Your Hospital Stay

Patient Welcome Booklet graphic

Download the Welcome Guide (PDF).

Thank you for choosing Hennepin County Medical Center for your health care needs. We understand that a hospital stay may be a stressful time for you and your family.

In your hospital room, you will be provided with a Welcome Guide. This guide is intended to provide important information and resources to help make your stay with us as safe and comfortable as possible. You are invited to browse this guide before your stay to help you understand what to expect.

At HCMC, we consider you and your family a partner in your care. We encourage you to ask questions and offer feedback before, during, and after your stay. We commit to delivering excellent care and service that is centered around you.

Your Stay

Care boards
In addition to you and your family, your health care team includes a variety of professionals, including physicians, nurses, and support staff, who work closely together to provide you with the best possible care.

To enhance communication between patients and providers, most patient rooms at HCMC have a white "Care Board." The Care Board has your room number and phone number on it. Nurses will write important information on your Care Board, including the names of your providers, your diet, and events scheduled for you. The board is updated as your care plan evolves and at shift changes. You are also invited to write down any questions or concerns that may come up during your stay on the board.

Scrub Uniform Colors Graphic

In an effort to improve your experience, HCMC has adopted standard color uniforms for many of our care team members. Standard uniforms make it easy to for you to identify the different members of your care team.

Your doctor
Your primary doctor will discuss your condition with you and explain the findings of any tests or examinations. In addition to your primary doctor, a number of other doctors might be involved in your care. Depending on your unit, these might include resident doctors (MDs receiving additional training in a medical specialty), staff doctors (faculty members in the Hennepin teaching programs and the University of Minnesota Medical School), as well as medical students. Medical students do not make decisions regarding your medical condition or care, but may take your medical history and do your first examination after admission.

Your nurse
On each shift a nurse is assigned to care for you. This nurse will help you plan and coordinate your care, and make any special arrangements for your discharge. Your nurse gives you the medicines you need; explains any procedures, tests, examinations, or medicines that your doctor has ordered; and will help you learn how to care for yourself once you leave the hospital. Teaching you about your illness and care is a major part of your nurse’s role.

Support services

  • InterpretersIf English is not your preferred language to communicate or you are deaf or hard of hearing, please let us know. Qualified spoken and sign language interpreters and other auxiliary aids and services, including Deaf Community Health Workers, are available free of charge to help you and your family communicate with staff. ASL translations of key patient information are available on channel 47 or hcmc.org. Ask a staff member if you need help accessing these resources.
  • Social Services Our experienced social workers can support and assist you and your family with brief counseling and referral sources for issues such as grief, death/dying, disability, physical and emotional trauma, adjustment to chronic health issues, family violence, parenting, aging, fertility, and pregnancy. We can help plan for your post-hospital care through referrals to other programs and resources available in the community. Chemical health referrals and assessments are also available. Call 612-873-2244.
  • Spiritual Care Chaplains are available to provide spiritual and emotional support to patients and families who are facing a health crisis, new diagnosis, end of life, loss, difficult treatment decisions, loneliness, and spiritual or ethical issues. Chaplains are also available to coordinate specific religious needs and have a number of items available to support the diverse needs of many faiths. Your nurse can contact a chaplain for you, or you can call 612-873-2260.