See also the "Topics A-Z" tool, an alphabetical index to all visitor- and patient-related subject areas. Patients may also call the Patient Representative at (301-496-2626) with any questions about patient services.
Bioethics Consult Service
A bioethics consultation team is available 24 hours a day to help you
think about issues regarding your health care and participation in research.
Please feel free to call the Department of Clinical Bioethics at 301-496-2429
if you have questions or concerns about your part in biomedical research.
Members of the team come from both the Clinical Center's ethics committee
and the Department of Clinical Bioethics. During your stay, you will make
many decisions about your care and participation in research. These decisions
may be hard to make. The bioethics consultation service can help you balance
your needs with those of others as you deal with the impact of illness.
Some questions you might want to discuss with a bioethics consultation
- How do I mesh my medical situation with my values about life and the
- How might I decide about treatment options or side effects?
- How might I think about a power of attorney or a living will?
- What about my concerns for privacy and confidentiality?
- What might I do about family arrangements or inconveniences?
HIV Counseling Program. For patients, the HIV Counseling
Program (sponsored by the Social Work Department) provides
- Individual and group counseling for patients living with HIV/AIDS
or newly diagnosed and concerned about coping with the illness, partner
notification, community resources, and long-term psychosocial support.
- Pre- and post-test counseling as needed for patients seen at the NIH/CC.
- Education and referral for patients excluded from clinical trials
because they tested HIV+.
Psychiatric Liaison Program. At the Clinical Center,
there is a psychiatric liaison program in which nurses provide mental
health evaluations, consultation, and counseling to patients, their families,
and those who care about them. Not only do psychiatric liaison nurses
assist patients and families to adapt to illness, they also help make
the patient care units more sensitive to their needs.
A referral to the psychiatric liaison nurse is made by your primary nurse
or doctor in order to address normal emotional reactions resulting from
illness. Such reactions may be anxiety, worry, depression, anger, stress,
or difficulties in problem solving. The psychiatric liaison nurse can
also provide you with referrals in your community. When more psychiatric
help is needed during your hospital stay, the psychiatric liaison nurse
works with the psychiatrist at the Clinical Center. In this case, the
psychiatric liaison nurse and the psychiatrist will work together on your
behalf. Psychiatric liaison nurses also lead meetings and support groups
for patients, their families, friends, and other loved ones. When you
are admitted to your specific unit, your primary nurse will let you know
about these services.
Meals. The Clinical Center Nutrition Department's mission
is to provide the best food and nutrition service to you during your stay.
Selective menus are planned for you based on the diet your physician
has ordered. Simply mark your choice on the menu and return it to a Nutrition
Department staff member in a timely manner. When you are first admitted
or when a choice is not made, qualified persons will choose meals for
you. A registered dietitian or health technician can talk to you about
your diet, food preferences, and any other concerns you may have about
your nutrition needs.
The Nutrition Department serves meals between the following hours for
patients who use the paper menu to make their meal choices:
|| 7:30-8:30 a.m.
Your tray may be delayed when medical procedures or tests affect your
meal service. Your nurse will arrange for your tray when your procedures
Room Service. Patients on unrestricted diets can order
a restaurant-style meal from menus in their rooms. These meals are served
at the bedside and can be ordered from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Please order
your meal to be served either before or after any scheduled procedure.
Please ask your nurse if you are eligible for room service.
Continental Breakfast.Outpatients who must fast for
blood work or other tests are eligible for a continental breakfast once
their procedures are complete. A variety of foods is available for outpatients
who are eligible. Located on the first floor in the admission area, this
service is available from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Birthday Cakes.Celebration cakes are available for you
if you must spend your birthday at the Clinical Center. Your nurse can
arrange for the cake to be sent to your room.
Special Diets. A dietitian is available to discuss your
diet, food allergies, preferences, or intolerance . Vegetarian meals (Vegan
or Total Vegetarian, Lacto-Vegetarian, Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian) are usually
ordered based on patient preference. These diets may be contraindicated
if nutrient modification is needed or a specific protocol need is identified.
SEE ALSO: Banking Services
The Patient Emergency Fund. For more than 25 years,
the Clinical Center Patient Emergency Fund (PEF) has helped financially
strained patients and their families meet emergency expenses. PEF helps
patients who come to the Clinical Center to take part in research.
Clinical Center patients come from all over the US and the world. Many
patients and their families deplete their savings traveling to the Clinical
Center and have difficulty affording basic necessities, lodging, and food.
Others suffer financial hardship due to illness prior to their participation
in research. The Clinical Center Patient Emergency Fund is used to help
in emergency circumstances and with unexpected incidental expenses.
PEF is administered by the Social Work Department. To receive PEF funds,
patients must contact their social worker. For information about PEF,
Patient Emergency Fund National Institutes of Health, PHS, DHHS
Social Work Department, NIH Clinical Center
10 Center Drive Room 1N252 MSC 1160
Bethesda, MD 20892-1160.
Friends of the Clinical Center. Founded in 1984, the
Friends of the Clinical Center (FOCC) is a nonprofit, charitable organization
located in the Clinical Center. It provides emergency financial assistance
to NIH patients and their families. Illness often causes stressboth emotional
and financialfor patients and family members. In addition to the concerns
of finding a successful treatment, lost income over a period of time often
has severe financial impact. FOCC can help by providing emergency funding
on a case-by-case basis to those in need during these stressful times.
FOCC often assists with payment of rent and mortgages, utilities, car
payments, transportation costs to and from NIH, medical bills, and other
types of expenses. Patients desiring consideration for funding from FOCC
should speak with a social worker. For information about FOCC, you
may visit its office in the Clinical Center in Room 1C166A, call 2-0193,
or view its website at: http://www.FOCCcharity.org
Outpatient Voucher Program. There is a voucher program,
supported by some Institutes for patients on specific protocols, to help
defray the cost of participating in research at the Clinical Center. You
will be notified concerning your eligibility.
Social Security Administration. A Social Security Administration
field representative visits the Clinical Center monthly on the third Friday
of the month between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Both in- and outpatients can
meet with this field representative. Call your social worker to make an
appointment with the representative, and to receive helpful brochures
Internal Medicine Consult Services
Internal Medicine Consult Service resources are available, by physician referral, to all inpatients and outpatients at the Clinical Center. The consult service group has experience with both simple and complex medical problems, and is familiar with the NIH intramural research program and Clinical Center environment. The overall objective of the service is to help the research teams provide optimum clinical care.
Interpreting services are available for some languages on a limited basis.
Call the volunteer office for information at 6-1807 from 7:30 a.m. to
4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Evenings, after 4 p.m., or on weekends,
call the admissions office at 6-3315. Contact the on-call social worker
by calling the page operator at 6-1211. Sign language interpretation for
the hearing impaired may also be obtained.
Pain and Palliative Care Services
Pain and Palliative Care at the NIH Clinical Center is a clinical consult service whose goal is to relieve physical, emotional and spiritual suffering through interdisciplinary symptom management and holistic care to patients in research studies at NIH. The service is available by physician consult referral to all Clinical Center patients living with chronic, life-threatening conditions.
The Patient Representative serves as a link between the patient and the
hospital. The Patient Representative makes every effort to assure that
patients are informed of their rights and responsibilities and that they
understand what the Clinical Center is, what it can offer, and how it
operates. We realize that this setting is unique and may generate questions
about the patient's role in the research process. As in any large and
complex system, communication can be a problem and misunderstandings can
occur. If you have an unanswered question or feel there is a problem you
would like to discuss, call the Patient Representative. The sooner your
concerns are known, the easier they are to address. You may reach the
Patient Representative at 6-2626. Calls made to this number after 5 p.m.
or on weekends or holidays will be returned the following business day.
SEE ALSO: Of
Special Interest to Parents
Pediatric Inpatient Service. A 17-bed pediatric inpatient
unit (13 West) and an 11-bed pediatric unit (9 West) provide care for
patients from all Institutes. These two units provide family-centered
care, including rooming-in for one parent and a children's playroom. Children
and families receive age-appropriate patient teaching, health promotion,
and physical and emotional support. Nurses trained to care for children
and their families staff both units. Recreation therapy, art therapy,
social work services, dietary services, spiritual ministry, and a schoolteacher
all make the child's hospital stay as pleasant as possible-for the child
as well as the family.
A board-certified pediatrician staffs the pediatric inpatient service.
This doctor is available for advice or consultation and reviews the health
status of all child patients with charge nurses every day. The pediatrician
also joins Institute staff for ward rounds, helps with general child health
issues, and works with ward staff on each child's medical plan. Meals
are tailored to the needs and desires of children.
Pediatric Day Hospital. The Pediatric Day Hospital,
located on 9 West, provides skilled care for children who need special
care but do not need to be admitted as inpatients. Services include:
- medication administration
- patient and family teaching
- blood and urine testing
Pediatric Consult Service.The Pediatric Consult Service
is a resource for any clinical researcher who needs assistance with caring
for pediatric patients. Researchers may ask for a one-time consultation
for an acute pediatric problem or for more consultations to help manage
Childcare Services (Family
Friend Program) Assistance with child care is available
through the Clinical Center Family Friend program, a child care service
staffed by trained volunteers. The program may be used by:
- parents who need respite while caring for children who are pediatric
- parents who are patients, but have no other means of child care, such
as family members or friends.
Arrangements can be made by the social worker or the protocol's research
Children's Inn. The
Children's Inn at NIH is a family-centered residence on the NIH
campus serving pediatric patients and their families who travel here
for treatment at the Clinical Center. The Inn provides a home-like
atmosphere of private sleeping rooms with baths, common living areas,
playrooms, kitchen and laundry facilities, a computer center, and
The Inn operates on a self-help
basis with the resident children and their families helping themselves
and each other. Family members do their own shopping, cooking, laundry,
and supervise their children as they would at home. The first reservation
to stay at the Children's Inn must come to the Inn through the patient's
social worker. Thereafter, returning patients may call the Inn directly
for reservations at 301-496-5672.
Children's School. While
they are patients at the Clinical Center, children are expected to
NIH Children's School a satellite school of Montgomery County.
Located in the 10th floor solarium, the school is staffed by teachers
who instruct students in grades kindergarten through 12. Teachers
also come to the bedside when patients are unable to attend school.
Children should bring their
textbooks and current assignments. The NIH teachers will keep the
local school apprised of the child's progress. Studies for the graduate
equivalency program (GED) and English spoken as the other language
(ESOL) are also provided to those who meet a certain criterion. The
school can be contacted by phone (301-496-2077), e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org),
or fax (301-402-9202).
Playroom. Children and
their families are welcome in the 14th floor playroom. At least one
special event for children is held each month. Occasionally, special
visitors entertain the children during these events. When time permits,
entertainers may visit patients in their rooms.
The playroom has an aquarium and two resident guinea pigs. As part
of the animal-assisted therapy program, children are encouraged to
hold and play with the guinea pigs. Twice a month, several dogs are
brought in to visit both adult and pediatric patients. These visits
are voluntary and closely follow hospital infection control procedures.
The playroom on the 14th
floor is open for supervised play during the following hours: Monday
through Thursday: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1:30-3:30 p.m., 6:30-8 p.m.
Fridays: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1:30-3:30 p.m.
The Inpatient Pharmacy.
The Inpatient Pharmacy provides
medications for hospitalized patients. To assure that pediatric patients
get the right dose for their smaller size, pharmacists do a special check
for patients less than 18 years old. Pharmacists also check medication
orders for potential allergies, proper dose, drug interactions, and drug
The Outpatient Pharmacy.
If your NIH doctor prescribes
drugs to take home that are related to your research study, they will
be filled at the Outpatient Pharmacy. They are usually given in amounts
up to a 90-day supply.
The Outpatient Pharmacy dispenses prescriptions and provides medication
counseling to patients and their guardians for medication to be taken
outside the hospital.
The Outpatient Pharmacy is located on the first floor and is open during
these days and times:
- Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Friday 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Weekends and holidays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Prescriptions from outside doctors cannot be filled by the Clinical Center
Clinical Pharmacy Specialists. Clinical Pharmacy Specialists
have advanced training and experience. They are assigned to patient care
and often go on "rounds" with the medical team. They also:
- recommend specific medications
- take part in selecting medications for special needs
- monitor for side effects when medications are given
- do medication counseling and patient education
SEE ALSO: Playroom
The recreation therapy section (organizationally under Rehabilitation
Services) provides recreation, library services, in-hospital entertainment,
maintains a movie channel on your room TV, and provides many other services
Helping patients cope with the stress of hospitalization and maintaining
their quality of life in the face of chronic disease and experimental
treatment are the section's objectives. Available to all patients and
their families, most programs are held on the 14th floor of the hospital
and may include arts and crafts, music, games and sports, social events,
and exercise. The gymnasium has a game room and a well-equipped exercise
The 14th floor adult recreation services are open during the following
hours (In addition to these standard hours of operation, patients and
guests will find an extensive list of special events on the front and
back sides of the monthly calendar.)
Craft Room: Monday through Friday:10:30 a.m.- 12:30
p.m.; 1:30-3:30 pm
Gymnasium: Monday through Friday: 1:30-3:30 p.m.;
Monday and Wednesday: 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Saturday: 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Weight Room Monday through Friday 1:30-3:30 p.m; Monday
and Wednesday: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Game Room Monday and Wednesday: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Bingo in the assembly hall Wednesday: 7-8 p.m
Instruction in coping skills such as relaxation, enhanced
communication, and stress management is available.
Trips are taken into the community for entertainment
and sightseeing. Wheelchairs can be accommodated on all trips.
Library. A well-stocked
library is located in the 14th floor solarium. There are more than
5,000 books including a selection of current bestsellers, reference,
foreign language, and large print and picture books. A special section
featuring selections on health and coping is also included. Books
may be checked out for 2 weeks. The library subscribes to some 30
magazines, the Washington Post, and The New York Times. If you are
not able to go to the library yourself, magazine selections may be
made from the cart that is brought to the patient care unit each week.
Call the library to find out the day and time. A hospital volunteer
or member of the library staff will also bring books or other library
material to you between cart visits. You may return books to the library
yourself or have a staff member do it for you. After hours, use the
book drop in the library door.
Internet and e-mail access,
cassette tapes and players, typewriters, guitars, and special visual
aids such as talking books, book holders, and "bed specs" (prism glasses
that allow you to read lying down) are also available. Drop by the
library to browse or contact a hospital volunteer or nurse for information.
Also watch the monthly patient activities schedule for partial lists
of new acquisitions.
The library is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and
Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Federal holidays it is open from 11
a.m. to 4 p.m. You may call the library at 6-3036 for assistance or information.
Television.Each patient room has a color television
with a dedicated movie channel.
VCRs. Portable VCRs may be available for bedside viewing
of other movies. The Therapeutic Recreation Section has a large selection
of movies for patient use.
The Clinical Center's Rehabilitation Medicine Department (http://www.cc.nih.gov/rmd/)offers many
services to patients and their families. Rehabilitation Medicine at the NIH Clinical Center provides medical evaluations of disability. Rehabilitation Medicine professionals help patients overcome
problems with strength, mobility, movement, self-care, speaking, swallowing, or learning.
Rehabilitation professionals help patients preserve, regain, and prevent a decline in
function as well as learn new skills.
Medical Section. The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation section offers humanistic and quality patient care to patients who suffer functional decline from disease, accident or psychological problems. Every patient referred to the Medical Section for consultation
receives a complete evaluation by a physiatrista doctor specially trained
in rehabilitation medicine.
If you are referred to the Medical Section, the physiatrist will make
a treatment plan specifically for you. Common recommendations include
programs to improve strength, stamina, balance, and the training in the use of adaptive
equipment. The Medical Section consults and meets with referring physicians and the patient's family and makes referrals to other Rehabilitation Medicine Sections for further specialized evaluations, treatment, and equipment.
Physical Therapy Section. Physical therapists work with
patients to help them keep and maintain and improve their ability to do
daily activities. They make treatment programs tailored to each patient's
problems and needs. Treatments may include family education; exercises
to improve the patient's coordination, balance, and strength; and activities
that improve movement and help the patient work with devices such as braces
If you need to use walking aids, you will
be taught how to use them. If you currently use a wheelchair or specially constructed mechanical appliances, bring these with you.
Speech/Language Pathology Section. This section works
with patients who have problems with communicating, eating, or swallowing.
Treatment focuses on helping patients communicate at their best, with
a special focus on communicating basic needs and ideas.
Occupational Therapy Section. The Occupational Therapy
Section helps patients who are having trouble moving and using their hands. Occupational Therapy is designed to maintain or restore the ability to do daily life tasks and, through adaptation, minimize the effects of disability.
Occupational therapists can work closely with you and/or your child to develop or
Recreation Therapy Section : SEE Recreation
Social Work Services
The Social Work Department provides many of the patient services described
throughout this document, among them The Patient
Emergency Fund, Wigs for Patients, Notary
Services, Support Groups, and many others.
If you or members of your family have difficulties or concerns during
your stay, social workers are here to provide information and counseling.
In most patient units and outpatient clinics, new patients are routinely
screened by social workers.
You are encouraged to speak with a social worker to explore your concerns
or any other issues that have an impact on your coping with treatment
and illness. These include anxiety, depression, concerns about family,
work, and adjustment to the Clinical Center. Social workers are available
to support you with issues related to your taking part in protocols at
NIH. They can also help connect you to valuable resources, support organizations,
and public and private agencies that address personal, financial, and
health care problems.
Many patients need special assistance with discharge from the hospital,
and your social worker will work with staff to set up services, supplies,
special equipment, or rehabilitation at home.
There are several ways to obtain social work services:
- See the social worker on your patient care
- Call the Social Work Department at 6-2381 and ask for a visit from a
- Ask your doctor, nurse, family member, or a friend to ask for a meeting
with your social worker.
of Spiritual Ministry is located on the 14th floor. The chaplaincy
staff supports your spiritual needs. Chaplains are available for personal
visits with you and your loved ones. Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant
chaplains hold regular services in the 14th floor Inter-Faith Chapel.
If your faith is not represented within the staff, the chaplains will
contact your faith group representative on your behalf. Scriptures and
religious literature of most faiths are available upon request.
Religious services are held at these times:
- Catholic: Daily at 11:15 a.m. Holy Communion is distributed at the
bedside upon request. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in a small chapel
on the 8th floor. This chapel is open weekdays for meditation.
- Jewish: Friday at 4:30 p.m.
- Islamic: Monday through Friday at 1:30 p.m.
- Protestant: Sunday at 10 a.m., devotions on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.
Holy Communion is distributed on the first Sunday of each month. Bedside
Communion is available upon request.
Special services and changes in the regular schedule are announced by
special notice and in the patient activities schedule available at the
nurses' station. Escorts can be arranged through the nursing staff to
take patients in wheelchairs to the chapel. To contact a chaplain, visit
the 14th floor, call 6-3407, or ask the nurse or social worker to help
All group facilitators may be reached at 301-496-2381.
Ovarian Support Group. Every first Monday, 12 - 1 pm;
Every third Thursday, 11 am-12 pm. This group is for ovarian cancer patients
currently on protocol or follow up at NIH. The Monday group is a support
group and the Thursday group is an educational group, which covers monthly
topics of interest to ovarian cancer patients.
Medicine for the Soul: Spiritual Growth Discussion Group
Tuesdays, 3:30 - 4:30 pm. This group, open to people of all religious
faiths, offers patients and family members an opportunity to discuss spiritual
issues associated with illness, suffering, healing, and dying.
NCI/Surgery Branch, New Patient Orientation Group.
Tuesday/Thursdays, 10 - 11 a.m. Wednesday/Fridays, 12 - 1 p.m. These groups
provide a general orientation to the Clinical Center and NCI's surgery
branch. It's for patients undergoing evaluation for participation in clinical
trials. Family members and friends who accompany the patients are encouraged
to attend the orientation.
IL-2 Support Group for HIV/AIDS Patients. Wednesdays,
3:15 - 4:00 pm. This group consists of patients on NIAID protocols for
HIV infection and who are currently receiving IL-2 therapy. This group
meets weekly for support and information sharing.
HIV Support Group. Wednesdays, 11:30 am- 12:45 pm.
This is an open-ended group for patients and their families/significant
others. The goal is to provide support around illness-related issues:
role changes, family relationships, and coping with physical changes.
Cancer Support Group. Wednesdays, 1:30- 2:30 p.m. This
is a general support group open to patients, and their families, within
the Clinical Center who have a diagnosis of cancer. Focus is on mutual
support and sharing effective coping strategies.
HIV Caretaker Support Group. Thursdays, 12:00-1:00
pm. This group offers discussion of various issues important to HIV caretakers
(biological family members, step-parents, adoptive families, and foster
parents). The group provides a safe, supportive environment for caretakers
to discuss parenting issues, feelings about their children's illness,
issues of disclosure, social supports, and financial concerns. It provides
an opportunity for caretakers to make new acquaintances, develop a supportive
network, and become familiar with NIH and NIH policies and procedures.
Hospital volunteers serve in many ways to make your stay at the Clinical
Center more pleasant. Some volunteers greet you at the admission desk,
while others may be assigned to your patient care unit. They can introduce
you to the hospital, answer general questions, or act as language interpreters.
Others can shop for you, accompany you to appointments, or just spend
time visiting. Volunteers in recreation help you with crafts, special
events, and go on scheduled trips. Red Cross volunteers provide a variety
of hospitality services to make patients feel welcome and more comfortable.
Volunteers are here because they understand how important it is to share
time with patients who are away from home and family.
Most volunteers can be recognized easily by their uniforms and volunteer
patch. If you would like a helpful hand or have a special need, call the
volunteer program office at 6-1807 or visit in room 1N252. The office
hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Banking Services. An array of financial services is
available to you from the NIH Federal Credit Union (NIHFCU). The Credit
Union has provided financial services to the NIH Community for over 60
years. It is a federally-insured, member-owned and operated cooperative.
You do not have to be a member of the Credit Union to cash personal checks
(though some restrictions apply). But you may join the Credit Union to
take advantage of membership benefits such as low-cost loans, savings
and checking accounts, and convenient account access.
With a $25 deposit in a savings account, you can join NIHFCU. You will
also need a valid photo ID including a driver's license or passport and
verification of your affiliation with NIH (such as an NIH identification
badge). You may remain a member as long as you likeeven after you leave
The NIHFCU Clinical Center Branch is located on the B1 level and is open
at these times:
Monday through Thursday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Note: Extended hours on Friday and Saturday are for the Teller Department
A full-service ATM just outside this branch is available 24 hours a day.
Another ATM is at the top of the escalators near the second-floor cafeteria.
For more information about NIHFCU membership or products and services,
please visit our web site at www.nihfcu.org
or call its Telephone Service Center at 1-800-877-6440, TDD 301-881-5822.
Barber and Beauty Shop Services.
The barbershop on the
B1 level is open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The beauty
shop on the B1 level is also open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through
Clinical Center Galleries. Looking around the first
floor of the Clinical Center, you will notice art galleries. These galleries,
on view 24 hours a day, feature sales of artwork by artists from the Washington,
DC, area, with occasional exhibits from around the country. Each artwork
sale benefits patients with a 20 percent donation contributed to the Patient
Emergency Fund. The Red Cross office in the hospital's north lobby has
price lists for all the galleries. Price lists and other information about
the galleries are available from the Office of Facility Management (B1L410)
between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Art may be bought
by contacting the Office of Facility Management at 301-496-2862. Feel
free to browse through the galleries to enjoy the current display and,
perhaps, to purchase a favorite piece.
Laundry Services: Washers and dryers are available for
your use and are located on the B-1 level of the hospital (room B1N237).
Free tokens to operate the machines are available from your patient care
unit. You may ask your unit coordinator for details about this service.
Some patient care units also have washers and dryers. A dry cleaning service
is available through the R & W gift shop on the B1 level.
Mail Services. Mail is usually delivered to your unit
at least once a day Monday through Friday. Special delivery and registered
mail will be distributed as soon as it arrives. You may mail letters at
the self-service post office near the bank on the B1 level. Envelopes
and stamps are available there, too. If you need help, ask the unit coordinator
or a hospital volunteer. Provide this address to your friends and relatives:
NIH Clinical Center
Building 10, Patient Care Unit
10 Center Drive MSC
Bethesda, MD 20892
To make sure your mail reaches you quickly, relatives and friends should
write "patient mail" on the envelope. Also, ask for the ZIP-plus-4 code
for your unit.
Medic-Alert Bracelets and Necklaces. The Clinical Center
will help patients obtain stainless steel Medic-Alert bracelets and necklaces
for patients whose medical problems warrant them. Contact your social
worker to obtain the order form for this identification. To ensure the
accuracy of the information on the bracelet or necklace, you should talk
with your doctor about how to state your medical condition.
Notary Services. Public notaries are available to witness
signatures and certify documents. The patient representative and the admissions
office staff can provide you with information about notary services.
Parking for Patients. Patients and their visitors may
park in the Clinical Center garage.
The entrance to this garage is located on Memorial Drive. The entrance
is marked "Patient/Visitors Parking." All patients should stop to get
a parking ticket and have their vehicle inspected by security. personnel.
Inpatients may leave their cars in the garage during their hospital stays.
Once you have parked, follow signs to the elevators in the center of
the garage. Take an elevator to the first floor of the hospital and go
to the admissions desk in the main lobby. There, you will be greeted by
admissions staff. While you are at admissions, the staff will direct you
to the security desk to have your parking ticket validated (stamped) so
that you will not have to pay. If your ticket is not stamped, you will
be charged for parking.
When you are inside the garage, you can also get assistance, if you need
it, from the staff at the parking attendant's booth near the elevators.
For example, they can help you park or reach the elevators.
On weekends and at night you can park easily on the P-3 level of the
Clinical Center garage At those times, it is not necessary to get a ticket
Valet parking. Valet parking is available for patients
and their visitors at the main entrance of the Clinical Center (South
Lobby) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., (except Federal holidays).
To use valet parking:
- Drive up to the hospital's main entrance and stop in front of the
- The valet parking attendant will greet you, give you a claim ticket,
and park your vehicle.
- When you need your vehicle, go to the parking validation desk across
from admissions. A staff member will validate (stamp) your ticket. This
desk is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. A validation
desk is also located in the South Lobby at the transportation desk (open
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday).
Publications for Patients. The hospital produces a variety
of patient information materials on many of the conditions and procedures
under study at the Clinical Center. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse
whether there is any literature available about a topic of interest to
you. A Visitor Information Center in the Clinical Center provides information
about the Institutes.
Shuttle Bus Services. There is a shuttle bus service
that can take you around the NIH campus. For routes and schedules, go
Telephone Services. On most units, there are telephones
in each room for local calls. When your family and friends call you, they
may reach you by dialing 301-402 and your extension number. If you are
moved to another room, your telephone extension number will change. If
callers do not know the number, they may call 301-496-4000 and the operator
will locate you. As a courtesy to other patients, please ask family and
friends to call before 10 p.m. There are also pay telephones located throughout
To call a number within the hospital, press the last five digits of
To call local outside numbers: press 9-202 for Washington, D.C.; press
9-301 for Maryland; press 9-703 for Virginia.
For long-distance calls, you may use your patient extension to call
collect or to bill charges to a credit card. It is not possible to charge
calls to your room extension or accept incoming collect calls.
On each patient care unit, a telephone is provided for long-distance
calls at no expense to you. Calls may be placed from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
and from 6 p.m. to midnight. We urge you to limit your calls to 10 minutes
in consideration of your fellow patients who may also need access to
the telephone. If you cannot get to this telephone, ask your social
worker to authorize a long-distance call from your room telephone.
Travel Services. If you need help with travel plans,
the travel agency staff can assist you and your family. The staff can
obtain plane, train, bus, and airport shuttle information, make reservations
or changes for you, and secure tickets. For further information and assistance,
call or visit the travel office on the first floor weekdays between 8
a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The telephone number 1-866-227-9339.
Wigs for Patients. The Clinical Center Social Work Department
processes wig requests for patients who have hair loss during treatment.
Upon receipt of a request, a social worker authorizes a voucher to buy
a wig from a contractor hired by the Clinical Center. Ambulatory patients
may take their authorizations to room 1N252 to get a wig voucher. When
they have the voucher, patients may contact the wig contractor and make
an appointment, either at the contractor's place of business or in the