately.

Pain Management

During your stay, the management of your pain is important. Both drug and non-drug treatments can be successful in helping  to prevent and control pain. Pain medication may be ordered as needed. Pain is best managed when identified early, so report your pain as soon as possible.

Fall Prevention

We are here to help you take all the necessary precautions to avoid injuries caused by falls. To decrease your risk for falls we request you:
  • Call staff for assistance prior to getting up if you have been given a fall-risk armband.
  • Use your call light for help.
  • Ask for help if you feel weak, dizzy or light-headed when you attempt to get up.
  • Wear slippers with non-skid soles when walking.
  • Your hospital bed is probably higher and narrower than your bed at home. When needed, call for help getting into or out of bed. If the side rails are up, don’t try to climb over or between them.
  • Use your call light for help.
  • If you have any tubing connected to you, use your call light to get help moving.
  • Ask to have objects such as bedside tables, phones and call lights within easy reach if you are not able to get out of bed.
  • We are here to assist you. If you need help going to the bathroom, please do not hesitate to ask a staff member for assistance.
  • Leave the bathroom light on at night so you can see if you must get up.
  • Do not try to use the furniture for support.
  • Notify a staff member if a spill occurs.
  • Wheelchairs tip easily. Please ask for assistance when getting into or out of one.
  • Families of a patient at high risk for a fall should notify the nursing staff when they leave the patient’s room.

Calling Your Nurse

You may contact the nurse’s station by using the handheld call button. In addition, every bathroom is equipped with an emergency call button. A staff member will respond to your signal as quickly as possible.

Hearing Impaired

Telecommunications devices (TDD) are available for our patients who are hearing or speech impaired or for patients who wish to communicate with a relative or friend who is hearing impaired. If you would like to use a TDD unit, please ask a staff member.


Interpreters are available for the translation of sign language and foreign languages. If you need an interpreter, please ask your nurse for assistance.

Dentures, Eyeglasses and Hearing Aids

In order to be able to participate in your care, please wear your eyeglasses, hearing aids and dentures unless you have been asked to remove them. Store dentures, eyeglasses and hearing aids in a safe place when you are not using them. A staff member can provide you with a denture box or glasses case. Please do not wrap dentures, eyeglasses or hearing aids in tissue paper or cloth, or leave them on your meal tray. Summa Health is not responsible for the loss of dentures, eyeglasses or hearing aids.

Cell Phones

Using cellular phones is generally permitted at Summa Health except in restricted areas.

Concealed Weapons

To protect the safety of our patients, visitors and employees, Summa Health has exercised its right under Ohio law, as an owner of private property, to prohibit employees, patients and visitors from carrying concealed weapons into any Summa owned or operated facility. Summa requires carriers of concealed weapons to store weapons in their vehicles or to deposit them in the facility’s lockbox, if available.

Fire and Emergency Drills

Tests and emergency drills are held periodically within the hospital and without advance notice. In the case of an actual event, please follow the instructions given by hospital personnel.

Safety Escort

Our Protective Services Department helps ensure a safe and secure environment for our patients, guests and employees. Protective Services provides a 24-hour parking deck escort service for all visitors. If you would like a safety escort, please ask any staff member to call Protective Services.

Cover Your Cough

Another way to help stop spreading infection is to make sure that you cover your cough and nose with a tissue when you sneeze. Coughing or sneezing into your elbow may be the best way to prevent the spread of germs. Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing.

Hand Washing

Practicing good hand hygiene is the most important thing we can do to prevent the spread of infection. Everyone who cares for you should clean their hands. If you do not see the doctor, nurse, other healthcare providers and guests clean their hands with soap and water or with sanitizing hand gel upon entering your room, we encourage you to ask them to clean their hands. It is also important for you to wash your hands before and after meals and after using the restroom.



Options to Request an Appointment

If your situation is an emergency, call 911.