Patient Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For Patient Referrers:

This page is part of the patient's pre-admission packet. Please print all of the "Patient Resources" portion of the web site and provide the packet as a guide to explain admission to TCID to the patient and/or caregiver.

Other patients have asked these questions.  If you have any other questions, please talk to your case worker or prepare to ask them when you come to TCID.

How long will I be here?

Your length of stay depends on how sick you are, your body’s response to treatment and the capabilities of the Health Department where you live to assure that you can successfully complete treatment after discharge from TCID.

Will I be in a room by myself?

Yes.  You will be in a room by yourself.  All patient rooms at TCID are private.

What kind of facility is TCID?

For over fifty years, the State Legislature has authorized the Texas Center for Infectious Disease (TCID) as a public health facility of the Department of State Health Services for the treatment of Tuberculosis. This is a long-term hospital where your length-of-stay is dependent on TB treatment.

How did I get TB?

You were exposed to someone with TB. The TB bacteria is spread through the air. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease coughs or sneezes. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected. When a person breathes in TB bacteria, the bacteria can settle in the lungs and begin to grow. From there, they move through the blood to other parts of the body, such as the kidney, spine, and brain. TB in the lungs or throat can be infectious. This means that the bacteria can be spread to other people. TB in other parts of the body, such as the kidney or spine, is usually not infectious. Possibly, you were exposed a long time ago and you are just now having symptoms.

Is there anything to do at TCID?

TCID provides patients with a variety of activities. Some activities you will do by yourself in the privacy of your room such as watching TV, reading a book, or doing a craft that interests you. Other activities you may do in groups such as playing board games, cards, sports activities, music therapy and other outdoor games. Other activities such as bingo games, parties, and field trips are periodically conducted. In addition, TCID has a patient worker program, in which qualified patients can work up to twenty (20) hours a week in a variety of hospital areas.

How do I wash my clothes?

Washers, dryers, and laundry products are provided for your use. 

Can I bring my own phone, VCR, microwave, etc?

Contact the TB Nurse Case Manager, your patient care nurse or your social worker if you have any question about what personal items to bring to or leave at TCID.

Can you help me sign up for disability or any other benefit?

You will be assigned a social worker when you are admitted, and this person will help you in applying for any benefits for which you are eligible.

Can my spouse or a friend stay here with me?

We do not have facilities at the hospital for a spouse, family or friends to stay overnight. However, there are places nearby to stay when other people visit you. Please see the Hotel/Motel Accommodations under General Information in the Patient Information section of this website.

What are the visiting hours?

Visiting hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily.

Are phone calls free?

No, telephone calls are not free. You may find it helpful to bring a prepaid phone card with you to meet this need. When you are admitted to your room, you will be given a phone number that family and friends may use to call you.

Will I pay here and will you accept my checks?

Information will be obtained on any medical insurance you have, including checking your eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid or any veterans benefits you may be eligible to receive. Financial information will be requested upon admission, and you are expected work with the TCID staff to provide complete and accurate information. Charges for services on your behalf at TCID are a claim against the State for which payment is expected unless it is determined that you are not able to pay.  Lack of insurance or ability to pay will not prevent you from being admitted and will not affect your treatment.

Cash payments and personal checks are accepted for services rendered.

Do I bring my other medications?

Yes, bring all medications you are currently taking, prescription medications, herbal medicines and products, and any over the counter medications in their original containers. Also bring a list of any foods or medicines to which you are allergic. While you may not consume, ingest or take medication not prescribed to you by a physician at TCID, a doctor will go over all your medications with you and determine what you should continue and what you need to stop taking.

Can you help me get a job?

State rules limit on campus work opportunities for patients. If your medical condition permits, your doctor may agree that you can work. Any activities that will take you off campus will need to be coordinated with your care providers. TCID does not maintain job lists or contacts, and cannot transport patients for jobs, but public transportation stops at the campus entrance.

Can I keep a vehicle at TCID?

Yes, long term parking for vehicles is available.  Space is not available on the campus to maintain your vehicle.  Although the campus is patrolled, the State of Texas cannot accept liability for damage or loss to a vehicle left on campus.  You are also invited to attend defensive driving classes when they are held on the campus.