Cairns Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


Please check in with the front reception in the main foyer at the time indicated by your doctor, and you will be directed to your admission area.

Your doctor will inform you of the scheduled time for your surgery and subsequent ‘nil by mouth’ time. This means nothing to eat or drink, including water, prior to your operation.

Please bring with you into hospital anything applicable to your admission including:

  • Doctor’s admission letter
  • Health fund number / details (if applicable)
  • Medicare card
  • Regular medications & scripts
  • Pension health benefits card (if applicable)
  • Pharmaceutical benefits card (if applicable)
  • Relevant x-rays and / or test results
  • For a child - favourite toy, formula, bottle and any special dietary needs (if applicable)
  • Sleep wear, dressing gown and appropriate footwear, i.e. closed slippers or comfortable shoes (if staying overnight)
  • Personal toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste & soap (if staying overnight)
  • Glasses and physical aids (walking sticks, hearing aids etc.)
  • Method for settling your account (credit card or cash)
  • Certified copy of Advanced Health Directive or Enduring Power of Attorney (if required)
  • Please do not bring valuables

Day procedure patients

In addition to the above admission information, your doctor will inform you of the scheduled time for your surgery and subsequent ‘nil by mouth’ time. This means nothing to eat or drink, including water, prior to your operation.

Please bring a small overnight bag to keep your clothing in while you are in the operating theatre

Please shower on the day of admission before coming to the Day Procedure Unit and put on clean clothes, and we recommend you wear garments that are comfortable and easy to remove.

Please check with your nurse before informing relatives / friends regarding the time that you should be picked up. Unless your doctor gives you special instructions please DO NOT:

  • Eat or drink anything after midnight for morning surgery
  • Eat or drink anything after 7am for afternoon surgery (a light breakfast prior to 7am is acceptable i.e., tea and toast)
  • Smoke cigarettes or chew gum
  • Wear jewellery (a wedding ring and watch are permitted)
  • Bring valuables
  • Wear make-up or nail polish

Note: Nail polish (fingers or toes), make up, hairpins, jewellery and contact lenses cannot be worn into the operating theatre.

You will be requested to arrive at the hospital at a certain time, which is determined by your doctor.

It is important to be aware the admission time is not the operation time. While your doctor may start operating at 8:00am or 1:30pm, you may not necessarily be the first on the list. Due to the variable nature of procedure times, it can therefore sometimes be difficult to estimate an accurate time for your surgery. In addition, emergencies can occur which may affect the order of the list.

Therefore, we recommend you be prepared to spend most of the day at the hospital. You are welcome to bring reading material, an iPad, headphones, or other personal devices to use while you wait.

We recommend you share this information with your friends or relatives who will accompany you to hospital so they too are aware of what to expect. We also encourage you to ask all of your questions to our staff to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible.

Reception - clerical admission

The first people you will meet are our reception staff who will confirm your personal details. You will wait in the reception area until one of our nurses asks to see you for your clinical admission. Please note, the nurses will admit patients according to the order of your doctor's operating list.

Reception - clinical admission

One of our nurses will review your medical history, all allergies, take your blood pressure and pulse, and check your consent is correct and complete. Your anaesthetist may ask to see you at this stage. You will then be asked to wait until a nurse calls you to get ready for your operation/procedure. We check your details numerous times throughout your stay to ensure your safety.

Pre-operative holding area

Prior to the pre-operative hold, the staff will prepare you for surgery. This may include shaving the surgical site, giving you medication, doing an ECG, taking a blood test, or asking you to wash your skin. Once this has been done you will be taken to the pre-operative holding area where you will change into a theatre gown and wait on a trolley until a porter comes to escort you into the operating theatre.

Operating theatre

You will most likely be taken on a trolley into the theatre and anaesthetic bay. For your safety, you will be asked what your name is and what operation you are having. Staff will check your paperwork, the armband you are wearing, that consent has been signed, that pre-medication has been given (if ordered), and whether you have any allergies. If you have allergies, you will be given a red cap to put on; otherwise you will be given a white or blue cap to help hold your hair in place. Unfortunately, visitors cannot be accommodated in the theatre holding area.


After your operation / procedure, you will wake up in the recovery area. The recovery nurses will make sure you are comfortable and awake enough before transferring you to the recovery area or your room on the ward.