Watauga Medical Center Patient & Visitor Guide
At ARHS, we know that being a patient may not be an easy time, and we work continuously to exceed your expectations during your stay. Each member of the ARHS team wants to make your time with us as pleasant as possible, and he or she does so by adhering to the organization’s core values of Integrity, Compassion and Excellence. This is our commitment to you.
Patients: When You Arrive
Please check in at the Patient Registration/ Admissions desk, located off the main lobby. We want the admissions process to run smoothly for you and your family. Please review the materials to bring with you by clicking on each category below.
As a patient, you will receive a special identification (ID) bracelet that states your name and hospital number, your physician’s name and other important information. Please wear it at all times to prevent delays with important lab tests, X-rays and various other tests and treatments.
To make your hospital stay as comfortable as possible, you should bring:
- toothbrush & toothpaste
- hair brush or comb
- shampoo/hair care and personal hygiene products
- denture care supplies
- eyeglasses and case
- smartphone or tablet
If you have valuables, such as jewelry, credit cards and cash, please give them to a relative or friend to take care of during your stay.
Medical & Financial Information
Having your current medical and financial information will result in less stress for you during check-in. Please bring the following:
- insurance card and/or policy
- Medicare or Medicaid card
- driver’s licenses and/or photo ID cards of the patient and the insured
- emergency contact information
- a list of your current medications, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, vitamins and herbals
- physician’s orders, if you have any
- your advance directives (living will, power of attorney, etc.)
Patients & Visitors: During Your Stay
At ARHS, we know that being a patient may not be an easy time, and we work continuously to exceed your expectations during your stay. Each member of the ARHS team wants to make your time with us as pleasant as possible.
VISITING HOURS General 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Each area of the hospital has its own visiting times, which are posted in the waiting areas of those units and made available to families. Nighttime visits can be arranged by contacting the nursing staff.
Waiting Areas Waiting areas are currently closed due to COVID-19
Communications & Interpretation Services: When help is needed because of a language, speech or hearing problem, the hospital can respond with special equipment or interpreters.
COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions are in place. Learn more >
The Gift Shop at Watauga Medical Center is closed until further notice due to construction.
Due to COVID-19, cafeterias are currently only open to staff and patients
The cafeteria is located on the first floor of Watauga Medical Center
Open 7 days/week
- 7:30 am – 10:00 am Breakfast
- 11:00 am – 2:00 pm Lunch
- 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Dinner
NOTE: Special COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions are currently in place. Learn more >
We encourage visitors for emotional support and recovery. To provide a restful and safe environment, we ask that all visitors comply with the following guidelines:
- Be considerate of other patients by keeping noise to a minimum.
- Refrain from visiting if you have a cold, sore throat or any contagious disease.
- Observe no visiting and precaution signs before entering the room.
- Do not smoke.
- Leave the room during tests or treatments if asked.
If you have valuables, such as jewelry, credit cards and cash, please give them to a relative or friend to take care of during your stay. Store your contact lenses, eyeglasses, hearing aids and dentures in your bedside stand when not in use. Please don’t put them on your bed or food tray— they may be damaged or lost.
If you cannot send your valuables home, please speak with your nurse about storing them in the hospital safe. The hospital cannot be responsible for any valuables left in your room. Unclaimed items left at the hospital are turned over to the state of North Carolina following the North Carolina General Statutes.
The Nutrition Services Department is dedicated to making your hospital stay as pleasant as possible. At Watauga Medical Center, we provide patients on regular, cardiac and diabetic diets with the option to select meals from our menu. Patients on other diets will have the opportunity to share individual food preferences. A representative from Nutrition Services will be visiting your room to obtain your food selections or preferences.
In addition, there are food and beverage items available in each nursing unit that patients may request at any time. We hope you enjoy your dining experience with us. We also recognize the important role that adequate nutrition plays in the healing and recovery process. Our Clinical Nutrition Department is available to provide education on specific diets. Please let your nurse or Nutrition Services representative know if you have any nutrition-related questions or concerns.
At Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital, telephones are in patient rooms, except the critical care areas.
To place a local call from Watauga Medical Center: Dial 7 + the number. Family and friends can call directly to your room by dialing 828-262- 4 + your three-digit room number (except in the Birthing Center and ICU, where calls can be placed to 828- 262-4100 and the switchboard will connect your caller).
To place a long-distance call, you will need to use a calling card or a cell phone.
Medications from Home
Please do not bring any medications (prescription, over-the-counter or illegal drugs) to the hospital. All medications you take while a patient here have been prescribed by your physician, are dispensed by the hospital pharmacy and administered by a trained professional. Patients are not permitted to administer their own medications or keep personal medications, unless approved by their physician.
For the health, safety and well-being of our patients, visitors and employees, the use of tobacco products is prohibited on all ARHS properties. This includes all the campuses of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, including buildings, grounds, parking areas, walkways and vehicles. If you would like to stop smoking, call 800-QUIT-NOW.
Patients & Caregivers: Leaving the Hospital
Make sure you have the following information before you leave the hospital:
- Medications list. This is a listing of what medications you are taking, why, in what dosage and who prescribed them.
- Prescription for any medications you need.
- Follow-up care instructions.
- Other services. When you leave the hospital, you may need to spend time in a rehabilitation facility, nursing home or other institution. Or you may need to schedule tests at an imaging center, have treatments at a cancer center or have in-home therapy.
- Community resources. Make sure your care manager provides you with information about local resources, such as agencies that can provide services like transportation, equipment, home care and respite care.
Our Commitment to Care
Our goal is to provide the best patient care. If at any time you have questions or concerns about the quality of care that you or a family member are receiving or have received at one of our facilities, do not hesitate to speak with your nurse or nursing supervisor. If you feel that your issue wasn’t resolved, please ask for the House Supervisor. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System seeks to provide prompt review and timely resolution of concerns from its inpatients and outpatients.
For complaints about quality of care, contact the Risk Management Department at (828) 263-1207.
All ARHS facilities have an Ethics Committee available to give you support and guidance when you are faced with difficult decisions about medical care and treatment issues. These committees do not tell you what you should do, but help affected parties look together at the larger situation and consider all feasible alternatives. Below is a list of how to contact the Ethics Committee at your location:
- Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital: Call Patient Safety Concern Line at ext. 2033 or call 737-7596 to contact care management
- Watauga Medical Center: Call 262-4100 and request pager No. 1400
File a Formal Complaint
You have the right to file a complaint or concern with either or both:
The NC Division of Health Service Regulation Complaint Intake Unit
2711 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699
Office of Quality and Patient Safety The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Website: www.jointcommission.org, then click “Report a Safety Event”
Resolution of Conflicts
Although conflicts often are a part of life, they can add to the stress you feel when you or a loved one is hospitalized. At ARHS, our job is to:
- anticipate potential care-related conflicts and eliminate them
- work with you to resolve conflicts quickly and considerately
While we strive to meet and exceed the expectations of our patients, staff, physicians and visitors, at times we may fall short. An important value at ARHS is receiving, responding to and resolving all complaints in a courteous and timely manner. Your feedback helps us to improve our care and delivery systems.
If you have a complaint, you may contact us online or speak with any facility employee or volunteer, and he or she will initiate the complaint process. If the individual can resolve the problem, he or she has the authority to do so. If not, your concerns are forwarded to the appropriate department manager, and if necessary, to hospital administration.
If you would like to speak to someone about our services, please let us know!