Getting Settled

Interpreters for most languages and Deaf and Hard of Hearing are available. For information about accessing these services, please contact someone on your care-giving team.

During your pre-admission interview, you should have received information concerning your rights to make decisions concerning medical care, your rights to accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment, and your rights to formulate advance directives. Advance directives allow you to state your preferences regarding medical treatment and/or name another person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to express your wishes at a time medical decisions need to be made.

If you have an existing advance directive, please provide a copy to your care provider for your medical record. If you do not have an advance directive and would like to complete one, please notify pastoral care services at extension 8177 (or 717-531-8177 from outside the Medical Center), or your care provider. The Medical Center encourages every adult patient to complete an advance directive.

The Medical Center does not discriminate against a patient based upon whether or not he or she has an advance directive. A patient can withdraw an advance directive at any time.

Excellence in patient care requires not only technical expertise and compassion, but also a thoughtful consideration of the ethical dimensions of providing healthcare. The Medical Center Ethics Committee is an advisory body with a multidisciplinary membership that includes physicians, nurses, ethicists, social workers, clergy, community members, and others. The general purpose of the Ethics Committee is to examine, discuss, and (when needed) facilitate resolution of ethical issues arising in patient care.

Most challenges that arise within patient care are best handled by speaking with the medical team members who are directly involved. Others who can help include social work, clergy, and the patient advocate for the hospital. When uncertainty or conflict remains, ethics consultations are sometimes requested. There is no charge for the service.

Patients and family members are encouraged to talk to their physician, nurse, chaplain, or social worker before contacting the Ethics Committee. If, after doing so, you wish to consult with the Ethics Committee, you can reach them through your care providers or by calling the hospital operator at extension 8521 (or 717-531-8521 from outside the Medical Center).

All persons in the Medical Center, including patients and visitors, should use proper hand hygiene methods to prevent the spread of germs to themselves or others. Hand hygiene includes the use of soap and water for at least twenty (20) seconds or the use of the alcohol hand sanitizer (Purell®), rubbing until hands are dry.

You have the right, and we encourage you, to ask your health care provider to perform hand hygiene before treating you.

Dispensers of alcohol hand sanitizers are available in patient rooms and around the Medical Center, including the main cafeteria.

If you have any questions, please ask your nurse or call quality and infection control at extension 4641 (or 717-531-4641 from outside the Medical Center).

The purpose of infection control is to reduce the risk of infection among patients and the people who come in contact with them. Germs such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites cause infectious diseases. Contagious or communicable diseases are those that can be spread from one person to another.

To keep germs from spreading in our facilities, certain precautions may be taken while patients are hospitalized, including screening for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. All patients will be treated with standard body substance precautions, and additional precautions may be needed for some patients in certain circumstances. Standard body substance precautions means that staff members wash or disinfect their hands between patients and that they wear gloves to handle body secretions or excretions (except sweat). In addition, staff may wear gowns, masks, or goggles with some patient care and in some cases, family members and visitors may also be asked to put on protective wear.

Patients who need additional precautions beyond standard precautions will have informational signs on their room doors so that staff will be aware to take extra steps to care for those patients. Information as to why patients require additional precautions is confidential and will not be shared with other patients or visitors.