Chaplain Services

Long hospital stays and life-changing diagnoses are difficult to handle – both physically and spiritually. Many of our patients find strength in their faith during these times, and our nondenominational hospital chaplains are available 24 hours a day to visit patients, offer spiritual support or help your family during times of distress.

You are encouraged to access pastoral services of your choice, and our staff members will make every effort to facilitate spiritual support for anyone who requests it. You or your family may contact the clergy of your choice or request our assistance. If your preferred clergy is not available, please contact your nurse, Nurse Manager or Administrative Supervisor for assistance.

The Chapel is located in the hospital’s main lobby.


Florida law requires that health care providers or health care facilities recognize the patient’s rights while they are receiving medical care and that the patient respect the health care provider's or health care facility's right to expect certain behavior on the part of patient. Patients may request a copy of the full text of this law from the health care provider or health care facility. A summary of the rights and responsibilities follows:

Patient Rights

Individual Dignity/Privacy/Patient Safety

A patient has the right to:

  • Be treated with courtesy and respect, with appreciation of his or her individual dignity and with protection of his or her need for personal privacy.
  • Comfort and dignity through treatment of primary and secondary symptoms
  • An environment of care that contributes to a positive self-image.
  • Have his or her cultural, psychosocial, spiritual and personal values, beliefs and preferences respected.
  • To receive visitors designated by them, including but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner, another family member, or a friend; the patient also has the right to withdraw or deny such consent for visitation at any time.
  • Designate a support individual, of his or her choice, to be present for emotional support during the course of his or her stay; unless the presence infringes on the rights of others or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated.
  • Pastoral and other spiritual services.
  • retain and use personal clothing or possessions as space permits
  • Free from all forms of abuse (mental, physical sexual and verbal), harassment, neglect and exploitation.
  • Free from restraints of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or staff retaliation.
  • Receive care in a secure and safe setting.
  • Effective pain management.

Financial Information and Disclosure

A patient has the right to:

  • Be given, upon request, full information and necessary counseling on the availability of known financial resources for the patient’s healthcare.
  • Know upon request and in advance of treatment, whether the healthcare provider or the healthcare facility in which the patient is receiving medical services accepts the Medicare assignment rates.
  • Receive upon request, prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care.
  • A copy of a reasonable clear and understandable itemized bill and, upon request, to have the charges explained.


A patient has the right to:

  • A prompt and reasonable response to a question or request.
  • Know, by name, their person(s) responsible for the delivery of his or her care, treatment and services, which is provided on a timely basis.
  • Be informed of his or her health status.
  • Receive from his or her physician information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure and/or treatment.
  • Refuse care, treatment and services to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of his or her action.
  • Express grievances and know the procedures for expressing grievances.
  • Know what patient support services are available, including whether an interpreter is available if he or she does not speak English.  Any patients requiring special communication/ accommodations should advise his or her nurse. Sign language interpreters and adaptive devices are available.  Additionally, foreign language interpreters are available.
  • Be informed about the outcomes of care, treatment and services, including unanticipated outcomes.
  • Request cessation of recording or filming and to rescind consent for the use up until a reasonable time before the recording or film is used.
  • Need for effective communication.

Patient Records

A patient has the right to:

  • The confidentiality of his or her clinical records.
  • Access, request amendment to and receive an accounting of disclosures regarding information contained in his or her clinical records within a reasonable time frame and to have the information explained or interpreted.

Access to Healthcare

A patient has the right to:

  • Impartial access to medical treatment or accommodations, regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, religion, handicap or source of payment.
  • Treatment, care and services within the hospital’s capability and mission and in compliance with law and regulation.
  • Treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide such treatment.
  • Access a mode of treatment that is, in his or her own judgment and the judgment of his or her healthcare practitioner, in the best interests of the patient, including complementary or alternative healthcare treatments.
  • Access protective and advocacy services.

Clinical Research

A patient has the right to:

  • Know if medical treatment is for purposes of clinical research and to consent or refuse to participate in such clinical research.

Exercise of Rights

A patient has the right to:

  • Participate in the development and implementation of his or her plan of care.
  • Make informed decisions regarding his or her care.
  • Formulate an Advance Directive.
  • Have a family member of representative of his or her choice and his or her physician promptly notified of his or her admission to the hospital.

Patient’s Knowledge of Rights and Responsibilities

A patient has the right to:

  • Know what his or her rights and responsibilities are.
  • Know what rules and regulations apply to his or her conduct.

Patient Responsibilities

A patient is responsible for:

  • Providing the healthcare provider, accurate and complete information.
  • Reporting unexpected changes in his or her condition and/or unrelieved pain to the healthcare provider.
  • Reporting to the healthcare provider whether he or she understands a contemplated course of action and what is expected of him or her.
  • Asking questions when he or she does not understand any information about his or her care or what he or she is expected to do.
  • Following care, service and/or treatment plan recommended by the healthcare professional.
  • The outcome(s)/consequence(s) if her or she refuses treatment or does not follow the healthcare provider’s care, service, treatment plan and or instructions.
  • Keeping appointments and, when she or she is unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the healthcare provider or healthcare facility.
  • Assuring that the financial obligation of his or her healthcare is fulfilled as promptly as possible.
  • Following healthcare facility rules and regulations affecting patient care, conduct and safety.
  • To show his or her identification bracelet to the staff prior to the administration of any medication or blood/blood products and prior to any procedure or treatment.
  • A patient has a responsibility, when able, for maintaining personal hygiene and grooming during hospital stay.
  • To show respect and consideration


Each pediatric/neonatal patient and/or parent/guardian has the right to:

  1. Considerate and respectful care.


  2. Impartial access to medical treatment or accommodations, regardless of race, sex, national origin, religion, disability or source of payment.


  3. Be called by name or nickname as desired to reduce anxiety.


  4. Know the name of the healthcare provider responsible for the coordination of care as well as the identities of others involved in providing care.


  5. Have their parent/guardian obtain information from the healthcare providers in understandable terms regarding diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, plans for discharge, and follow-up care.


  6. Appropriate assessment, re-assessment, education, and effective management of his/her pain as appropriate to the medical diagnosis and/or surgical procedure.


  7. Consideration or privacy in case discussion, examination, and/or treatment.  A transfer to another room may be requested, based on availability.  If another patient or visitors in the room are unreasonably disturbing.


  8. Expect that all communications and records pertaining to his/her care are treated as confidential, except in cases involving suspected abuse or public health hazards, which are required to be reported by law.


  9. Have the parent/guardian review the medical records to the extent permitted by law and have the information explained or interpreted as necessary.


  10. Expect the healthcare facility to respond to parent’s/guardian’s request for services, within its capacity, and to provide evaluation, service, or referral based on the urgency of his/her need for care.


  11. Have the parent/guardian obtain information as to any relationship between the healthcare facility and other healthcare and/or educational institutions, which may influence his/her, care.


  12. Have the parent/guardian participate in decisions regarding ethical issues pertaining to his/her care.


  13. Have the parent/guardian obtain information concerning the healthcare facilities policies relating to his/her care, and be informed if the patient has been harmed by the care provided.


  14. Have the parent/guardian express a concern or complaint regarding his/her care or services provided and to have the healthcare facility investigate such complaints without compromising his/her care or future accesses to care.


  15. Have the parent/guardian refuse any treatment to the extent permitted by law and be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal.

Each pediatric/neonatal patient and/or parent/guardian has the responsibility to:

  1. Ask questions about specific problems and request information in the event they do not understand the illness or treatment plan for their child.


  2. Provide accurate and complete medical information about their child to the healthcare providers.


  3. Notify the healthcare providers of the child’s name or nickname to which he/she best responds.


  4. Follow the treatment plan for their child recommended by the healthcare provider.


  5. Be accountable for their actions if they refuse treatment or do not follow the healthcare provider’s instructions.


  6. Consider the rights of healthcare facility’s personnel and other patients, assist in the control of noise, and ensure visitors are limited to the number permitted by policy.


  7. Respect healthcare facility property and the property of other patients.


  8. Comply with the healthcare facility’s rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct.


  9. Provide necessary financial information for the processing of the charges for the care provided and make payment arrangements as necessary.

Palmetto General Hospital encourages patients to share any concerns with staff members. Administration may also be contacted directly.  Filing a complaint will not adversely affect patient care or access to care.  Complaints may be filed with the State of Florida by calling the Consumer Assistance Unit at 1-888-419-3456 or write to:



If at any time you feel that your patient’s rights have not been met, or if you have a concern about your care, please dial “0” and ask for the Administrative Supervisor.

You may also report a complaint via the Palmetto General Hospital Patient Hot Line at (305) 823-5000, ext. 6598.

As a patient you also have the right to report complaints to the Joint Commission in writing online, by e-mail, fax or regular mail.

On-line: Complaint Submission Form.


Fax: Office of Quality Monitoring, (630) 792-5636

Mail: Office of Quality Monitoring

            Joint Commission

 One Renaissance Boulevard

 Oakbrook Terrace, IL, 60181

Summarize the issue in no more than two pages and provide the name, street address, city and state of the accredited health care organization.  For more information, call the Joint Commission’s toll free complaint hot line, (800)994-6610, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Central Time, weekdays.