What to expect when staying in hospital

Watch our welcome video and find out what to expect when staying to hospital.

Welcome to our hospital. Your wellbeing is our number one priority.

We rely on you to help us keep you safe and comfortable, so it is important to become familiar with our hospital and what to expect.

While you are in hospital, staff will ask you your full name, date of birth and any allergies you may have.

Staff will ask you these questions many times during your stay. We do this as a safety check, so please be patient with us. Tell us if these details are incorrect.

If you need an interpreter, let us know. We provide professional interpreter services in our hospital - at no cost to you. There might be other information we need to know about you.

Please speak with us if you have cultural or religious preferences, or if you have special food requirements.

Sometimes healthcare can be confusing. You might hear words, or of procedures that are new to you.

If you don't understand - that's okay. Don't be afraid to ask us to explain, or to repeat it again.

To keep you safe, our staff will check on you regularly. Use this as an opportunity to ask questions or discuss any concerns you may have.

Staying for too long in one position can cause bed sores, which are painful and not nice.

If you can, try to change your position in bed and call us if you are uncomfortable. We are very happy to help you change position.

To help prevent blood clots, please wear your hospital stockings if you've been asked to, and move as often as you can.

But be careful... You may not be your usual self, and if you have a fall... it may take you longer to recover.

When you go for a walk, wear shoes, or slippers with rubber soles and use your usual walking aids.

If you need help to get out of bed, to reach something or to go to the bathroom, please use the buzzer to ask the nurses for help.

You might be given medication that you haven't had before.

If you don't understand what the medication is for, or you are concerned about the potential side effects, please let us know.

If you are in pain or uncomfortable, tell your nurse or doctors straight away so they can help you.

If you or your loved ones are concerned that your condition is getting worse, not doing as well as expected, or not improving, we want to know. Please talk to your nurse or doctor.

We need your help to prevent infections. Please wash your hands before and after visiting the bathroom and before all meals.

Please remind your visitors and staff to wash their hands too.

When it is time to go home, your doctor or nurse will talk to you about your hospital discharge.

It is important to know what to do when you get home, so ask as many questions as you like.

We can also give you written information and talk to your family or carer.

If you have feedback or want to make a complaint, speak to a staff member.

If you need any other help to make your hospital stay comfortable and safe, please let us know.

What to bring

If you're staying overnight in hospital, you'll need to bring:

  • your admission advice and completed admission form
  • pyjamas or a night gown, dressing gown and non slip footwear
  • toiletries
  • a small amount of money for things like a taxi fare home or using a payphone
  • your mobile phone and charger
  • prescription medicines
  • your x-rays
  • your Medicare card, Pension card or Health Care Card
  • the name and contact number for your next of kin
  • your Workcover detail, if your illness or injury happened because of work
  • any current advance health directive or enduring power of attorney.

If you're staying with a child, bring a favourite toy, nappies or any special items. Make sure you put a name label on anything you bring.

We have small lockers beside the beds if you need to use them. Please don't bring valuables or large amounts of money with you to hospital. If they go missing, we won't accept responsibility for them.

Medical history

We may ask you about your medical history when we admit you. Knowing this helps us keep you, our staff and other patients safe.

You should tell us about any surgery or infections you've had. This includes childhood illnesses such as chicken pox, measles, mumps and rubella.

Tell your nurse if you've been overseas in the past 3 weeks. Also tell them if you've had or have a cough or cold, diarrhoea or vomiting, open wounds or weeping skin sores.

ID band

We'll put an identification (ID) band on your wrist or ankle when you're admitted to hospital. We use ID bands to make sure you get the right medication, treatments and procedures.

You'll need to make sure your details are correct and wear it until you leave hospital.

We'll ask for your ID details many times during your hospital stay to make sure the medication or treatment is for you.


You can usually choose what you get for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day on a menu card. We'll also offer you morning and afternoon tea and supper.

Let us know if you have a food allergy, specific dietary requirements or need to speak to a dietitian.

If your doctor wants you to have a special diet for your condition they'll discuss this with you.

If you're having an operation, you may not be able to eat or drink for several hours before the procedure. A nurse will speak with talk to you about this in your pre-admission appointment.


Please bring your own medication with you. You can bring vitamins, herbal supplements or prescriptions from your doctor.

Tell your doctor or nurse if you are allergic to any medication.

You can also speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about your medications. They'll be happy to answer your questions.

If we give you new medication while you're in hospital, we'll give you information about the medication and how to take it.

No smoking, alcohol and drugs

Smoking isn't allowed in any of our hospitals and health centres.

You can't smoke on the premises, the grounds, or within 5 metres of their boundaries. This rule applies to all staff, patients, visitors, contractors and other people who enter our buildings, grounds or vehicles.

If you smoke, talk to your nurse about getting Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) like chewing gum or patches during your stay.

You can't use alcohol or illicit drugs at any of our hospitals or health centres. Don't bring them to hospital and ask your visitors not to bring them to the hospital.

Please let your visitors know that they can't smoke on the grounds of the hospital.

WiFi, TV and phones

Free Wi-Fi

There's free Wi-Fi for patients, families and visitors at most of our hospitals and health services.

Select the ‘QH-FreeWiFi’ network on your device.

Network name: QH-FreeWiFi
You don’t need a password.

Read the Queensland Health Wi-Fi Internet Terms of Use that appear on your device. Once you agree and accept, you’ll be connected.

You’ll need to re-accept the terms and conditions after 12 hours of continuous use, or if your device is inactive for more than 30 minutes.

Due to network capacity, streaming websites for movies, radio, TV and other on-demand content such as Netflix, may not work.


There may be TVs in some hospital wards and waiting areas.


You can use your mobile phone in most parts of the hospital, including your room. We'll let you know if you can't use it.

If you need to make a phone call and don't have a mobile phone, talk to your nurse.

Support services

Counselling and spiritual care

We understand that illness, injury and time in hospital can be difficult for you and your family. We have social workers and multi-faith hospital chaplains who can help you during your treatment and recovery.

Interpreter services

We have interpreter services at all Queensland Health hospitals and health centres for people who are hearing impaired or have difficulty communicating in English.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support

We have support for Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Our hospital liaison officers can provide cultural support and advice to patients, their families and carers.

Last updated: April 2023