Your Room

Your hospital bed

Hospital beds are electrically operated and your nurse will show you how to work your bed properly. Rails are provided for your protection. They may be raised at night or during the day if you're resting, recovering from surgery or taking certain medications.

For your comfort

All of our rooms are centrally heated and air conditioned. If your room temperature is not comfortable, please notify the nursing staff. You are welcome to bring pajamas and other personal items from home. If desired, bathrobes are available from the hospital for use during your stay.

Your identification bracelet

During admission, you will receive an identification bracelet with your name and other information. It will be placed on your wrist to identify you to the healthcare team participating in your care. Staff will reference your name and date of birth to confirm your identity for your safety.

Calling your nurse

A button to call your nurse is at your bedside. When you press the button, your nurse is alerted that you need assistance and will respond to your signal as soon as possible.


A new television system called myStation offers an interactive healing environments right in your room. Similar to a regular television remote, patients can easily navigate the interactive system using the pillow speaker or a wireless keyboard.

With the push of a button any time of day, patients can stay informed 24/7 about their plan of care, which may include a schedule of upcoming tests or x-rays, any doctor prescribed medications or recommended educational videos related to their condition or diagnosis.

Patients can use settings on myStation to select a different language and choose a different theme or background. They can also select from a variety of family-friendly movies, games, and TV shows for their enjoyment. 

Easy to read, diagrammed instructions on how to access all the features offered through myStation are provided in the patient admission packet. If any assistance is needed, our nurses are always here to help. 


Your room is cleaned daily by a member of the housekeeping staff. If there is a housekeeping problem in your room, please notify your nurse and it will be taken care of promptly.

Telephone usage

A phone is located at your bedside for your use. The following is our telephone use policy:

  • Local calls: A phone is located at the bedside in our patient rooms. To place an outside local call, dial '9' plus the area code and the number you wish to reach. There is no charge for local calls.
  • Long distance calls: To make a long distance call from a patient room, dial '9' then '0' then the area code and the number you wish to reach. An outside operator will give you instructions for making a collect call, a calling card call or other long distance arrangements. Any charges for the long distance call will be between you and the long distance provider.
  • Special needs phones: TTY phones are available for deaf or hearing-impaired patients. Braille and large numbered phones are available for blind and visually impaired patients.
  • Cell phones: Some electromagnetic interference from wireless communication devices can unintentionally affect electronic medical equipment. For this vital safety reason, use of cell phones, portable phones, two-way radios and other personal communication devices must be restricted. In general, it is safe to use your cell phone in the main lobby, the Café at Buena Vista and the Gift Shop. For patient safety, please abide by the posted restrictions.


Wholesome, nourishing and well-balanced meals are an important part of your treatment and recovery. MedStar St. Mary's Hospital makes every effort to provide nutritious meals that are prepared according to your doctor's orders. Patients are served breakfast between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m., lunch between 11:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and dinner between 4:45 and 6:30 p.m. In between scheduled meal service, patients may order from the "Room Service Menu" located in their rooms.

A representative from the Nutrition Services staff will deliver a menu for the next day's meal every morning. Please mark your choices and your menu will be picked up between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. If you are on a special diet prescribed by your doctor, you will receive menus tailored to your specific needs. Remember, if you are admitted in between our normal meal service times, you may select a meal from our "Room Service Menu." When your tray is delivered, you will receive a menu to select your next meal.

Special diets

The following are some general guidelines for patients with special diet needs. A registered dietitian from MedStar St. Mary's Hospital can answer questions about your meals or diet. Please call 301-475-6049 to speak with a member of our Nutrition Therapy staff.

  • Diabetic: Each day, attempt to eat three well-balanced meals and an evening snack. Try to eat the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal because carbohydrates have the most impact on your blood sugars. Carbohydrates include starches, fruit and juices, milk and sweets.
  • Cardiac: Restrictions on the cardiac diet include low sodium, low cholesterol and no caffeine. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products in your menus.
  • Renal: This diet restricts sodium, potassium, phosphorous, and may also restrict protein and fluids.
  • NPO: This means nothing by mouth. A dietitian will monitor your NPO status.
  • Weight management: If your doctor has ordered a diet for weight loss, we will provide a diet to start you on a gradual weight reduction process. Once discharged, if further help is needed, we offer weight loss programs through Health Connections. For more information, call 301-475-6019.

Don't forget to choose other foods that contain protein and fats. Some vegetables and items like diet gelatin and diet sodas are freebies. Your evening snack will consist of either one or two carbohydrate choices. If you are on a clear or full liquid diet, you will receive foods that contain sugar, such as regular gelatin, since you still need carbohydrates.