Pre-Admission Testing Center (PATC)

Located in the Hamlin Family Patient Access Center off the main lobby of Thompson Hospital, the Pre-Admission Testing Center (PATC) assists patients through a positive surgical experience by eliminating unnecessary delays and avoidable cancellations on the day of surgery.

This program focuses on individual patient needs and specific requests by your surgeon. A full nursing assessment is completed and labs and EKG can be done in the same setting. The patient may be asked to contact PATC directly to set an appointment or the Preadmission Nurse will call the patient to conduct a telephone interview, after their surgery is scheduled by the surgeon’s office.
Patients should always bring their insurance card, a complete list of their current medications, and a copy of Advanced Directives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Outpatient Surgery
If you are scheduled as an outpatient, or for same-day surgery, you should have another adult come with you. This person should be willing to be responsible for your care at home during the first 24 hours after surgery. Nursing staff will give you and your companion instructions on the care needed after surgery, what changes to expect, and what changes in your condition need to be reported. Your companion will need to drive you home when you are discharged from surgery. You are not allowed to drive yourself home. You cannot take a taxi home unless you are with your companion.
Inpatient Surgery
If you are scheduled to stay in the hospital overnight, you may come alone to the hospital. However, on the day that you are discharged, you should have another responsible adult drive or accompany you home. You should also arrange for someone to watch and help take care of you for at least the first 24 hours after leaving the hospital.
Yes, you may. Remember, however, they will not always see you at your best. You will be anxious before surgery and tired afterwards. These are good times to limit visitors. While you are waiting for surgery in the pre-operative areas, you can have two family members or companions with you. Visitors or family are not allowed in the Recovery Room, or PACU, where you will go immediately after your surgery. If you will be discharged on the day of surgery, you will go to the post-recovery areas where again two people may be with you.
The Surgery Care Center has a waiting room and quiet hallway. In addition, there is a chapel and a coffee shop located just off the lobby of the hospital.
Cellular phones may interfere with medical monitoring equipment, and therefore their use is restricted in any patient care area. We expect you to turn any cellular phones off while you are in the pre-operative areas.
Your family and friends may use their cell phones in the surgery waiting rooms and any other public areas of the hospital. Please pay attention to warning signs that are posted in areas that require cellular phones to be turned off.
You should arrive at least one hour before your scheduled surgery time, to allow for admission, check in and preparation for surgery. You will be requested to call the Surgical Care Center the afternoon before your scheduled surgery (or the Friday before, if your surgery is scheduled for Monday) to receive your arrival time the day of surgery. This may be different from what your surgeon said in your last office visit. Your surgeon works with the hospital to arrange the surgery schedule, and many factors determine surgery times.
Please be aware that the scheduled time for your operation can change. Cancellations may occur, surgeries prior to yours may be extended or emergency surgeries may take priority. You may be asked to wait or even arrive early. It is important that we are able to contact you prior to your surgery to notify you of any schedule changes. If you cannot be reached at your home phone, please call us with a number where you can be contacted. Be assured that all staff will do their best to keep your surgery scheduled on time; however we must always ensure the safety of our patients.
Medications: Bring a list of all the medications you take regularly or as needed. Include the strength, or dosage listed on the bottle, and note how often you take them. They include:
  • Prescribed medications by any physician
  • Over-the-counter medicines you take regularly
  • Vitamins, supplements and herbal treatments you take regularly
Medical Records: You may have been given health information or reports from your surgeon, or other doctors and clinics before surgery. The reports could include:
  • Health histories or consultations
  • Laboratory results
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Medical imaging (X-rays, CT, MRI, Ultrasound) films or reports
Insurance: Your health insurance card and information
We would prefer that you bring a list of all your medications, but if that is not possible, bring your medications with you. Keep them in their original bottles, so the surgery staff can see exactly which ones you take, and which dosages you require.
Always bring any breathing inhaler medicines with you; the anesthesiologist may ask you to take a dose of these medicines before surgery to help your breathing.
This depends. Many medicines can be taken safely even on the day of surgery, but others must be avoided, or taken in reduced dosages, to keep you safe during surgery. You should discuss this with your surgeon during the pre-operative visits. The Preadmission Testing Nurse will also advise you as to which medicines to take or not take the morning of surgery.
If you are being treated with diabetic medications, steroids, hormone replacements or anti-coagulants (blood-thinners), you should make certain to check with your surgeon before surgery. You should not continue taking vitamins, supplements and herbal treatments without informing both your surgeon and anesthesiologist.
If your doctor has agreed that you should take medicines on the day of surgery, you should take them with only a small amount of water to help keep your stomach empty.
Due to the risk of vomiting during surgery, along with other complications, anesthesiologists nationwide have established strict rules for eating or drinking before surgery.
Our anesthesiologists require the following for your safety:
Adults & Children
  • No solid foods or liquids for 8 hours before the time of surgery
  • No water for 4 hours before the time of surgery
  • Take only sips of water
  • Drink no more than 16 ounces of water (2 cups)
  • No formula for 6 hours before the time scheduled surgery
  • No breast milk for 4 hours before the time of surgery
Your surgeon may give you instructions about eating or drinking that are stricter than those listed above. In that case, follow your surgeon's directions. Some surgical procedures require bowel preparation that further limit eating or drinking. Some surgeons may require you to have nothing by mouth after midnight before surgery. Or you may hear the term "NPO," which is a Latin abbreviation meaning "nothing by mouth.”
No, please follow the same guidelines as for food and liquids. Even though you are not eating or drinking, chewing or sucking on gum, candy or tobacco increases fluid in the stomach that prepares for food, which adds to the risk of anesthesia.
You may brush your teeth as usual, but do not swallow the water or any mouthwash.
Studies have shown that patients recover from surgery and anesthesia more quickly, and with fewer complications, if they do not smoke at least 24 hours before surgery. We always recommend that you stop smoking now. This is an opportunity for you to quit smoking, or reduce the amount of cigarettes you smoke. Even if you cannot abstain, the more hours you can avoid smoking before surgery, the easier recovery will be.
Please bring them and their cases with you to the hospital. Staff can help you remove them just before surgery, and help you wear them again as soon as it is safe for you.
Tell your anesthesiologist if you have any dentures, partial plates, artificial or capped teeth. Dentures will need to be removed for some types of anesthesia or surgical procedures. We prefer that you bring your own container for your dentures, but if not, the hospital can supply one. Staff can help you remove them just before surgery, and help you wear them again as soon as it is safe for you.
Please leave valuable or irreplaceable items at home. The hospital staff will ask that you remove all jewelry (including any piercing) as you are prepared for surgery. They can be a source of skin irritation or infection, or lead to unexpected burns, if present during surgery. Be sure to report any jewelry or piercing that you believe cannot be removed. Staff can assist you in removing necessary items if your mobility is limited.
It is safer NOT to wear makeup during surgery. Makeup can lead to eye or skin irritation during surgery. You don't blink or make tears during general anesthesia, and you cannot alert us to eye irritation.
Please make sure your hair is dry before surgery. You will be lying still in a cool environment during your stay, and you can lose a lot of body heat through your head. Damp hair increases that heat loss, which will make you feel more uncomfortable after surgery.
If you use any portable medical equipment to support you in daily life, you should inform the pre-admission nurse during your interview for surgery. These could include:
  • Mobility devices - wheelchair, walker, crutches, scooter, braces
  • Breathing devices - portable oxygen, CPAP machine, respirator
  • Sensory devices - deaf TTY, artificial voice box
The pre-admission nurse will advise you whether it is appropriate to bring them with you. CPAP machines should always be brought to surgery. If you do bring any medical equipment or supplies, make sure they are marked with your name and contact information. It is best if you can leave larger pieces of equipment in your car until we can identify your hospital room after surgery.
You should bring any device you use or prescription medication you take with you to the hospital. They may be used immediately following your surgery to assist you with adequate breathing.
The hospital does have a policy allowing service animals to be with you in the hospital, but they are not allowed to be with you in the surgery, recovery or intensive care areas. Please tell the pre-admission nurse that you have a service animal so arrangements can be made for it to stay with you in your hospital room after surgery. You and your family will be responsible for taking care of the service animal's needs for food, exercise and elimination. If it is not possible or appropriate for a service animal to stay with you in the hospital, it is still possible for the animal to be brought to visit you.