By Glen White,2014-06-28 14:27
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    Tomah VA Medical Center

    Inpatient Handbook


On behalf of all the employees and volunteers, we welcome you to the Tomah

    VA Medical Center. Since our Medical Center opened in 1947, we have been

    dedicated to providing high quality care and excellent customer service.

This tradition holds true today as we strive to improve the services we provide.

In our many years of service to the veteran and the community, a great number

    of changes have taken place, but the cornerstone of “caring” remains today.

Whether this is your first visit to the Medical Center or whether you have been

    here before, you may need help during your visit.

The purpose of this handbook is to assist you and make you feel more

    comfortable during your visit. We hope that it will answer most of the questions

    you, or your family, may have.

It includes many of the services we offer, but not all. If you have any questions,

    please ask a staff member for help.


Jerald Molnar - Acting Medical Center Director

    David Houlihan, M.D. Chief of Staff

    Trish Ten Haaf, R.N, Ph.D. Associate Director for Patient Care Services

Toby Lane Acting Associate Director

Table of Contents

    Mission, Vision, Philosophy, and Values

    Mission: The VA Great Lakes Healthcare System, Tomah, Wisconsin provides outpatient and hospital care for eligible veterans through patient-centered

    primary care, rehabilitation, extended care, and a full continuum of mental health

    services including tertiary care.

    Vision: Our staff will enthusiastically provide high quality patient-centered care. Staff will feel pride in providing services that are courteous, timely, informative,

    and responsive to the individual’s physical and emotional needs. We will

    continue to be a center of excellence in the provision of long-term care, mental

    health, and primary care services.

Philosophy: We are dedicated to fulfilling our mission and achieving our vision

    using the fundamental principles of quality, customer satisfaction, access,

    efficiency, and performance improvement.


    ? First and foremost, our patients

    ? Our staff: their skills, knowledge, and caring potential

    ? Patient and family involvement in healthcare decisions

    ? Dignity and individuality of our patients

    ? Safe and caring environment

    ? Excellence, continually improving what we do

    ? Teamwork, collaboration, and communication

    Telephone Numbers

    Monday through Friday


Main Hospital Number…………………...........Local (608) 372-3971

     Toll Free (800) 872-8662

    Patient Representative/Patient Advocate………….Extension 66353

     (608) 372-3971

    Suicide Prevention Coordinator……………………….Extension 67737

     (608) 372-7737

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline……………….1-800-273-TALK (8255)

    Transition Patient Advocate (OEF/OIF)……………Extension 61287

     (608) 315-0168

    Vocational Rehabilitation Services………………….Extension 61726



    Tomah VA Medical Center

    500 East Veterans Street

    Tomah, WI 54660


    Visiting hours are 10:00 am 8:00 pm daily. Visitors are welcome unless your condition is such that this is not advisable, or your treatment program should not

    be interrupted. Our Information Receptionist is located in the Admissions area of

    Building 400, Room 1080.

On the units, visitors should stop at the nurses’ station and sign the visitors’ log.

    Please let the staff know who they are there to visit. They will be directed to

    either the patient’s room, or to a waiting room where the patient will be brought. Children are welcome, but must be supervised by an adult.

If your visitors bring smoking materials for you, give them to the unit nurse upon


Visiting in the patient care areas (dayrooms or when meals are being served) is

    discouraged as it interferes with patient privacy.

Please receive prior approval to bring pets on the unit.

The outside doors to the buildings are locked at 10:00 pm. If you need to re-

    enter a building after this time, go to the Admissions area in Building 400.

Allowances will be made for visits to seriously ill patients during other than

    regular visiting hours.

    Infection Control and Visitors

Please do not visit or bring your children if you or the child:

    ? has chicken pox, measles or shingles or has been around someone with

    chicken pox or shingles in the past four weeks, even if you or your child

    does not have the disease.

Please check with the nurse before visiting if you:

    ? have a rash.

    ? have a runny nose or cough.

Hand washing:

    ? Visitors are advised to wash their hands prior to entering and after exiting

    patient care areas.

    Thank you for helping with Patient Safety!

    Telephone Instructions

Turn the telephone On and Off by pushing the switch to the left hand side of the

    telephone UP (on) or DOWN (off).

Local Calls

    ? Local calls are free

    ? Dial 9 + local number

Toll Free Calls

    ? 800 or 888 calls are free

    ? Dial 9 + 1 then toll free number

Receiving Calls

    ? Family and friends can telephone you directly

    ? Dial (608) 372-3971 and enter your 5 digit extension

     (located on your phone) when asked

Long Distance Calls

    ? All long distance call must be placed by using a calling card or by calling


Personal Calling Card

    ? Dial 9 and follow the instructions on the calling card

VA Canteen Card (Phone Card)

    ? Dial 9 and follow the instructions on the card

    ? You can purchase a calling card from the VA Canteen Retail Store located

    on the first floor of Building 401

Collect Calls

    ? AT&T………………Dial 9+1-800-225-5288

    ? MCI…………………Dial 9+1-800-265-5328

    ? SPRINT……………Dial 9+1-800-877-8000

    Personal Electronic Devices

     The following rules apply to all patients who are admitted to the Tomah VA.

    Please keep in mind that staff have been asked to reinforce these rules.

    Personal electronic devices include, but are not limited to:

    ? Cell phones

    ? Cell phones with cameras

    ? Two-way radios

    ? Personal pagers

    ? Recording devices of all kinds

    ? Wireless local area network-enabled personal digital assistants (PDA’s)

    ? Digital cameras

    ? Personal electronic gaming devices

    ? Other wireless communication devices

    When you are admitted, you will be asked to sign a form acknowledging

    when and where personal electronic devices may be used. In the case where a

    person is not competent, their guardian will be informed about restrictions on


    Personal electronic devices are generally permitted throughout the Tomah VA except when they may interfere with clinical activities or the rights of patients.

    Some devices can interfere with equipment used at the hospital so they are not

    allowed. If a visitor or patient wants to bring an electronic device into that area

    of the hospital, the device must be turned off before entering.

There may be areas at the Tomah VA where there are special restrictions on the

    possession/use of personal electronic devices. This may be due to patient safety

    concerns or patient privacy. The use of these items may require modification of

    the device to ensure safe use, such as

    ? Supervision while in use

    ? Limiting the use to designated areas

    Patients and visitors should ask staff about specific rules that may apply to

    their unit.

    The Tomah VA is not responsible for lost or stolen personal electronic items.

    The use of personal electronic devices is not allowed during clinical activities,

    unless required by that activity. There may also be other times during the day

    when electronic devices should not be used. This is to ensure that you get the

    most benefit from scheduled activities. If use of the device appears to be

    interfering with your treatment or the treatment of those around you, limits on

    the amount of time a device is used may be ordered by your treatment team.

    Patients are expected to be courteous when using electronic devices.

    Remember to:

    ? Talk quietly on cell phones

    ? If possible, go to an area where your conversation will not disturb


    ? Please keep your phone in vibrate or silent mode in clinical areas of

    the facility. This is requested so others will not be disturbed

    The privacy of patient information must always be maintained. Cell phones

    and other electronic devices that contain cameras may not be used to take

    pictures of patients, staff, or volunteers without first obtaining their permission.

    You are responsible for the content of information that is stored on your personal

    electronic device.

    Patients that do not follow the rules may have use of their electronic devices restricted by their treatment team.

    Personal Computers

The use of personal computers on the unit depends on what unit you are

    assigned to. Ask the Nurse/Nurse Manager about rules that may apply to your

    specific unit.

Computers are available for patient use in the Library, Building 401, Room 1100

    as well as in the Computer Lab, Building 403, Room 1350.

    Smoking and Tobacco Use

Smoking is allowed only in designated smoking areas. Tobacco products are not

    sold at the Tomah VA. A risk assessment may be required by your treatment

    team to assure your provider that you can safely manage this activity. Please be aware that all smoking materials must be turned into your unit

    nurse upon entering/returning to your unit.

If you are a veteran that uses tobacco and wish to get information about quitting,

    please tell your provider.

Quitting Smoking Flyer on opposite page Note: Please insert in Local Contact Information section on flyer for booklet:

    Contact your health care provider

    Safety and Security

For everyone’s safety, all who are admitted to the Tomah VA for care must

    consent to a personal search by a metal detector, and to the inspection of all

    packages, luggage, and containers in their possession. The metal detector

    cannot harm you. It will not affect pacemakers, hearing aids, or film.

    Refusal of consent to search is basis for denial of admittance.

    Restrictions/Inspections of Personal Possessions

1. The following items are not allowed on the Tomah VA grounds:

    a) Firearms, ammunitions, knives, and other weapons

    b) Narcotics and medications (except for patients who are on the self-

    medication program)

    c) Personal tape recorders, electric table model radios (battery radios are

    permitted on the units), record players, and television sets.

    d) Use of cameras, including camera phones for the purposes of recording

    images or voice.

    2. Consuming or bringing alcoholic beverages of any kind on the Tomah VA


    3. Borrowing/lending money or property to other patients or employees

    4. Gifts or tips to employees

    5. Gambling of any kind

    6. Unnecessary loud noises and boisterous behavior

    7. Abusive, profane, or obscene language

    8. Damage, destruction, loss, barter, or sale of government property or property

    belonging to other patients

    9. Interference with the treatment or comfort of other patients

    10. Smoking is not allowed anywhere but in approved smoking shelters or

    outdoors. Smoking is not allowed in any area where the smoke may be

    carried to the interior of a building. Patient smoking materials must be

    turned into your unit nurse upon entering/returning to your unit

    11. Oxygen and oxygen delivery equipment may not be taken into smoking

    shelters. Oxygen is to be turned off when not in use

    12. Gathering near main entrances in such a way that limits access or exit of the


When you are admitted, your personal possessions will be reviewed by nursing

    staff or VA Police. Except for the Substance Abuse Treatment Program (SATP)

    patients, or the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Program patients, all

    clothing will be marked to make sure it returns to you after laundering. We will

    provide a safekeeping service for a small number of personal items. We also

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