Inpatient Stay - Penn State Cancer Institute
It is our pleasure to provide medical and nursing care to you and your family that meets your individualized needs during your hospital stay. We are also committed to working with you and your care providers to prepare you for discharge and arrange for any post-discharge needs.
There are 39 dedicated hematology/oncology patient rooms on the seventh floor of the hospital. All rooms are single occupancy with a private bath. Seventh Floor West (7MBW) and 4 rooms on Seventh Floor East (7MBE) are equipped with both telemetry monitoring and positive pressure (HEPA filtration) air handling - a requirement for the safe care of our patients with lowered immune function (immunocompromised). The remaining ten rooms on Seventh Floor East (7MBE) are for patients in all stages of disease management. Telemetry monitoring capability is also part of these rooms. Seventh Floor South (7MBS) has ten rooms for nursing care of patients in various phases of their treatment. Telemetry monitoring capability is also part of these rooms. Our goal is to provide the safest care to all of our patients. During your stay, a change to your room assignment may occur to meet your needs or the needs of another patient. We work to minimize this by careful consideration of everyone’s needs.
Our team of specially trained registered nurses provides comprehensive cancer care to patients and their families. The nursing staff works closely with other members of your health care team to plan and deliver care to patients at all stages of treatment. We help to manage any complications or side effects that arise, and provide education for your care at home. We also manage certain specialized treatments, such as peripheral blood stem cell transplant, various phases of clinical trials, palliative care and hospice services. Care to patients with non-cancerous blood disorders is also provided on this unit. The patient care assistant is a valuable member of your nursing team. Under the direction of the registered nurse, the patient care assistant may take your vital signs, such as your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature; assist you with personal hygiene as needed; deliver meal trays; and perform other duties as assigned by the nurse.
Breakfast is served to patients from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m., lunch between 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., and dinner between 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. An attendant from the dietary office will help you complete your menu each day and select nutritious foods based upon your needs and your physician orders. If you need further assistance, please let your nurse or patient care assistant know so they can notify the diet office. Your family may bring you food from home if you choose. A microwave oven and a refrigerator/ freezer to reheat and store your personal food items are available. If there is not a refrigerator in your room, there is one in the South hallway in the Family Nourishment Room. Food must be labeled with your name and the date before it is placed in the refrigerator/freezer. Food will only be stored for three days; after three days, it will be discarded.
The Rotunda Café (Main Hospital cafeteria) is located on the first floor off the rotunda.
For patient and visitor safety, we request that family and visitors do not use the patient restroom. Public restrooms are located at the end of the North hallway.
Internet access is available in many areas of the hospital, including the inpatient unit on the seventh floor. We do not have computers for your use, but you may bring your own computer with you. You are fully responsible for the safety of these electronic items.
We realize that no one wants to be in the hospital any longer than necessary. To accomplish the discharge plan, many elements of your care for outside of the hospital must come together, including medication and medical equipment prescriptions, referrals to needed community services, outpatient follow-up appointments, transportation, and written discharge instructions. The medical, nursing and care coordination team strive to arrange your discharge plan as efficiently as possible, but it does take time to coordinate. Our primary concern is your safety.
Some needs you might have at discharge are listed below. These do not apply to everyone.
- Line care and supplies - if you have a central venous catheter placed during your hospital course and need to go home with it still in place, arrangements will need to be made with a Home Infusion Provider for supplies; and possibly a Home Care Provider for the nursing care necessary to maintain proper functioning of the central line, depending on your insurance coverage. Home Care Nurses (Visiting Nurses) will teach you how to properly take care of your central line.
- Home health services - you may require home nursing care, home physical therapy or occupational therapy, home health aide services or home Social Worker services.
- Medical equipment - you may require a walker, a bedside commode, oxygen, or other equipment to ensure your safety and comfort at home.
- Local lodging - if you live a far distance from the Medical Center, you may need lodging. the Parsonage or a local hotel may meet your needs. This can be further discussed with either your Care Coordinator or Social Worker to see what will best fit your needs.
- Long term acute care hospital (LTACH) - when you require continued complex medical care upon discharge, with or without therapy needs, we can arrange for this care at an LTACH. Examples: you need frequent blood transfusion support, IV antibiotics, and/or other therapy
- Acute rehabilitation (REHAB) - if you are too weak to return home and can tolerate 3+ hours of physical, occupational, or speech therapy a day, this facility can provide these services to help your recovery. They can also manage some medical needs.
- Skilled nursing facility (SNF) - if you are too weak to return home and need a slower paced rehabilitation to recover, this facility will provide the best post-hospital care for you. They can also manage some medical needs.
- Outpatient follow-up care - you may require outpatient follow-up care after your inpatient hospital stay. You may need follow-up at the Outpatient Cancer Center for lab work, transfusion support or radiation treatment. Or you may need appointments with an advanced practice clinician or physician, outpatient physical therapy, or other specialist or services.
Unit Leadership Team
The Unit Leadership Team consists of the charge nurse, clinical head nurses, and nurse manager. The assigned charge nurse may change daily, but is always a resource to you and your family should the need arise. The nurse manager or clinical head nurses are also available if the charge nurse is unable to resolve your concern or needs additional support. Please ask to speak to any member of our Unit Leadership Team if you have an issue that cannot be addressed by your bedside nurse.