What is Pre-Admission Testing and why do I need it?
Pre-admission Testing, referred to as PAT, is the process of pre-screening to help achieve the optimal surgical outcome by ensuring you, as the patient, are prepared in every way you can be for the scheduled surgery and the recovery process that follows. It also offers an opportunity for patients of all ages to become familiar with the facility and staff ahead of time to help alleviate any stress typically associated with the experience. Having a sense of awareness of the place and where you will be helps calm the nerves. That is one of the reasons North Alabama Medical Center provides tranquil pre- and post-operative areas, relaxing patient rooms and waiting areas appointed for comfort and luxury to encourage a sense of ease.
In addition, the center houses all the resources on site including laboratory, pharmacy, ER and operating suites to better expedite your treatment and to ensure prompt attention. Since a scheduled surgery cannot proceed without completing Pre-admission Testing, the staff of nurses and nurse practitioners, physicians and anesthesiologists come together as a team to customize your care plans. A surgeon will only proceed with your scheduled surgery if you are physically ready for the procedure. The surgeon as well as the anesthesiologist rely on PAT to help decide if a surgery can be performed at this time.
What Pre-admission Testing Consists Of
PAT occurs typically two to three weeks before the procedure is scheduled to take place. A member of the pre admission testing team will go over planning, questions about any medications you may be on, going over your medical history, discovering if you have any allergies, what previous surgeries you may have had and learning about your current state of well-being. This is also when you can have any questions or concerns about PAT addressed. You should also bring your insurance cards and identification.
Different procedures call for different testing but typically take no more than three hours to complete. While your physician may require testing specific to your situation, there are several tests that all patients will undergo, including:
- Blood work
- Chest X-ray
If you have had any of these tests performed in the past 30 days or had X-rays taken in the last six months, it is possible to obtain a copy to provide to your PAT team. Your PAT visit will include recording your height and weight. During PAT, you will also sign the consent for surgery form and learn what to expect during and after surgery including any instructions on how to prepare for and what to do after surgery.
It is important to complete your preoperative testing at least seven days but not less than three days before your scheduled surgery. Your anesthesiologist needs the results back in enough time to review and evaluate what is needed to administer the proper anesthesia for your type of procedure. This timing also allows for completing the check-in process, dealing with any concerns and answering any last-minute questions.
How to Prepare for Pre-admission Testing
Patients with scheduled admissions must complete a personal health assessment. You may choose to do this prior to your pre-admission appointment to save time.
Please have the following information available:
- A list of all medications that you are taking and the containers in which the pharmacy gave them to you
- A list of all allergies (medications, food, soaps, dyes, tape, latex, etc.)
- Any recent health problems (cold, flu, etc.)
- Any chronic medical conditions (heart disease, diabetes, emphysema, etc.)
- You use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs
- Prior surgical procedures and anesthesia experiences
- All letters, test results, consent forms, physical examination report or any other information from your surgeon, family doctor or medical consultant(s)
- Any special religious, cultural, or personal needs or any vision, hearing or reading problems.
- Your need for a translator, if you do not speak English
- Your plan of how you will manage your care upon discharge from the hospital.
Please ask your surgeon or physician if you are required to fast for this appointment and if you should take any medication.
Where do you report on the day of your visit?
Registration will check you in and send you to Pre-admission Testing at North Alabama Medical Center
The Pre-admission Center is located on the first floor. Please park in the front entrance of the hospital.
Hours: 8:00 am-5 pm.