Other Patient Resources

A wide variety of other resources are available for patients and families.

Recreation Therapy

patient and pupChildren and their families are welcome in the playroom. At least one special event for children is held each month. Occasionally, special visitors entertain the children during these events. When time permits, entertainers may visit patients in their rooms.  Twice a month, several dogs are brought in to visit both adult and pediatric patients. These visits are voluntary and closely follow hospital infection control procedures.   For more information about recreation services for both children and adults, check the patient activities calendar. This calendar is available on the pediatric unit, in the Patient Library, and from your therapeutic recreation specialist.


The NIH Children’s School was established in 1953 to instruct school-age patients of the Clinical Center. The School’s goal is to maintain the continuity of education between the student’s home school and the NIH children’s school.  A student may enroll in the NIH Children’s school by making a request to the social worker, nurse, or physician. For more information please contact the school at (301) 402 – 9202 or by email at: hmays@cc.nih.gov.

Patient Library

The patient library serves the information and leisure needs of NIH patients, their families and caregivers in a welcoming and congenial atmosphere. Located in a spacious light-filled environment on the north side of the 7th floor atrium, the patient library offers best selling books, new release DVDs, a wide range of magazines and newspapers, popular and therapeutic music and audiobooks on CD, as well as a  comprehensive selection of health and coping materials.  Three computers, a printer and scanner are available for patient use.  If plans are to bring a personal laptop, the library will arrange for a guest account on the NIH wireless network.

Banking 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.  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. A full-service ATM is available 24 hours a day. For more information about NIHFCU membership or products and services, please visit the NIHFCU website or call its Telephone Service Center at 1-800-877-6440, TDD 301-881-5822.

Mail Services

Mail is usually delivered to your unit at least once a day Monday through Friday. Special delivery and registered mail will be distributed as soon as it arrives. You may mail letters at the self-service post office near the bank on the B1 level. Envelopes and stamps are available there, too. If you need help, ask the unit coordinator or a hospital volunteer.

Provide this address to your friends and relatives:

Patient Name
NIH Clinical Center
Patient Care Unit
10 Center Drive MSC
Bethesda, MD 20892

To make sure your mail reaches you quickly, relatives and friends should write "patient mail" on the envelope. Also, ask for the ZIP-plus-4 code for your unit.

Barber and Beauty Shop Services

The barbershop on the B1 level is open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The beauty shop on the B1 level is also open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Laundry Services

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.

Notary Services

Public notaries are available to witness signatures and certify documents. The patient representative and the admissions office staff can provide you with information about notary services.

Clinical Center Galleries

Looking around the first floor of the Clinical Center, you will notice art galleries. These galleries, on view 24 hours a day, feature artwork by artists from the Washington, D.C., area, with occasional exhibits from around the country. Each artwork sale benefits patients with a 20 percent donation contributed to the Patient Emergency Fund (PEF). Since 1995, these galleries have raised over $25,000 for the PEF. Price lists and other information about the galleries are available from the Office of Facility Management (B1L410) between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Art may be bought by contacting the Office of Facility Management at 301-496- 2862 or e-mail Lfitzgerald@cc.nih.gov. Feel free to browse through the galleries to enjoy the current display and, perhaps, to purchase a favorite piece.