A toll-free ANONYMOUS telephone hotline is available for staff, patients, and visitors to report safety concerns to the NIH Clinical Center leadership. Information reported via the hotline will be forwarded anonymously to NIH Clinical Center Office of Patient Safety and Clinical Quality for triage, analysis, action and organizational improvement and learning. The number of the new anonymous hotline is: 1-866-444-8811. If you have questions about this new reporting tool or about patient safety and clinical quality at the NIH CC, please contact Mary J. Sparks, Acting Director, Office of Patient Safety and Clinical Quality at 301-594-1384.
A bioethics consultation team is available 24 hours a day to help you think about issues regarding your health care and participation in research. Please feel free to call the Department of Clinical Bioethics at 301-496-2429 if you have questions or concerns about your part in biomedical research.
Members of the team come from both the Clinical Center's ethics committee and the Department of Clinical Bioethics. During your stay, you will make many decisions about your care and participation in research. These decisions may be hard to make. The bioethics consultation service can help you balance your needs with those of others as you deal with the impact of illness.
Some questions you might want to discuss with a bioethics consultation team include:
- How do I mesh my medical situation with my values about life and the future?
- How might I decide about treatment options or side effects?
- How might I think about a power of attorney or a living will?
- What about my concerns for privacy and confidentiality?
- What might I do about family arrangements or inconveniences?
Located on the first floor of the Hatfield Center, Room 1-1609, the center is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Hospitality staff and volunteers stationed in the main north lobby of the Hatfield Center will provide access and help users. Two PCs (all with Internet connection) as well as a combined printer/copier/FAX and telephones are available.
The NIH Clinical Center is pleased to offer The C.A.R.E. Channel on channel 8 on all televisions in the hospital and outpatient clinics.
The C.A.R.E. (an acronym for continuous ambient relaxation environment) Channel features beautiful nature scenes accompanied by instrumental music and provides a restful alternative to commercial television for patients and their caregivers. The programming runs 84 hours before repeating itself, fitting for extended inpatient stays common to the Clinical Center.
Questions about the Clinical Center’s broadcasting of the C.A.R.E. Channel? Email John Pollack at email@example.com.
An array of financial services is available to you from the NIH Federal Credit Union (NIHFCU). The Credit Union has provided financial services to the NIH Community for over 60 years. It is a federally-insured, member-owned and operated cooperative.
You may join the Credit Union to take advantage of membership benefits such as low-cost loans, savings and checking accounts, and convenient account access.
With a $25 deposit in a savings account, you can join NIHFCU. You will also need a valid photo ID including a driver's license or passport and verification of your affiliation with NIH (such as an NIH identification badge). You may remain a member as long as you like—even after you leave NIH.
The NIHFCU Clinical Center Branch is located on the B1 level and is open at these times:
- Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Note: Extended hours on Friday and Saturday are for the Teller Department only.
A full-service ATM just outside this branch is available 24 hours a day. Other ATMs are at the top of the escalators near the second-floor cafeteria and in the atrium near Au Bon Pain Café.
For more information about NIHFCU membership or products and services, please call the Telephone Service Center at 1-800-877-6440, TDD 301-881-5822.
Friends of Patients at the NIH
Founded in 1984, the Friends of Patients at the NIH (FPNIH) is a nonprofit, charitable organization located in the Clinical Center. It provides emergency financial assistance to NIH patients and their families who find themselves in a financial emergency during and due to their participation in research protocols at the Clinical Center. Illness often causes stress—both emotional and financial—for patients and family members. In addition to the concerns of finding a successful treatment, lost income over a period of time often has severe financial impact. FPNIH can help by providing emergency funding on a case-by-case basis to those in need while receiving treatment at NIH. FPNIH can assist patients with payment of rent and mortgages, utilities, car payments, transportation costs to and from NIH, medical bills and other types of expenses. Patients desiring consideration for funding from FPNIH should speak with a social worker. For information about FPNIH call 301-402-0193, or view its website.
The Patient Emergency Fund (PEF) helps patients and families by providing short-term emergency funds during times of crisis or financial stress. It assists with participation in medical research by providing limited amounts of money for emergency food, clothing and shelter.
PEF is administered by the Social Work Department. To learn more about the PEF fund, patients can contact their social worker. The Social Work Department can be reached by calling 301-496-2381. The following is the address for the fund:
Patient Emergency Fund
National Institutes of Health, PHS, DHHS
Social Work Department, NIH Clinical Center
10 Center Drive Room 2-3-581
Bethesda, MD 20892
Please view the Patient Information Sheet for additional information about visiting the NIH Clinical Center.
Daily 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Special Campus Entrance for Patients and Patient Visitors
Use West Drive Patient Entrance at the intersection of West Cedar Lane and West Drive, directly north of the main entrance of the Clinical Center. The facility is designed to ease and speed NIH access for patients by providing one-stop security screening. (Please bring a photo ID if you are 16 or older.)
This gate is for entry only (except in emergencies). To leave NIH, follow signs to other exits.
When the Patient Entrance is Closed
Daily 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
When the patient entrance is closed, enter through the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Facility (CVIF) on Route 355 (Rockville Pike). Once you go through the vehicle inspection, follow the driveway until you reach Center Drive and make a right turn. Continue on Center Drive and follow signs to "Patient Parking" and "Clinical Center". The main entrance to the hospital will be to your left on Center Drive.
Monday-Friday 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Use the NIH Gateway Center.
Location: Rockville Pike (Route 355) and South Drive
Monday-Friday 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.; weekends and holidays
There is a solar-powered patient assistance phone at the Gateway Visitor Center campus entrance. When a patient uses the phone, the patient is connected with the NIH Emergency Communications Center. The center confirms the patient's status with admissions and then directs the patient to proceed to the South Drive Vehicle Entrance. Once a patient gets to this entrance, a security officer will screen and badge the patient and arrange for transport into campus to the Clinical Center.
NIHCC Take Me There App
A free app for smartphone devices called NIHCC Take Me There enables users to pinpoint their current location and view directions to nearly anywhere inside the building. (Please note the app works in the hospital's common or public areas, but not within private office suites such as those in the north side of the building.) The NIHCC Take Me There website version allows users to view directions online and share with others via email or print, an important feature for those without smartphone devices. Users can also download the app on their iOS or Android devices. Hospitality staff at the main reception desk can gladly help print directions if needed.
Security Note for Visitors and Patients
Campus Access and Security
The National Institutes of Health, like all Federal Government facilities, has instituted security measures to ensure the safety of our patients, employees, guests and facilities. Please visit the Department of Homeland Security National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) site to learn more about any current terrorist threat alerts for government and public entities that may impact NIH security.
All visitors must enter through the NIH Gateway Center. You will be asked to submit to a vehicle or personal inspection. Visitors over 15 years of age must provide a form of government-issued ID such as a driver's license or passport. Visitors under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
Please be aware: Federal law prohibits the following items on Federal property: firearms, explosives, archery equipment, dangerous weapons, knives with blades over 2½ inches, alcoholic beverages and open containers of alcohol, medical or recreational marijuana.
Visitors are encouraged to use public transportation such as the Metrorail subway system which has a convenient stop (Medical Center) on the NIH campus.
NIH Gateway Center
Visitors will be required to show one (1) form of identification (a government-issued photo ID-driver's license, passport, green card, etc.) and to state the purpose of their visit. The NIH Gateway Center is located adjacent to the Medical Center Metro Station at the South Drive entrance to campus from Rockville Pike / Wisconsin Avenue (Route 355). It combines visitor parking, non-commercial vehicle inspection and visitor ID processing, all in one location. The NIH will process all visitors in vehicles or as pedestrians.
Patients and patient visitors should continue to enter campus at the West Drive/Cedar Lane entrance during the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week.
As of Oct. 1, 2020, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will no longer accept identification credentials that fail to meet the minimum requirements and issuance standards for federal recognition per the REAL ID Act of 2005. The Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, such as NIH, from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards that do not meet these standards.
Under the REAL ID ACT, NIH may only accept state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet the standards required by the ACT to access our facilities. Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (EDL) issued by Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington are considered acceptable alternatives to REAL ID-compliant cards and will also be accepted for official REAL ID purposes. Most EDLs do not contain the star marking and this is acceptable. The EDLs do however state they are enhanced driver’s licenses and have an American flag either overlapping the picture or at the bottom right hand corner.
Individuals who come to the NIH’s Clinical Center for inpatient or outpatient services are not subject to the REAL ID Act of 2005.
Approved Forms of ID Required to Enter NIH Facilities as of Oct. 1, 2020:
- REAL ID Driver’s License or State Identification Card or Enhanced Driver’s License
- Passport or Passport Card
- HSPD-12 PIV or CAC Card
- Permanent Resident Card
- Federally Recognized, Tribal-Issued Photo ID
- Canadian Provincial Driver's License or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Card
- USCIS Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
- Other Less Common Documents (e.g. Merchant Mariner Credential)
Please visit Homeland Security's Real ID Act page for more information.
Security on Campus
Due to the checking of IDs at the perimeter, employees and visitors will not be required to show their ID again to gain access to the majority of buildings on the NIH Bethesda campus during the normal business day. Employees and visitors should continue to wear their identification prominently at all times while on campus.
Guards will remain at certain buildings to address specific program requirements such as sensitive research and safety concerns. At building entrances where guards are posted:
- Visitors may be required to log in, wear a visitors' pass and have an employee escort them through the building.
- Visitors may be required to pass through a metal detector and have bags, backpacks or purses inspected or x-rayed as they enter buildings.
Security staff will be looking for and confiscating any suspicious or potentially dangerous materials. U.S. Code prohibits bringing any dangerous weapons onto Federal property, including anything with a blade longer than 2 ½ inches. Meeting participants may want to leave extra bags or personal materials at their hotel to minimize the time needed for inspection.
The FAES (Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences) Gift shop is located off of the atrium on the first floor of the Clinical Center, and it is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The FAES Bookstore is located near the south side of the Clinical Center near Patient Photography and is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
If you would like to have more information about the activities of the Clinical Center, Office of Communications and Media Relations staff may be able to help. Call 301-496-2563, if you have a question.
The hospital also produces a variety of patient information materials on many of the conditions and procedures under study at the Clinical Center. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse whether there is any literature available about a topic of interest to you.
Internal Medicine Consult Service resources are available, by physician referral, to all inpatients and outpatients at the Clinical Center. The consult service group has experience with both simple and complex medical problems, and is familiar with the NIH intramural research program and Clinical Center environment. The overall objective of the service is to help the research teams provide optimum clinical care. Please call 301-496-9490 with any questions for the Internal Medicine Consult Service.
Oral Interpreter Services
Oral interpreting services are available for Limited English Proficient patients and their families. For more information, please visit the Social Work Department page or contact the Language Interpreters Program at 301-496-2792 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Evenings, after 4:30 p.m., on weekends, or holidays please use the Cyracom Telephonic Interpreters service or contact the on-call social worker by calling the page operator at 301-496-1211.
Sign Language Interpreter Services
Sign Language Interpretation for the hearing impaired may be obtained by contacting The Office of Research Services.
The Clinical Center Nutrition Department's mission is to provide the best nutrition care and food service to you during your stay. In order to accomplish this goal, the department offers room service to Clinical Center inpatients. Using the room service menu located at each bedside, you can order a meal from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Many specialized Room Service menus including Kosher, low fat and low sodium diets are available. Menus are available in Spanish.
For medical or research reasons, some patients must follow restricted diets that may not be part of the room service program. In these cases, you may be asked to select meals a day in advance from a paper menu. Family and friends may purchase food in any of the cafeterias, vending machines and shops throughout the Clinical Center.
Clinical nutrition consults are available by physician or nurse referral to all inpatients and outpatients of the Clinical Center. Clinical Research dietitians have advanced training and expertise and are assigned by Institute to every patient care area.
Pain and Palliative Care at the NIH Clinical Center is a clinical consult service whose goal is to relieve physical, emotional and spiritual suffering through interdisciplinary symptom management and holistic care to patients in research studies at NIH. The service is available by physician consult referral to all Clinical Center patients living with chronic, life-threatening conditions.
There are two options for parking, and both are free.
If you choose to self-park, go to the Patient Parking garage (P1) on the west end of the building off Convent Drive. Parking attendants will be available to assist you. You'll enter the hospital through a lobby on the lower (B1) level. Stop by the Hospitality desk to validate your parking ticket. The South Elevators serve the parking garages.
If you'd prefer to use the valet parking service for patients and visitors, drive to the Clinical Center's main north entrance on Center Drive. Valet parking is available Monday through Friday, 6 am - 7 pm (excluding federal holidays). When you arrive, have your valet claim ticket validated at Hospitality desk.
Your home library away from home!
The NIH Patient Library is a full-service contract library serving the information and leisure needs of NIH patients, their family members and caregivers. Inpatients, outpatients and their caregivers are all welcome to check out materials while staying at the Clinical Center.
The library is located on the 7th floor of the Clinical Center by the north elevators in a spacious and light-filled room surrounded by windows and panoramic views. Patients may enjoy a break from their rooms and daily appointments to peruse the collection, read quietly in one of the cozy wing chairs or use a computer work station to scan, print or check emails.
With a collection of over 6,000 items, the library offers a variety of current and popular releases in books, audio books, music, DVDs and XBOX games, as well as musical instruments. In addition, the Patient Library subscribes to over 30 magazines as well as The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal newspapers.
Whether you’re a patient or family member/caregiver, or simply visiting the NIH Bethesda campus, please stop by and visit this cozy lending library! The library is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The library is closed on Sundays and federal holidays. A selection of reading materials is also available right outside the library for after hours enjoyment.
To learn more about the NIH Patient Library, you may also visit the NIH Patient Library, Facebook Page, and Pinterest. For more information regarding library circulation policies as well as information on other equipment available for patient use, please feel free to contact patient library staff at 301-451-7603.
The Patient Representative serves as a link between the patient and the hospital. The Patient Representative makes every effort to assure that patients are informed of their rights and responsibilities and that they understand what the Clinical Center is, what it can offer, and how it operates. We realize that this setting is unique and may generate questions about the patient's role in the research process. As in any large and complex system, communication can be a problem and misunderstandings can occur. If you have an unanswered question or feel there is a problem you would like to discuss, call the Patient Representative. The sooner your concerns are known, the easier they are to address. You may reach the Patient Representative at 301-496-2626. Calls made to this number after 5 p.m. or on weekends or holidays will be returned the following business day.
A 22-bed pediatric inpatient unit, located on 1NW provides care for patients from all Institutes. Inpatients on behavioral health protocols receive care on 1SW. This unit provides family-centered care, including rooming-in for one parent and a children's playroom. Children and families receive age-appropriate patient teaching, health promotion, and physical and emotional support. Nurses trained to care for children and their families staff the unit. Recreation therapy, art therapy, social work services, dietary services, spiritual care, and a schoolteacher all make the child's hospital stay as pleasant as possible-for the child as well as the family.
Two board-certified pediatricians oversee the pediatric inpatient unit. These doctors are available for advice or consultation and review the health status of all child inpatients with the charge nurse every day. The pediatrician also joins Institute staff for ward rounds, helps with general child health issues, and works with ward staff on each child's medical plan. Meals are tailored to the needs and desires of children.
The Pediatric Day Hospital, located on 1NW, provides skilled care for children who need special care but do not need to be admitted as inpatients. Services include:
- medication administration
- patient and family teaching
- blood and urine testing
The Pediatric Consult Service is a resource for any clinical researcher who needs assistance with caring for pediatric patients. Researchers may ask for a one-time consultation for an acute pediatric problem or for on-going consultation to help manage long-term conditions.
The Children's Inn at NIH is a nonprofit that provides free lodging and a wide range of recreational, educational and therapeutic support services to families of children and young adults up to age 30 who are participating in clinical trials at NIH. Please check with your medical team regarding lodging details. Conveniently located across the street from the NIH Clinical Center, The Inn serves as "a place like home" with private bedrooms with baths, common living rooms, kitchens and laundry facilities as well as an indoor play space, a large outdoor playground, a game room, a teen lounge, an art room, a gym and sports court, and more. Take a virtual tour of The Inn.
Most days, The Inn provides free breakfast, lunch and dinner catered by volunteer groups. Free activities for children, families, teens and young adults are provided most afternoons and evenings throughout the week and include arts and crafts, theatre group visits, outings to local attractions, concerts, horseback riding and more. View The Inn's activities calendar. The Inn's education coordinator helps students complete school work and stays in touch with the teachers of patients and their siblings when needed. Free tutoring and English classes are available. Free transportation to grocery stores is provided on a weekly basis.
The first reservation to stay at the Children's Inn must come to the Inn through the patient's medical team. Thereafter, returning patients may call the Inn directly for reservations at 301-496-5672.
The NIH Children's School is funded by the Federal government and is available free of charge to Clinical Center pediatric patients, who are patients in grades kindergarten through 12. The school is staffed by teachers from the Home and Hospital Instruction Office of the Montgomery County Public School system of Maryland. The primary goal is to maintain the continuity of education for each pediatric patient.
School Contact Information
Location: Hatfield Clinical Research Center, room 11679, on the 1NW pediatric ward.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or the School's Director, email@example.com
All pediatric patients, both inpatient and outpatient at the NIH Clinical Center are offered instruction. This includes patients in regular K-12 education programs, special education programs, General Educational Development (GED) candidates and patients preparing for college admission examinations. Patients who are non-English speakers are offered instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL) studies.
All pediatric patients are offered instruction; including those residing at the Children's Inn other sponsored residences, or in private accommodations.
The Recreational Therapy Section playroom is located on the 1st floor of the Hatfield Center.
The playroom provides family-centered care activities for patients, siblings, and young visitors of adult patients. The playroom has electronic games, children's crafts, board games, an aquarium and resident guinea pigs.
The Pharmacy will be under renovation Nov. 18, 2019, through Winter 2023. Outpatient and Inpatient Pharmacy will remain open. For more information, read the CC News article view our patient Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), wayfinding Post-Card and map.
The Inpatient Pharmacy provides medications for hospitalized patients. To assure that pediatric patients get the right dose for their smaller size, pharmacists do a special check for patients less than 18 years old. Pharmacists also check medication orders for potential allergies, proper dose, drug interactions, and drug incompatibilities.
If your NIH doctor prescribes drugs to take home that are related to your research study, they will be filled at the Outpatient Pharmacy. They are usually given in amounts up to a 90-day supply. The Outpatient Pharmacy dispenses prescriptions and provides medication counseling to patients and their guardians for medication to be taken outside the hospital. The Outpatient Pharmacy is located on the first floor and is open during these days and times:
- Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Friday 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Weekends and holidays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Prescriptions from outside doctors cannot be filled by the Clinical Center Pharmacy.
Clinical Pharmacy Specialists have advanced training and experience. They are assigned to patient care and often go on "rounds" with the medical team. They also:
- recommend specific medications
- take part in selecting medications for special needs
- monitor for side effects when medications are given
- do medication counseling and patient education
The Clinical Center's Rehabilitation Medicine Department offers many services to patients and their families. Rehabilitation Medicine at the NIH Clinical Center provides medical evaluations of disability. Rehabilitation Medicine professionals help patients overcome problems with strength, mobility, movement, self-care, speaking, swallowing, or learning. Rehabilitation professionals help patients preserve, regain, and prevent a decline in function as well as learn new skills.
The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation section offers humanistic and quality patient care to patients who suffer functional decline from disease, accident or psychological problems. Every patient referred to the Medical Section for consultation receives a complete evaluation by a physiatrist—a doctor specially trained in rehabilitation medicine.
If you are referred to the Medical Section, the physiatrist will make a treatment plan specifically for you. Common recommendations include programs to improve strength, stamina, balance, and the training in the use of adaptive equipment. The Medical Section consults and meets with referring physicians and the patient's family and makes referrals to other Rehabilitation Medicine Sections for further specialized evaluations, treatment, and equipment.
Physical therapists work with patients to help them keep and maintain and improve their ability to do daily activities. They make treatment programs tailored to each patient's problems and needs. Treatments may include family education; exercises to improve the patient's coordination, balance, and strength; and activities that improve movement and help the patient work with devices such as braces or splints.
If you need to use walking aids, you will be taught how to use them. If you currently use a wheelchair or specially constructed mechanical appliances, bring these with you.
This section works with patients who have problems with communicating, eating, or swallowing. Treatment focuses on helping patients communicate at their best, with a special focus on communicating basic needs and ideas.
The Occupational Therapy Section helps patients who are having trouble moving and using their hands. Occupational Therapy is designed to maintain or restore the ability to do daily life tasks and, through adaptation, minimize the effects of disability. Occupational therapists can work closely with you and/or your child to develop or improve function.
Recreational Therapy services have an important role in a hospitalized individual's well-being. Play also strengthens family ties and lessens the impact of medical procedures.
NIH operates free shuttles to and from BWI, Dulles and Reagan National Airports from Sunday to Friday and on the following holidays: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President's Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day. NIH also operates free shuttles to and from several area hotels, the Children's Inn and the Family Lodge. The shuttles leave from the main entrance of the NIH Hatfield Clinical Research Center. Shuttle schedules are available at the Transportation and Hospitality desks. For routes and schedules, please call the Travel Office at 1-866-227-9339.
Clinical Center social workers understand that illness and medical treatment affect not only the patient, but also the family as a whole.
If you or members of your family have difficulties or concerns during your stay, social workers are here to help. Social workers routinely screen all new inpatients and are also readily available to outpatients upon request.
You are encouraged to ask to speak with a social worker when you want to discuss concerns about your illness or NIH protocol participation. Often patients and families want to be able to discuss concerns about their families, their jobs, or difficult feelings. For example, sometimes patients or family members may find that they feel particularly anxious, depressed, or worried, and that they would like to speak with someone about it.
Social workers provide counseling. They can also help connect you and your family to valuable resources, support organizations, and public and private agencies to address your personal, financial, and health care problems. When you need special assistance with discharge, the social worker can work with your medical team to set up services, supplies, special equipment, rehabilitation, or home care.
There are several ways you can obtain social work services:
- Call the Social Work Department at 301-496- 2381 and ask for a visit from a social worker.
- Ask your doctor, nurse or any other member of your medical team to set up a meeting with your social worker.
The hospital has a Spiritual Care Department. The chaplaincy staff supports your spiritual needs. Chaplains are available for personal visits with you and your loved ones. Catholic, Jewish, Islamic, and Protestant chaplains hold regular services in the Inter-Faith Chapel. If your faith is not represented within the staff, the chaplains will contact your faith group representative on your behalf. Scriptures and religious literature of most faiths are available upon request. Please contact the Spiritual Care Department at 301-496-3407 with any questions.
Taxi cabs are available at your own expense, unless authorized by a member of your research team. The pick-up and drop-off location is at the main entrance of the NIH Hatfield Clinical Research Center. For more information about this service, contact the Transportation desk at 301-496-1161.
If you need help with travel plans, the travel agency staff can assist you and your family. The staff can provide plane, train and airport shuttle information, make or change reservations and obtain tickets. For further information and assistance, call or visit the travel office on the first floor of the NIH Hatfield Clinical Research Center weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or call toll-free 1-866-227-9339.
Hospital volunteers serve in many ways to make your stay at the Clinical Center more pleasant. Some volunteers greet you at the Admission desk, while others may be assigned to your patient care unit. They can introduce you to the hospital, answer general questions, or act as language interpreters. Volunteers are here because they understand how important it is to share time with patients who are away from home and family.
Most volunteers can be recognized easily by their maroon jackets and volunteer badge. For questions about the volunteer program, please call the Volunteer Program Office at 301-451-9868 or email ClinicalCenterVolunteerProgram@cc.nih.gov.
Guest wireless service is available for patients and their guests at the NIH Clinical Center, Family Lodge, and The Children's Inn. This service provides access to the Internet and social media only. Please note that the network is not secure or encrypted, and it does not allow access to any NIH internal systems, services, or resources.
To access the guest wireless service, simply follow these steps:
1. Select the NIH-Guest-Network in "available wireless networks" from a laptop or mobile device, then click the "connect" button.
2. Once you launch a web browser (such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari), you will be redirected to a page displaying the network Terms and Conditions.
3. After reading the Terms and Conditions, click "Accept" and you will have immediate access to the Internet.
If you have problems accessing the guest wireless service, visit a Hospitality desk centrally located on the first floor of the Clinical Center, the NIH Patient Library located on the north end of the 7th floor atrium, or contact Wireless Device Assistance at 301-451-4380. Staff of the Safra Family Lodge will also be readily available to provide assistance.
Barber services are available to inpatients starting April 27, 2021. An appointment should be made for using these services. Please call 202-570-1073 or 202-607-7118 to make an appointment. Services are limited to 40 minutes per appointment and must be scheduled in advance. No “walk in” appointments are available. Non-patients and outpatients are not eligible for services at this time.
For patients in financial need, a social worker may provide a voucher that meets the cost.
Barber services are by appointment only for inpatients, and the B1 Barber Shop will not reopen at this time. Please read Accessing In-Room Barber Services for Current Inpatients for additional information about the barber services.
The Clinical Center's Fine Art Program
The mission the Clinical Center's (CC) Fine Art Program is to pair art with medicine to promote healing in an aesthetically pleasing environment for patients, caregivers and employees. Artwork is carefully selected and placed for its healing potential and artistic quality. The art collection created in 1984 has more than 2,000 works of art and is made possible in part through donations from artists, patients and staff.
The CC's Fine Art Program has developed a walking tour brochure to assist patients, caregivers and visitors in their enjoyment of the artwork on display. Brochures can be found at the Hospitality desks, Patient Library, the Children's Inn and Safra Lodge. While most artwork remains on permanent display throughout the hospital, there are six galleries on the first floor which change every eight weeks. The galleries often exhibit local artists and each work of art is available for purchase with 20% benefiting the Patient Emergency Fund. Since 1989, the galleries have raised over $78,000 to help patients in need. Artwork inquiries and purchases may be made by contacting the CC's Fine Art Program at 240-476-5989.
Washers and dryers are available for your use and are located on the B-1 level of the hospital (room B1N237). Free tokens to operate the machines are available from your patient care unit. You may ask your unit coordinator for details about this service. Some patient care units also have washers and dryers. A dry cleaning service is available through the R & W gift shop on the B1 level.
Mail is usually delivered to your unit twice a day Monday through Friday. Special delivery and registered mail will be distributed as soon as it arrives. You may mail stamped letters from your unit. Envelopes and stamps are available at the self-service post office near the bank on the B1 level. If you need help, ask the unit staff or a hospital volunteer.
Provide this address to your friends and relatives:
NIH Clinical Center
Patient Care Unit , room number ___
10 Center Drive, MSC 1000
Bethesda, MD 20892
To make sure your mail reaches you quickly, relatives and friends should write "patient mail" on the envelope and include your unit and room number. For mailing packages, patients and senders can use tracking services offered by the U.S. Postal Service or by other carriers such as Federal Express. These services need not be expensive.
Medic-Alert Bracelets and Necklaces
The Clinical Center will help patients obtain stainless steel Medic-Alert bracelets and necklaces for patients whose medical problems warrant them. Contact your social worker to obtain the order form for this identification. To ensure the accuracy of the information on the bracelet or necklace, you should talk with your doctor about how to state your medical condition.
Patients requiring notary services (witness to signature) during regular business hours should contact the NIH Federal Credit Union at 800-877-6440, or visit them on the B1-level across from the cafeteria, Room B1C25. Notary services are provided Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a fee of $2.00. Patients are required to provide their driver’s license, passport or non-driver’s license ID. Those patients who are unable to pay the $2.00 fee may contact the Social Work Department for assistance.
On most units, there are telephones in each room for local calls. When your family and friends call you, they may reach you by dialing 301-402 and your extension number. If you are moved to another room, your telephone extension number will change. If callers do not know the number, they may call 301-496-4000 and the operator will locate you. As a courtesy to other patients, please ask family and friends to call before 10 p.m. There are also pay telephones located throughout the hospital.
To call a number within the hospital, press 9 plus the 10 digits of the number.
To call local outside numbers: press 9-202 for Washington, D.C.; press 9-301 for Maryland; press 9-703 for Virginia.
For long-distance calls, you may use your patient extension to call collect or to bill charges to a credit card. It is not possible to charge calls to your room extension or accept incoming collect calls.
On each patient care unit, a telephone is provided for long-distance calls at no expense to you. Calls may be placed from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to midnight. We urge you to limit your calls to 10 minutes in consideration of your fellow patients who may also need access to the telephone. If you cannot get to this telephone, ask your social worker to authorize a long-distance call from your room telephone.
If you have hair loss during treatment, your social worker can authorize a wig voucher. This voucher allows you to buy a wig from a local business contracted through the Clinical Center. You can then contact the wig contractor and make an appointment. For more information, please consult your social worker or call the Social Work Department at 301-496-2381.