Before you arrive for your procedure, there are a number of preparations and arrangements that should be made. Taking care of these items before your procedure will help your hospital visit go as smoothly as possible, and may help you have a faster recovery. 

Cox Plaza Hotel

The CoxHealth Plaza Hotel offers guest rooms exclusively for CoxHealth patrons and their families. The hotel serves outpatients who need ongoing care but do not need to be hospitalized, surgical patients who live long distances from the hospital and family members of patients. 

If you require special care, please bring someone with you who can help you. The front desk staff at the hotel is not qualified to assist with medical needs. 

For more information, call 417-269-5900 or click here.

Your Safety

We want to help you understand some of the ways we work to provide a safe environment for you. You are part of the health care team. Safe and effective health care requires your participation, by involving you, we work together to ensure your safety.

Patient Identification

You may think – “Don’t they know why I am here?” Yes, we do. We are making certain that our information matches yours. Be prepared for hospital staff in many areas to ask you some of the same questions; we’re double checking the information we have for you.

Prevention of Infections

Hand Washing: 

All staff should cleanse their hands before and after providing your care. You may notice staff using the hand sanitizer located in patient rooms and hallways. This is as effective as hand washing when used properly. A friendly reminder, by you, to anyone if they forget to cleanse their hands is always appropriate.

Pre-op Antibiotic:

Depending on the type of surgery your physician may order an antibiotic to be given through your IV shortly before your procedure to help prevent infection.

After Surgery: 

Performing your postoperative exercises and walking as permitted by your physician will increase your circulation and help prevent blood clots and pneumonia. This is where you come in! Ask your caregivers if you are permitted to walk, change positions. Perform the exercises you were taught in preadmission regularly. As you recover from your surgery avoid others who have respiratory infections. Ask family and friends not to visit if they have cold or flu symptoms.

Surgery Site

Marking the Site:

The surgeon will verify the surgery with you prior to taking you to the operating room. If there is a side, for example, knee surgery the surgeon will mark the correct knee.

Time Outs: 

Before your surgery or procedure the staff will perform a “time out” using a checklist. This can be compared to a pilot completing a pre-flight checklist prior to takeoff. You’ll be asked questions during this time, and our staff will verify paperwork and tasks. 

Arrangements for After Surgery


If you have questions, please contact your surgeon’s office prior to the day of surgery. 

Check out time: If you spend the night in the hospital or if you’ll be an inpatient you should plan on a dismissal time of noon on the day you go home.

For Your Safety 

Your physicians require a responsible adult to drive you home. A bus or cab driver cannot fulfill the role of caregiver/responsible person. You’ll also need a responsible adult to stay with you for 24 hours after your surgery/procedure or your surgery will be canceled. You cannot stay in a hotel alone after surgery.

For Patients and Family 

The length of your wait may vary. When planning for the day of surgery, remember that the surgical procedure occupies only a part of the time. Preparation and recovery time should be included in your plans. If you’d like, bring a book or newspaper, crossword puzzle, etc. to do while you wait.

For Children

We encourage you to bring a special blanket or toy. There will be a television in your room. Please bring diapers, formula, bottles, sippy cup, etc. 

Antibacterial Shower

Showering prior to your surgery helps decrease the bacteria present on your skin that could cause an infection at your surgical site.

  • Shower the evening before AND the morning before your surgery with your usual soap. A shower or bath the evening before is acceptable for children.
  • For certain procedures your preadmission nurse will provide you with a special soap. This soap should not be used on the head, face, private areas or mucus membranes. This soap performs its antibacterial function without scrubbing. Remember to wash gently.
  • Don’t apply lotions, powders, deodorant, aftershave lotions, colognes or cosmetics after your shower.
  • Don’t shave or use any other hair removal methods on the surgical site for five days prior to the procedure.
  • Some orthopedic and neurosurgery patients may be instructed to concentrate on the specific surgical area, washing gently for 10 minutes with each shower.

Additional Preparations

  • Remove all jewelry, piercings and hairpins before you shower.
  • Don’t wear makeup on the day of your surgery.
  • If you wear contacts or dentures, be prepared to take them out prior to going to surgery. Bring holding cases and solutions for storage.

Skin Preparation

Remember to carefully cleanse the area of the body where you’ll be having surgery. As a general guideline, it's a good idea to shower and wash the area the night before and the day of your procedure. 

View our skin prep guide.

Special Instructions

Your nurse or surgeon's office will let you know if you should consume a clear liquid diet, take any special medications, follow bowel preparations or have an enema. 

Don’t eat or drink anything by mouth after midnight the night before your surgery or procedure (or as directed by the anesthesiologist). Don’t smoke, chew tobacco, chew gum, use breath mints or candy. This helps to prevent stomach contents from entering your airway while you’re under anesthesia. 

Your surgery will be cancelled or delayed if you consume anything after midnight (or the time you were instructed.)


The anesthesiologist will tell you which medications to take on the day of surgery or procedure. If you’re instructed to take any of your medications the morning of surgery, take them with only a sip of water or as instructed by the anesthesiologist.

Have you taken any of these medications recently?

  • Aspirin
  • Plavix
  • anticoagulants (sometimes called blood thinners) Example: Coumadin
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) Examples: Motrin or Ibuprofen
  • diet pills
  • vitamin E
  • herbal products
  • over-the-counter medicines