Welcome to the Acute Medical Unit (AMU)

Patient Leaflets Team

  • Reference Number: HEY-455/2021
  • Departments: Acute Medicine Unit

Introduction

This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about the AMU.  Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and the healthcare team, but may act as a starting point for discussion.  If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

What to expect when you arrive

You will be greeted and assessed by a member of the AMU triage or  a member of the nursing team .

The initial nursing assessment
  • Your personal details will be checked and confirmed with you and / or your representative. This is to confirm your identity and ensure that correct contact details for emergencies or follow up are recorded.
  • A wristband will be attached to you for easy patient identification.
  • A full set of routine observations will be performed. These will include blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen reading, temperature and respiration rate.
  • A discussion regarding any valuables you may have brought into hospital with you will be undertaken. Should you wish to keep your property with you during your stay in hospital you will be asked to sign a property disclaimer or, alternatively, you may wish to store any belongings with the Trust and this process will be explained to you.
What happens next

Once the initial nursing assessment has been completed, depending upon the nature of your condition, further investigations and tests may be performed before seeing a doctor.  These may include:

  • Neurological observations
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG), which is a heart trace recording
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Blood pressure taken in a lying and also standing position

You will then be seen and assessed by a member of the medical team.  You may be referred to a specialist doctor and / or further tests and investigations may be requested.  These may include:

  • Chest X‑ray
  • CT scans (Computerised Tomography scan, which uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the inside of your body)
  • Ultrasound scans (an ultrasound scan is a painless test that uses sound waves to create images of organs and structures inside your body)

Following these investigations you will be reviewed by a consultant who will be able to determine whether or not you will need to stay in hospital for further investigations and treatment or be allowed to go home and have further investigations / treatment as an outpatient.

During your stay in the AMU you will also see the pharmacist/pharmacy technician who will discuss with you your current medications and any new medications you may have been prescribed.

You are entitled to a chaperone at all times during your clinical examination.  If you would like a chaperone please ask a member of the team caring for you and they will arrange this for you.

Accommodation

Single sex accommodation will be provided for you to ensure your privacy and dignity is maintained unless you are being cared for in the High Observation Area, in which this is a 5 bedded mixed sex area, you may be required to be nursed within the HOB dependant on your clinical condition. As soon as your condition is stabilised you will be stepped down into a single sex bay.  You can wear whatever clothing you like once you have been assessed by the nurses and doctors.  We can provide hospital gowns and essential toiletries if needed.  The nurse will explain the layout of the unit including the location of the bathroom and the nurse call bell.

Meal times are:

Breakfast: 8.15 am – 9.00 am
Lunch 12.00 noon – 1.oo pm
Tea-time: 4.45 pm – 5.30 pm

Hot drinks will be provided in between meals and during the evening.  Water will also be available at your bedside and the staff will be happy to replenish this for you as needed (please do not hesitate to ask).  Please note that at some points during your admission it may be necessary for you to be nil by mouth.

Please note protected mealtimes are in place and therefore relatives, families and friends will be asked to leave during mealtimes.  There may be occasions, however, where relatives can stay during meal service.  Please discuss this with the nurse in charge.

Visiting and contact details

Visiting times are between 1.00pm-7.00pm

We recommend that there are only 2 visitors at the bedside during these times and that children under the age of 12 are not brought into the AMU unless agreed with the nurse in charge.

Your family or carer may want information about your care.  Please ask them to speak to a member of staff caring for you, who can discuss this with your permission.  If family would like an update on your condition, it helps the staff if just one person could telephone for news and pass the information on to others.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the AMU on: Tel no: (01482) 674321.
Leaving the AMU and your outpatient follow-up

A summary of your treatment and management plan (including any medication changes) will be provided to you in a letter before you leave the AMU.  A copy of this letter will also be made available to your GP.  You will be given a 5-day supply of any new or changed medication to take home.  You may be transferred to the patient lounge (located at the front of the hospital) once a decision for discharge is made, to await your medications to be dispensed from pharmacy and for ease of your transportation home.

Any further investigations or outpatient appointments which you might need following discharge from the AMU will be arranged by our administration staff, who will inform you of your appointment by telephone or letter.

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