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While you are a patient at LLUMC

Blood donations

Patients at Loma Linda University Medical Center depend on blood donations at the Blood Bank of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties to supply their needs. We thus strongly encourage all eligible persons to donate blood to these facilities regularly. If you would like to donate blood for yourself for later use, or would like a relative to donate blood for you, have your physician fill out a directed donor form. For more information call (909) 885-6503.

Media and public relations

The media and public relations office serves as an ambassador to the general public for the Medical Center. It deals with the news media, giving routine patient condition reports on accident victims, as well as reporting human interest stories. Because of the extraordinary advances in health care taking place at Loma Linda, and the institution's unique commitment to human service, LLUMC is one of the nation's most widely covered medical institutions.

Through the media and public relations office, LLUMC is involved with four local United Way campaigns and several chambers of commerce in surrounding communities. It coordinates presentations at service clubs throughout Southern California.

Providing quality patient care is one of the historical missions of LLUMC. An ongoing Patient Satisfaction Survey is conducted monthly to determine patients' perceptions of the service and care they receive. The survey is conducted to help identify trends and individual circumstances that can be changed in order to increase patient satisfaction. See media contacts.

Diabetes education

LLUMC operates a diabetes education service to help patients learn to manage and live with diabetes. Diabetes educators attempt to visit all diabetic patients during their stay in the Medical Center. The Loma Linda Diabetes Treatment Center offers outpatient education and is affiliated with LLUMC. All persons with diabetes mellitus -- as well as their families, are welcomed candidates for the various educational services.

If you would like to see a diabetes educator or desire more information about the services available, ask your nurse to request a visit or call (909) 558-4000, extension 44424.

Gift shops

Heliports

During their stay, patients may see or hear helicopters arriving and departing the Medical Center. As the level one regional trauma center for four inland Southern California counties, the hospital receives many critical-care patients by helicopter.

LLUMC has two heliports. Most helicopters land atop the Medical Center's north heliport. On occasion, helicopters also land atop the Children's Hospital heliport on the southeast corner of the Medical Center. Some military helicopters are too large for these helipads and land on the campus mall north of the Medical Center. In addition, helicopters may be directed to the north lawn when both rooftop heliports are occupied at the same time.

Housekeeping

LLUMC's housekeeping service cleans all patient rooms once each day. If there is need for additional housekeeping, your nurse will make arrangements for special attention as soon as possible.

Mail

Your address while at the hospital is Loma Linda University Medical Center, Post Office Box 2000, Loma Linda, CA 92354. Mail is delivered to patients at their room each day. If you wish to send a letter, the unit secretary on each unit has free stationary, envelopes, and post cards for your use. Volunteers are also available from the volunteer services office to help patients write letters. Stamps can be purchased inside the Medical Center at the gift shop. Mail boxes are located on the main corridor of every floor near the elevators.

Meals

Patients able to eat regular meals will receive breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks as part of their basic room charge. With each breakfast, patients will receive a menu listing food available for the following day.

You should fill out your choices by 11:00 a.m., after which a representative from the department of nutritional services will pick up the menu and answer any questions. If you are on a special diet, a registered dietitian or diet technician will review your menu and make adjustments if necessary.

As a proper diet is essential to good health, Loma Linda University Medical Center recommends a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. This includes: fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, nuts, seeds and legumes, plus eggs, cheese, yogurt and milk. It excludes red meats, fish, and poultry. A well planned lacto-ovo vegetarian diet provides an adequate amount of protein, iron, B vitamins, and fiber with less cholesterol and saturated fat. The diet thus reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, colon cancer, and obesity.

For more information on how to implement a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, ask to speak with your floor nutritionist.

Nutritional services / menus

Medical records

Patients have the right to view copies of their medical records upon request. Signed request forms must be turned in to the medical records office detailing what specific materials are desired. Requests generally take five working days to process and there may be a minimal charge for copying the material. For information, call (909) 558-4484. You may fax record requests at (909) 558-4159. See our privacy information.

Nurses

LLUMC employs over 1,500 nurses. Most are registered nurses, with smaller numbers of licensed vocational nurses, nursing assistants, secretaries, and other support personnel. Collectively, they share one goal: to provide the highest quality of care for each patient.

The nurse's role are many: caregiver, counselor, coordinator, educator, and discharge planner. From the initial contact on admission, continuing through discharge, the nurse has a great opportunity to influence your return to optimum health, besides being interested in the physical and spiritual dynamics that affect your well-being. This commitment to caring for the whole person distinguishes Loma Linda nurses.

Recovery room (Post Anesthesia Care Unit)

Most post-surgical patients who have been under general anesthesia, as well as some who have been under local or regional anesthesia, are taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (sometimes called the recovery room) immediately following surgery. The PACU is an intensive care unit where specially trained physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other allied health care personnel are available to give constant care. When a patient arrives at PACU, a physician and nurse assess the patient's status and condition, monitoring their pulse, blood pressure, respirations and temperature. The nurse then receives a report of the surgery from the anesthesiologist, and records the patient's vital signs and his or her observations, and checks the physician's orders.

Patients will receive oxygen during their time in PACU, and some may need a ventilator to assist the patient after anesthesia, until their breathing returns to normal. While some discomfort from the surgery may be expected, the anesthesiologist and the nurse will work to make every patient as comfortable as possible.

Time spent in the PACU varies depending on the type of surgery and the individual patient's response to the anesthetic. Two hours are generally required for recovery, with three to five hours average for outpatients. The recovery time may be longer for those with spinal anesthesia. Occasionally, a patient may have to spend some additional time in the PACU while their unit makes preparations for their arrival.

No visitors are permitted in the PACU. The surgeon will contact the family as soon as the surgery is completed. This does not necessarily mean the patient has arrived in the PACU or that the surgery is completed, since the anesthesiologist may be finishing the anesthesia procedure. The PACU secretary will notify the surgery hostess and the unit of the patient's actual arrival time.

Pharmacy

Located on the Medical Center's second floor, the hospital pharmacy provides comprehensive services to both inpatients and outpatients. If you are placed on any new medications during your hospital stay, the Medical Center pharmacy will supply them.

If you are to take any medications after you leave the hospital, your doctor will give you a prescription that you can have filled either at the Medical Center pharmacy or another pharmacy of your choice.

LLUMC's pharmacy is open 24 hours a day. Its number for information or refill requests is (909) 558-4500.

Residents

You may be cared for in part by medical residents while at LLUMC. Residents are fully-trained licensed physicians who are receiving specialized medical training. Their activities are overseen by faculty members from the University's School of Medicine. See residency programs.

Students

Loma Linda University Medical Center is the primary clinical facility for the Loma Linda University Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health Professions. Hundreds of health-care professionals are trained every year in the hospital. You may notice students around the Medical Center and at times participating with doctors and nurses in your care. No student is allowed to participate in patient care without extensive training and supervision.

Volunteers

Much of the credit for Loma Linda University Medical Center's esteemed level of patient care is due to its nearly 1,000 volunteers who donate their time and effort to improving life for patients and visitors. The department of volunteer services coordinates some 70,730 volunteer hours each year, representing a tremendous resource for the Medical Center. Volunteers perform many services for patients, including operating the patient library, diversional therapy center, gift shop, surgery waiting service, and a card delivery service. For more information, contact (909) 558-4000, extension 44654, or see LLU Medical Center volunteer services and Children's Hospital volunteer services on our web site.

Discharge from the hospital