You have the right to make choices regarding your health care. You can prepare for the possibility that you will be unable to make health care decisions by making your wishes known in advance. Your wishes can be communicated through "advance directives." You have the right to name someone else to make health care decisions for you when you cannot. You can do this by completing a power of attorney for health care. In this document, you can name an adult relative or friend that you trust as your "agent" to speak for you when you are too sick to make your own decisions. After you chose your agent, be sure that your agent understands your wishes and will be comfortable communicating your wishes should the need arise.
The types of decisions your agent can make include to approval or disapproval of tests, procedures and medications; selection and discharge of a provider or institution; directions to provide, withhold/withdraw artificial nutrition and hydration, and all other forms of health care. If you wish, you can limit the type of decisions your agent can make for you. You can also give an advance directive about when you would or would not want medical treatment. You can indicate when you would choose to prolong life, whether you wish to be kept free of pain, even if it were to speed up death, or any other special wishes you have regarding your healthcare. Please discuss your wishes with your physicians, especially your primary care physician. You can also give an advance directive as to which, if any, organs you would like to donate in the event of your death. You do not have to have a written advance directive. You may communicate your wishes to your physicians and nurses, and ask them to write down your wishes in the chart. However, your wishes will probably be clearer and more likely to be accepted by your family and others, if your write them down. For more information about advance directives, please contact Social Services department.
Concerns and Complaints
If you are concerned about something whether it is your care, your room, your meals, your testing schedule, your visitors or anything else - please let us know without delay; and we will try to remedy the situation immediately. Be assured that you can speak to your caregivers in confidence. If you would rather not talk about your problem with your nurse, you may meet with the supervisor or manager on your unit for a confidential discussion of your concern. Please be assured that the presentation of a complaint or concern will not compromise your treatment. Our goal is to provide healthcare that is supportive of patient and family wishes, recognizing that situations and decision-making can, at times, cause conflicts in the course of healthcare delivery.
Medical Social Work
Our Medical Social Services Department is a part of the total healthcare team that is working to assure that the support and compassionate care our patients and families need during hospitalization is there. We can assist you and your family in dealing with emotional, social and/or economic stresses which may occur as a result of illness and hospitalization. We are also specialists in identifying the many community, state and federal resources that may be of help to you in the weeks ahead. If you need help in sorting out your needs, ask your nurse to contact a social worker for you.
You have the right to be informed about any procedures, tests, or operations to be performed on you. It is expected that the physician will talk with you about the benefits of your treatments and will explain the risks, complications including unanticipated outcomes that could happen, as well as other treatment that could help you.
Pain management is an important part of your care. You have the right to expect that pain will be identified, addressed, and treated. Good pain control allows you to feel more rested, more in control and speeds up your recovery. We, here at La Palma Intercommunity Hospital, feel responsible to listen to your concerns about pain. Even though it is not always possible to provide you with complete pain relief, controlling your pain will help you to be more comfortable. This will allow you to move easier after your surgery or procedure, help prevent complications, and can even shorten your hospital stay. We will help you make reasonable and desirable pain relief goals. One of the most important things you can do is tell us about your pain. Sometimes people assume we can tell they are having pain, but this is not always true. Only you know when you are in pain, how bad it is, and what it feels like. When you describe the intensity, type, location and duration of your pain, you help us to do a better job of caring for you. Your healthcare providers will listen to the way you describe your pain and how you think it will be relieved to help them decide what medicine or other pain relief measures to use.
The records of your hospital stay are kept in the hospital Medical Records Department. You have been issued a unique medical record number and all of your records will be compiled under that record number. If you have a need for a copy of your pertinent medical records for personal use, we will be happy to copy them for you for a nominal charge. We can also provide a copy for your physician for continued medical care at no charge. We are open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday though Friday. We are closed evenings, weekends and holidays.
To provide a healthful and comfortable environment for all patients and visitors, La Palma Intercommunity Hospital maintains a smoke free environment. Patients and visitors are not allowed to smoke anywhere in the hospital, including the cafeteria, restrooms or lounges. Smoking is also prohibited on the grounds, except where designated by signage, for patients only.
Patient and Family Education
We believe that patient education is one of the most important ways every patient can help their own recovery. Knowing what is wrong with you and what treatments are available, allow you to help make the decisions about your care that you want. We know that everyone has his or her own ways of learning. We want to help you learn about your condition in the easiest way possible. You will be asked questions about how you learn best, if you have any religious or cultural beliefs that will affect our teaching. The types of topics we want to cover include how to be safe, nutrition, how to safely take your medicines, how to use any equipment you need and any questions you have about your diagnosis
When friends call to inquire about your condition, the call will be directed to your room. More detailed information can be released to one immediate family member designated by you. If you'd prefer that we withhold all information, including your condition and location within the hospital, please notify your nurse.
A big part of getting settled is becoming acquainted with your new surroundings. Your room is where you will spend most of your time, and it is designed to be as cheerful and pleasant as possible, while allowing for comfort and safety. If your accommodations are semi-private, please be considerate of your roommate's needs, and limit your visitors and activities accordingly.
The Call System
There is a call button at your bedside and a pull cord in the bathroom to summon assistance. Just press the button or pull the cord and a staff member will respond in person or by intercom. Please don't hesitate to use it if you have questions or need help.
Keeping in touch with loved ones is important, especially when you are ill. For your convenience, there is a private phone on your bedside table. If friends or family want to reach you, they can call (760) 670-7400 and ask the operator to connect them to your room. Special amplifying devices for those hearing impaired are available upon request.
Cellular telephone use is prohibited while in the hospital building, as it may interfere with patient monitoring and other medical equipment.
Sometimes the days can seem long, when you are in the hospital. For your comfort, your room is equipped with a television set. To hear television programs, change channels, and tune into radio stations, use the bedside control.
Personal Valuables and Belongings
La Palma Intercommunity Hospital cannot be responsible for valuables that you keep in your possession. You should leave your jewelry, money (large sum), wallets and purses at home to ensure their safekeeping. Please be alert concerning your belongings such as dentures, contact lenses, eyeglasses, hearing aids and comparable personal belongings. Please store these items carefully when not in use. Never leave them on a meal tray or wrap them in tissue paper. If you forget to leave your valuables at home and do not wish to entrust them to a friend or relative, they may be deposited in the La Palma Hospital safe for safekeeping. Ask your nurse for assistance.
The hospital maintains strict safety requirements on all electrical and battery operated appliances used in the patient care environment. No personal electrical devices are allowed, including hair dryers, curling irons, electric shavers, radios and similar equipment. The operation of cellular phones is not allowed anywhere in the building for patient safety.
Breakfast is usually served by a health team member between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. Lunch is delivered between 12:00 and 12:30 p.m. Dinner usually arrives between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. Snacks are available upon request and are served at 10:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m., if your diet is not restricted.
Proper nutrition can be as crucial to your health as the right therapy or medication. In fact, food can play such an important role in your recovery that your diet is personally prescribed by your physician and carefully planned by a registered dietitian. Please feel free to ask your nurse questions regarding your meals.
Our housekeeping staff makes sure your room is neat and clean each day. They're especially sensitive to your needs for privacy and quiet and try to complete their tasks discreetly, with as little disturbance as possible. If you have any special housekeeping requests, please let one of our staff members know.