Staying at the hospital
If you're a patient at one of our health care facilities, you'll likely have questions about what to expect. Our goal is to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
On the day of admission, you may be transferred to a temporary location on an in-patient unit while your room is being cleaned and prepared for you. We attempt to avoid this if at all possible, but should it happen, you have our commitment that:
- Your health care team will attend to your needs.
- Your wait for a room will be monitored and kept to a minimum.
Types of hospital rooms
There may be private (one-person), semi-private (two-person), and shared rooms (three-person or more) available. While it's not possible to guarantee that your roommate will be of the same gender, your privacy is important, which is why every bed has privacy curtains.
You can also ask about paying for a private or semi-private room, as there is a limited number available in each Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) hospital. While there is no guarantee a private or semi-private room will be available, we try our best to accommodate these requests.
- Shared rooms (three-person or more): These rooms don't cost anything for patients with B.C. Medical Services Plan coverage.
- Semi-private (two-person): You share the room and bathroom with one other person. All genders may share semi-private rooms.
- Private room (one person): You are the only person in the room with your own bathroom.
Food & allergies
Good nutrition is an important part of your recovery. At most of our hospitals, you will get a menu to choose selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ask your nurse or a family member if you need help selecting your meals.
If you have food allergies or follow a special diet, let your nurse know as soon as you arrive. A dietitian will talk to you about your food needs and help design a meal plan for you.
Your family is welcome to bring in your favourite foods, but we do not have space to store large amounts of food.
Infection control at our hospitals
We've introduced a number of precautions to ensure a healthy hospital environment, where our patients and staff are kept safe from infections. Control measures are also in place to minimize the spread of infections when they're identified.More information on handwashing and infection control
Smoke-free & fragrance-free
All VCH facilities are smoke-free, inside and outside. If you're interested, stop smoking programs and products are available at several hospitals to help you quit smoking before and/or during your stay.
Please do not wear perfume, cologne or aftershave if you are a patient in a VCH facility. If you can, remind visitors before they come to see you to refrain from wearing these products or bringing flowers with strong scents. Some people are highly allergic to fragrances and can suffer severe reactions.
Pets & service animals
Many of us at VCH love pets and recognize their essential role in our health and well-being. But not everyone shares our love of animals. Some people suffer from allergies and animals don’t always fit well in our hospitals’ busy hallways.
Depending on the unit and hospital, pets may be allowed to visit. Check with the unit manager before bringing in your pet.
Certified service animals, such as guide dogs, are always welcome. We also encourage visits from therapeutic animals as long as the visit has been prearranged with the unit staff.
Staff name tags
There will be many people involved in your care. Everyone who works for VCH wears a name tag and will be able to answer your questions about what they do.
Leaving your hospital unit
If you need to leave your unit or floor for any reason, please let your nurse know where you're going and approximately how long you'll be gone.
VCH facilities regularly hold fire drills. If a fire alarm goes off during your stay, please remain in your room. Staff are trained to provide instructions to patients in the event of a fire drill or emergency.