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Abbott Northwestern Hospital

Information for family members of patients having surgery

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Abbott Northwestern Hospital has several waiting areas for family members and friends of patients having surgery.

  • The Preoperative Care Center (POCC) admitting area is the place where all patients arrive and check in.
  • The Main Surgery Family waiting room near the east elevators of the lower level is for families of patients to wait during the surgical procedure. A hospital employee escorts families to this area after their loved one is taken into the operating room. Families should remain in this area until talking with the surgeon when the procedure is finished.
  • The Outpatient Surgery Discharge Unit (OSDU) waiting room is also in the lower level of the hospital and is for families of patients to wait during the outpatient surgical procedure. Families should check in at the Main Surgery Family waiting room desk and will be directed to this area to wait until talking with the surgeon when the procedure is finished.

Expectations for families while waiting

  • Family members should always check in and out with the volunteer on duty in the Main Surgery Family waiting room so they can be located for updates about the surgery if necessary.
  • On busy surgery days, large groups may be asked to divide into smaller groups. Some family members may wait in another waiting room, the hospital lobby or the patient’s assigned nursing station.

Services for families

  • Surgical Services has an electronic tracking system that provides family members a screen view of the patient’s place in the surgery process.
  • A registered nurse is available to family members in the waiting rooms.
  • Telephones are available. Long distance calls should be placed with calling cards or collect. Cellular phones work in most areas of the waiting rooms.
  • For the convenience of our patients and family members the Abbott Northwestern/Sister Kenny Auxiliary has generously provided pagers for on-campus use as well as a computer for Internet and e-mail access in the main surgery family waiting room.
  • Food and snacks are allowed in the waiting rooms. Coffee and water are available in the waiting rooms, and vending machines are close by. Abbott Northwestern also has a cafeteria and a McDonald's restaurant on campus. (See Dining options)