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Preparing for Hospitalization

Hospital visits can be daunting - for patients or visitors. At Dignity Health Bakersfield we want all Memorial Hospital, Mercy Hospital Downtown and Mercy Hospital Southwest visitors to feel welcome and comfortable.

What to Bring

Please arrive with only the minimum essentials.

  • A list of all medications you are presently taking (including over-the-counter along with prescribed dosage information.


  • Your insurance card and/or insurance billing information.


  • Your Advance Directive; if you do not have an Advance Directive, download and complete this Advance Health Care Directive form and bring it with you or request one upon admission.


  • If you are anticipating an overnight stay, you may bring personal toiletry items and containers for storing health aids (eye glasses, contact lenses, hearing devices, etc.


  • Limit extra clothing to a comfortable dressing gown or pajamas, a robe and slippers.


What Not to Bring

  • Please do not bring actual medications to the hospital unless instructed to do so by your doctor. All medications required to treat your illness will be carefully dispensed by the hospital pharmacists and administered by nurses. With permission from your doctor, however, you may bring items such as nitroglycerin, eye drops and antacids.


  • Due to fire and safety regulations,our hospitals prohibit patients and their visitors from bringing any electrical appliances into the hospital including electrically powered radios, televisions, razors and hair dryers.


  • You are advised against bringing a large amount of money or other valuables to the hospital. Dignity Health Mercy and Memorial Hospitals cannot assume responsibility for the loss of any items while at the hospital.


  • Cigarettes and tobacco are not allowed anywhere on any of the Dignity Health campuses.



Your meals will be served three times each day. Dignity Health’s hospital staff also provides nutrition assessment, evaluation, counseling and personalized diet instructions for you.

Patient Meal Times

Breakfast: 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Dinner: 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Guest WiFi

In order to keep you connected during your time at our hospitals, we are happy to provide our patients and guests with a free wireless Internet connection. Our staff is available to provide you with guest login instructions and an access code for use while at one of our facilities.


Unlimited local calls are complimentary. Please dial "9" and the number. Long-distance calls may be placed by calling the operator "0" and they will transfer you to the long-distance operator who can assist you.

Patient rooms can be reached from outside of the hospital by calling each hospital’s main phone number, including the 661 area code.

Interpreter Services

If you need interpretation services, please ask your nurse or other hospital personnel for assistance. Sign language interpreters are also available upon request.

Spiritual Care Service

Your spiritual needs are important to us. The chapels are located in the main lobby at both hospitals and are open 24 hours a day to persons of all faiths. At Mercy Hospital Downtown there is an additional chapel located on the 4th floor near the ICU. Patients and families may request visits from their own clergy or from a hospital chaplain at any time during their hospital stay. Chaplaincy services may be contacted between the hours of: 8 am and 4 pm. 

Downtown: ext. 5646

Southwest: ext. 6646

For after hour needs please contact a staff member.