Jefferson University Hospitals

Surgical Family Waiting Area

The Surgical Reception Area of Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals is a place to keep you informed of your patient’s surgical progress while you wait. You play an important role in the patient’s recovery, and we are here to support you.

This program is coordinated by Volunteer Services, the Recovery Room staff, the Operating Room staff, the physicians, and the Office of Family & Patient Experience.

The Surgical Reception Area is located in Room 8210 of the Gibbon Building. It is open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. The telephone number is 215-955-7480.

Checking In

When you arrive, please check in at the front desk, so that we know you are waiting. The Surgical Support Coordinator gets information only about those patients whose loved ones’ have checked in. Whenever you leave and/or return to the area, it is very important that you let the front desk know. If you have a cell phone, please leave the number at the desk during check-in. If you would like to bring belongings into the Surgical Reception Area, there are cubicles located in the center of the room. Please use a pen to write the patient’s name on the plastic belongings bag. Please carry your own, as well as the patient’s, valuables with you at all times.

Surgical Support Liaison

The surgeon may contact you at any time during the procedure by calling the front desk. The surgeon may also choose to speak with you in person at the end of the procedure. Your surgeon will generally call or visit the area when the surgery is finished at their earliest expediency. Once contacted by your surgeon, your patient will go to Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) for, on average, 2-4 hours of recovery time before either going to a patient room or prior to same day discharge.

The Recovery Room Process

Patients are normally in the recovery room for about 2-4 hours, depending on the situation. When the patient is leaving recovery to go to his room or to be discharged, the front desk is notified and will tell you where to meet the patient. It is best to wait a short while in the Surgical Reception Area to allow time for the patient to be made comfortable in the room.

The recovery room gives excellent care for all patients; however, because of the intense nature of activity in this area, patient visiting while in recovery is discouraged. We do restrict visitors to this area unless patient needs dictate that a family visit is advised. The nursing staff of the recovery room makes these decisions. The length of time a patient remains in recovery varies for both medical reasons and the availability of the appropriate room for the patient. The surgeon may give you an estimate, but do not be alarmed if the patient remains in recovery for a longer period.

Delays can occur unavoidably, and we will make every effort to keep you informed and to provide for your comfort.

Communications with Family Members

The front desk maintains contact with the families by using an overhead public address system. Should you have difficulty hearing, please let the desk know, so that your needs can be accommodated.

Available Services While You Wait

  • Patient Belongings Storage – If you would like to bring belongings into the Surgical Reception Area, there are cubicles located in the center of the room. Please use a pen to write the patient’s name on the plastic belongings bag. Please carry your own, as well as the patient’s, valuables with you at all times.
  • Calling the Surgical Reception Area  If you need to call the Surgical Reception Area from another part of the hospital, dial 5-7480 from any in-house phone.
  • Cell Phones  Cell phone usage is permitted in all areas of the hospital.
  • Refreshments – Complimentary coffee and tea is provided at the front of the room.
  • To Pass the Time  Magazines are available throughout the suite. The front desk has a selection of games, puzzles, and some toys for children. Televisions are located on both sides of the suite and are limited to selected cable stations.
  • Blankets and Pillows – Please ask the front desk.
  • Privacy Rooms – The privacy rooms are available for the surgeons to speak to you confidentially. Please inquire at the front desk for use of these rooms.

We hope that you find this information helpful. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Please email us at TJUH-Volunteers@jefferson.edu if you have additional questions.