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Patient Services

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Anonymous Safety Reporting Hotline

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 anonymous hotline is: 1-866-444-8811. If you have questions about this reporting tool or about patient safety and clinical quality at the NIH CC, please contact Dr. David Lang, Chief, Office of Patient Safety and Clinical Quality, at 301-496-8025.

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Bioethics Consult Service

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Business Center

staff working in the business center

Located on the first floor of the Hatfield Center, Room 1-1609, the center is open Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4:30 pm.

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.

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C.A.R.E. Channel

NIH Clinical Center The C.A.R.E. TV Channel 8

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

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Financial Services


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 am to 4 pm.

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 301-402-0193

Patient Emergency Fund (PEF)

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

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Getting to Campus, Campus Access, Parking for Patients & Visitors

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Gift Shops

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 am -5 pm The FAES Bookstore is located near the south side of the Clinical Center near Patient Photography and is open Monday through Friday 9 am - 5 pm.

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Information Services and Patient Information

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.

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Internal Medicine Consult Services

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.

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Interpreter Services

Oral Interpreter Services

Sign Language Interpreter Services

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Nutrition Services

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Pain and Palliative Care Services

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Patient Library - Your home library away from home!

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Patient Representative

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 pm or on weekends or holidays will be returned the following business day.

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Pediatric Services

Children at the NIH Clinical Center

Pediatric Inpatient Service

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.

Pediatric Day Hospital

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

Pediatric Consult Service

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.

Children's Inn

Children's Inn at NIH

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.

NIH Children's School


View of the playroom

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.

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Pharmacy Services

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Rehabilitation Services

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.

Medical Section

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 Therapy Section

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.

Speech/Language Pathology Section

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.

Occupational Therapy Section

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 Section

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.

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Report a Patient Safety Event

Report a Patient Safety Event

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Service Animals - Service Animals Guidelines for Inpatients

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Shuttle Bus Services

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.

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Social Work Services

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Spiritual Care and Religious Services - 301-496-3407

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Transportation Services (Local)

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.

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Travel Services

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 am and 5 pm or call toll-free 1-866-227-9339.

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Volunteer Services - Volunteer at the NIH Clinical Center

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Wireless Internet Access

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.

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Other 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. Please ask a staff member on your patient care unit for assistance.

Mail Services

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:

Patient Name
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.

Notary Services

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 am to 4 pm 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.

Telephone Services

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.

Local calls

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.

Long-distance calls

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.

Wigs for Patients

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.

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This page last updated on 03/15/2023

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