Things to Know During Your Stay - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My HealtheVet badge
EBenefits Badge

Things to Know During Your Stay

Absence from Your Unit

Stay on your unit while you are here so that you can receive your medical care. If you want to leave your unit, ask permission from your nurse for an off-unit pass. Exit doors are locked from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. for safety. If you go outside during these hours, you will have to re-enter the building through the Outpatient Entrance.

ATM Machines

ATM machines are located on our main campus in the dining area of the Food Court in Bldg. 1, in the vending area by the front lobby of Bldg. 100, and outside the Bay Pines Federal Credit Union building.

Canteen, Barber Shop and Retail Store

For patients in the hospital and nursing home who cannot go to the Barber Shop, room service is available by calling the Barber Shop at extensions 4500 or 7280. Please see our food and refreshments page for details about hours and locations.

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials offer well-controlled experimental treatments and are available for many different conditions and diseases.  These trials test newer therapies that may become the treatments of the future.  Information about clinical trials is available from your health care team and in the Patient Education Resource Center (PERC) in Bldg. 100, Room 1E236. The VA does not pay for clinical trials at non-VA facilities. You may also visit our Research and Development Service page.


  • Do not use alcohol or illegal drugs and do not gamble while on VA property
  • Do not enter areas that are posted “No Patients Beyond This Point.”
  • Please be considerate of others while you and your visitors are here.  Keep your voices quiet and the television and radio volume low so you do not disturb other patients who are resting.  If anyone bothers you by using a loud voice or bad language, let your nurse know.
  • Do not tape record or videotape any conversations with your health care team or other patients without their written permission. 

Fire and Disaster Drills

Fire and disaster drills are practiced so that the staff will know what to do in a real emergency.  If you hear the fire alarm, be calm and stay in your room with the door closed.  Follow the instructions given to you by the staff in your area.


Do not give gifts or money to any of our employees.  It is our privilege to take care of you. 

Homeland Security

Homeland Security guidelines require certain measures to protect you and our staff, including limiting access to our grounds and buildings. The doors are open 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. After hours you may enter the main hospital building only through the Outpatient Entrance. Our west main gate (Bay Pines Blvd. and 100th Way N.) is usually open. Our east gate (Bay Pines Blvd. and 95th Way N.) is closed on weekends, holidays, and on weeknights from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.


If you need an interpreter for hearing, vision, speech, language, or cognitive deficits, please contact your primary care team.

Lost and Found

Please see our Visitors page for information on Lost and Found.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune are sold at newspaper racks on each floor of the main hospital building (Bldg. 100) and on the first floor of Bldg. 1. Additional periodicals are available from the Patient Library on the first floor of Bldg. 100. Volunteers may also distribute reading material to the various units. Call Voluntary Service (extension 5594) for the schedule.


Pets are not allowed on VA property, except for service animals or those involved in pet therapy programs sponsored by Recreation Therapy.  Do not leave pets in your car.

Post Office

The US Postal Service office at Bay Pines is open 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays and is closed for lunch from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The Post Office is located on the first floor of Bldg. 20.

Shuttle Service

The shuttle service program consists of passenger carts which make continuous loops to and from the visitors' parking lots and the Medical Center. All shuttle stops are clearly marked.  There is also a separate shuttle that runs between the VA Regional Office and the Medical Center's Outpatient Entrance. The shuttles run Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., excluding holidays. We use volunteers to operate our shuttles. If you are interested in volunteering, please visit our Volunteer Information page.


Do not smoke anywhere in our buildings or near the entrances to the buildings.  We are a smoke-free environment.  Designated smoking areas are located outside.  Tell your nurse when you leave your unit to go to the smoking areas.  If you smoke within the hospital, you are subject to fines and other disciplinary actions.

Televisions and Radios

Televisions and radios are located in patient rooms and/or in the day rooms.  Please turn off your TV and radio by midnight.  Tell your nurse or Patient Services Assistant (PSA) if your TV or radio is not working. 

We have a closed circuit television system (CCTV) with channels dedicated to health education for patients.  Throughout the day, Continuous Ambient Relaxation Environment (C.A.R.E.) selections are shown on Channel 14, and pre-selected health and wellness programs are shown on Channel 18.  Dial 7521 and follow the voice prompts to select other videos that will be shown on channels 15-17.  There is no charge to watch these channels and videos.

The videos on these channels are listed in the “Health and Wellness Video Program.”  Call extension 4033 if you need a copy of this video guide.  The “TV, Video, and Radio Listings” section on the last page of this handbook has a full listing of our channels.


Do not bring any weapons onto VA property. Everyone is subject to inspection of all packages in their possession. Refusal of consent to inspection is basis for denial of entry onto VA property. If you have any weapons, you must give them to the VA Police to hold during your stay here. In accordance with Federal regulations, you may not leave weapons in your vehicle while it is parked on VA property.