About Your Stay
When you arrive at UC Davis Medical Center, whether as a patient or visitor, take satisfaction in knowing that it is one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers with more than 700 specialists trained in over 150 medical fields. The medical center, within the larger UC Davis Health, and in collaboration with the UC Davis School of Medicine, and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, gives patients with complex medical problems the expertise, skill and care they need.
The UC Davis Medical Center is fully licensed and accredited by the state of California, the federal government and appropriate health care and academic authorities.
- 646 beds
- More intensive care beds than any other area hospital
- Inland Northern California’s only level I (acute) adult and pediatric trauma center
- Complete diagnostic and inpatient services
- More than 700 specialists in over 150 medical fields
- Internists, family practitioners and pediatricians who provide primary and preventive care
- Nine critical-care units
- Multiple outpatient services, specialties, and centers such as the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and UC Davis Vascular Center.
- 24-hour emergency medical services
You will only need essential items (such as sleepwear, slippers and toiletries) and equipment used in your care (such as crutches, prosthetics, a C-pap machine, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or dentures). In order to prevent the loss of dentures, a green plastic container will be provided for storage when not in use. For safety reasons, electronic devices such as personal radios and hairdryers should not be kept in your possession while in the hospital.
Ask family members or friends to take home your jewelry, keys and other valuable items. The hospital is not responsible for lost or stolen items, including cellular devices, laptops, or tablets.
Please provide your caregivers a list of all your medications, supplements or herbals (including dosages), your Living Will/Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare forms if you have them, and any physician orders or preadmission paperwork that were provided to you before admission to the hospital.
While checking in at the admissions office, you will need to provide your insurance card and identification. Your information will be verified and any co-pay or deductible will be collected. You may be contacted prior to arrival if your insurance plan shows you will have a co-pay or deductible due at the time of service. At that time, you may provide your payment information, and your account will not be charged until you have checked in to the hospital. If you prefer, you may pay your co-pay/ deductible when you check in with admissions.
We want you to take an active role in your safety. Your caregivers will ask you for your name and birthday every time they care for you. We do this to make sure you have a safe outcome. Please review the below hospital safety policies and talk to your doctor or nurse if you have any questions.
- All employees who come into contact with you should be wearing a photo identification badge with their name and job title. Feel free to ask to see the badge if it is not visible.
- Tell the staff about any medications you are taking, including prescriptions, vitamins, herbals and over-the-counter medications.
- Tell your physician and health care staff about allergies to food, latex, medication, or other
allergies you may have. Patients with medication allergies are given a red wristband.
- Please wear your patient identification wristband at all times, and check to see that your name is spelled correctly. Hospital employees should always call you by your correct name..
As a patient at UC Davis Medical Center, you will benefit from the experience and expertise of a highly specialized health care team.
Because the medical center is a teaching hospital dedicated to training the next generation of health care professionals, UC Davis provides academic instruction to men and women at various stages of their medical training. These individuals may be a part of your team, and your doctor may bring them to your bedside to teach them about the condition you have and care that is needed. This process of sharing knowledge, called “rounds,” is a routine part of medical training. You can use rounds as an opportunity to learn more about your condition.
The members of your health care team can be identified by their badges — which always include their names, job titles and photographs — and also by the color of their uniforms. If you have questions about the role of any member of your health care team, please speak up. You have the right to know who is taking care of you.
- Navy blue — registered nurse
- Burgundy — technologist/technician
- Caribbean blue — hospital unit secretary clerk
- Charcoal — patient transport
- Ciel blue — respiratory therapist
- Evergreen — physical, speech
and occupational therapists
- Pewter — pharmacy staff
- Peacock blue — nurse practitioner
- Royal blue — licensed vocational nurse
- Seaspray — assistance staff (medical/hospital/dental
- Black — lift team, and emergency department
- Blue — environmental services
These are some of the team members you will meet during your stay.
Your attending physician
Your attending physician has primary responsibility for overseeing your care. He or she will visit you regularly to discuss your condition, assess your progress and direct the other members of your medical team.
Interns, residents and fellows
Interns, residents and fellows are medical school graduates who are completing additional training in a specific medical or surgical specialty. They may provide care under various levels of attending supervision.
Medical students may be involved in your case as part of their clinical training.
Patients receive care from highly trained registered nurses, many of whom have advanced degrees and have obtained nursing specialty certification. The medical center has achieved Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, considered the highest national honor for nursing excellence.
A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice provider who can order medications, tests, and treatments, and can answer many of your questions about your clinical care.
Allied health professionals
Clinical pharmacists, laboratory technicians, dietitians, physical and occupational therapists, respiratory specialists, speech and language pathologists, social workers and others may be involved in your care.
UC Davis uses the primary nursing model to provide relationship-based nursing care. You will be assigned a primary nurse who will be responsible for providing and coordinating your care. When your primary nurse is not available, you will be cared for by an associate nurse. Your primary and associate nurses work together to ensure that your care needs are met.
What does my primary nurse do for me?
- Works with you, your family, your physicians and your health care team to develop a plan of care that will work best for you.
- Coordinates your care throughout your stay and provides instructions for other nursing staff caring for you.
- Prepares you and your family for discharge by teaching you about your health care needs
- and resources.
What you can do:
- Communicate your concerns and preferences directly to your primary nurse.
- Ask questions about your medications and treatments.
- Welcome and encourage your family’s active involvement. Share with us how you would like for them to be included.
Open communication between you and your health care team is essential to ensure the best possible care during your treatment. We encourage you to actively participate in every decision regarding your care and treatment plan. If you have any special needs, don’t hesitate to communicate them.
We want you to have all the information you need to understand your condition and be able to help with your own care. Please ask questions about your health. This can help you make educated decisions and better deal with your condition. We suggest you write down any questions as you think
of them, so you can ask them the next time you see your doctor or nurse.
We encourage you to ask a trusted family member or friend to help with communication during your stay at the hospital. Because our staff provide care and attention to many patients at once, it is difficult for them to relay information about your status to multiple family members. The spokesperson you select is responsible for communicating to the rest of your family and friends.
Know what procedures you have scheduled, and make sure your health care providers tell you what
they plan to do before you agree to a procedure. Please tell us if you ever think we may have you confused with another patient.
Tell us how to refer to you
- Let your team know what you would like to be called (whether it is Mr. or Mrs., a nickname, or even Rob instead of Robert).
- Know what procedures you have scheduled and make sure your health care providers tell you what they plan to do before you agree to a procedure.
- Please tell us if you ever think we may have you confused with another patient.
- When your providers enter the room, they will ask you your name and birthday so that we can be sure we have the right person. We have to do this for your safety, so please do not be alarmed if we ask you more than once.
- We also will check your wristband before you receive any medications, treatments or tests.
Call buttons, located around hospital beds, allow patients to access a caregiver directly when they need help. When the call button is pressed, it signals to a health care staff member that you need help.
Your health care team will check in regularly to address your needs and answer any questions you may have. However, if you require more immediate assistance, please use the call button in your room.
For example, if you require help getting out of bed or going to the bathroom, press your call button. If it is not an urgent need, you may have to wait, as your caregivers may be helping other patients at the time. However, they will see you as soon as possible.
One of the ways we make sure all of your needs are being met is through “bedside reporting.” We call it that because your nurses will talk with you about your care in your room.
- Introduce your new nurse
- Talk about what has been happening during your stay
- Go over your treatment plan
- Answer any questions you may have
Bedside reporting works because it is personal and increases your safety. It gives you and your family the chance to understand all that is happening and to be more involved in your care.
- Your nurses will ask you which members of your family or visitors may be present with you during the meeting. Personal and sensitive information may be discussed — including medical history, treatment plan, test results and diagnoses — so we want to make sure we are protecting your privacy.
- Think about any concerns and questions you have and write them down.
It isn’t always possible to take away all of your pain; a lot depends on your condition. However, we will do all we can to treat your pain safely so that you can be comfortable.
- Where you feel the pain, how often you feel it and how long it lasts.
- What the pain feels like — dull, sharp, cramping, throbbing, burning or stabbing.
- What makes the pain better or worse.
- Which pain medications did or did not work for you in the past.
- If any pain medications have given you unacceptable side effects, such as constipation, nausea/vomiting, itching or extra sleepiness. If you have ever had an allergic reaction (such as itching, rashes or trouble breathing) to any medications.
- Which over-the-counter products, home remedies, herbal supplements, teas, vitamins and other products you are taking.
- What pain medications you have taken in the past week, months and year.
- The name, prescribed dosage, reason for taking and how much you actually take of ALL medications. (Please bring a list and leave the actual medications at home).
- Reach a level of comfort and function that is right for you.
- Give you pain medications according to your needs.
- Use other proven methods of pain relief, such as heat, ice, repositioning and massage.
- Have a regular discussion about how the Pain Relief Plan is working for you.
If you are experiencing pain, please notify a member of your health care team right away. Your nurse will also ask you about your pain at regular intervals.
It is state law to test patients when admitted to a hospital for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA. A swab of your nose will be taken and tested. If your test is positive, you will receive further information about MRSA. MRSA is a type of bacteria that can cause a staph infection.
You can help protect yourself and others by washing your hands often with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Remind your care staff and visitors to wash their hands before touching you. Avoid sharing personal items such as towels with others. And if you notice red bumps on your skin, or red and tender skin around a wound, inform a member of your care team.
Medications in the hospital
Medications can be an important part of your hospital stay. Feel free to ask questions about the medications you are given and possible side effects. You should always ask three questions:
- What are the name(s)?
- Why do I need to take them?
- What are possible side effects?
Please tell your nurse or doctor if you have any questions about your medications.
Falls happen most often in unfamiliar places, such as a hospital room. Please let us help you when you need to walk or use the bathroom. If you are at high risk for falling, we will give you a yellow wristband and provide extra help.
Here are some ways to reduce your risk of falling:
- Call for help when you need to get up or use the bathroom. Do not try to get up or walk by yourself.
- Keep the items you need within your reach, including the call button. If you can’t reach, please call for help.
- Always use your walker, cane, crutches, brace, or other devices.
- Wear non-skid footwear, such as rubber-soled slippers or socks.
- Go slowly when getting up so that you don’t get dizzy.
- In the bathroom, use the grab bars to sit and stand.
- Know the location of the call button.
- If your medicines make you sleepy, light headed, sluggish or confused, it is okay to ask how to reduce these side effects. Or, you can ask if you can take another medicine.
If you fall:
- Try to remain calm.
- Call for help. If you are near a call button, please press it.
- Don’t get up, because you may be injured. Please wait for help.
We recognize that feeling fresh and clean is important. With your doctor's approval and if you are able to walk and stand comfortably, you may shower. If you are unable to shower, you may use a bedside bathing kit. If you need assistance with any aspect of personal hygiene, please let your nurse know.
Upon arrival to your room, you will receive a kit that includes:
- A wash basin
- Facial tissue
- Soap and soap dish
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Hand lotion
- Water pitcher and a plastic tote bag
You may ask your nurse for other personal-care items such as a razor and shaving cream, mouthwash, mirror, conditioner and powder.
All caregivers wash their hands or use waterless hand cleanser between patients, and while doing different tasks for patients. We encourage you to ask your caregivers if they have done this.
A clean environment helps keep you safe as you recover. Your room and bathroom will be cleaned regularly, but the housekeeping staff will try not to disturb you. If you need anything cleaned up (for instance, if you spilled something), ask your nurse to contact the housekeeping staff.
A note about antibiotics
While we may prescribe antibiotics to treat for bacteria such as MRSA, antibiotics don’t kill viruses. Antibiotics can treat infections caused by bacteria. They don’t treat infections from viruses, such as the common cold, the flu, and most sore throats and sinus infections. Overuse of antibiotics in the community has led to an increase in bacteria that are no longer killed by common antibiotics. Only use antibiotics under guidance of a health care professional!
Many of our rooms are semi-private, with two patients in each room. Each patient has a phone, television and separate closet. There is a curtain that can be pulled for privacy.
There can be a lot of hustle and bustle in the hospital and it can be noisy. Your team will try to limit noise as much as they can while you recover, especially at night.
Let them know if it’s too loud for you and they’ll do what they can to reduce the noise.
We follow “HUSH” (Help Us Support Healing) guidelines between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. to help you rest in a quiet environment:
- An overhead announcement will let you know when the quiet hours begin.
- Lights will be dimmed.
- Your door will be closed with your permission, and we ask that you try not to play music too loud or watch TV too late at night, especially if you have a roommate. Ask if headphones are available for the TV.
Remind friends or family who visit to keep the noise level down, since others may be sleeping. Please avoid late night conversations or phone calls. Thank you for helping us make sure you and all other patients can get the rest they need.
We will limit nighttime interruptions as much as possible, but please understand that we will be checking on you during the night to make sure you are okay. Also, it’s sometimes necessary to wake you for a blood test so that your doctor has the results when they are needed.
Cell phones and telephones
Cell phone use is generally allowed, except where signs or staff members indicate that phones must be turned off. While talking on a cell phone, you must stay at least three feet away from all medical devices and patients connected to them. When restrictions are in place, the phone function must be fully powered off (not set to vibrate or silent mode), but you may continue to use Wi-Fi in airplane mode. Restrictions may change or be set on a case-by-case basis.
Your room is equipped with a direct-dial telephone. Family and friends can reach you between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. by calling the number posted in your room, or by calling 916-734-3511 and asking for you by name. You may dial out 24 hours a day. The hospital operator can be reached at 916-734-2011 or by dialing “0” from a hospital phone.
- To place a local call in the greater Sacramento area, Dial “9”+ country code, area code, seven-digit local number” (Example: 9-1-916-734-0001).
- You may place a long-distance call by dialing “8” and the number for credit card calls, or by dialing the 1-800 number for your long-distance provider.
- To call another department on our Sacramento campus, dial the last five digits of the phone number, either 3-xxxx or 4-xxxx.
- All patient rooms will accommodate a special-application telephone device, such as a TDD, a phone with headset or a laptop.
Television service is available 24 hours a day at no charge. A directory of network channels can be found in your room. Patient-education videos are available on demand. Out of consideration of your roommate or neighbors, we ask that you keep your television at a low volume. You can ask if headphones are available for your TV.
Wireless Internet access
We provide Internet access points at no charge in areas throughout the hospital and for guests who have devices that can receive wireless signals. Guests are expected to use the wireless access in a legal and responsible manner.
MyUCDavisHealth Bedside is a free and secure app that keeps you up-to-date on your medical care right from your hospital room. You can download the app using your smartphone or tablet, or borrow a tablet from us at no cost during your stay.
UC Davis Medical Center is proud to be the largest farm-to-fork food service in Sacramento, America’s farm-to-fork capital. Starting in 2019 and continuing thereafter we have been recognized on the “Good Food 100 Restaurant” list for our commitment to transparent and sustainable food purchases. Rather than relying on highly processed food or pre-mixed meals, our Food and Nutrition Services team is shifting toward whole-food and plant-based ingredients that are locally sourced.
Your meals are prepared in accordance with dietary guidelines as recommended by your registered dietitian and prescribed by your doctor. A dietetic assistant will help with your meal selections within 24 hours of the time that your diet advances to a solid texture. Meals meeting religious and cultural needs are available. Breakfast is generally served from 6:45 to 9:30 a.m.; lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and dinner from 4:45 to 7:30 p.m. If permitted, you may request crackers, soup, milk and juices from your nurses throughout the day.
Visitors are welcome to eat in the Pavilion Cafe in the first-floor main lobby area. Hours are generally from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., reopening from 11 p.m. to 12 a.m., and again from 1 to 4 a.m. Breakfast is generally available from 6 to 10 a.m., lunch from 10:30 a.m., with dinner service through 8 p.m. Limited self-service is available at other times, including the late-night cafe hours. To prevent infection, patients aren’t permitted in the cafe, but a staff member, family member or volunteer may obtain food for them.
Note: During your stay, additional visitor policies may be in place that are not listed on this page. For example, special visitor policies have been introduced during the coronavirus pandemic. For the latest policies, visit the visitors/visiting page, or ask your nurse.
UC Davis Medical Center has a 24-hour visitation policy. We understand your desire to have family and friends visit, and it is also important that we have an environment that supports healing and rest.
There may be times when visitation may need to be limited, such as:
- When you are having certain procedures.
- When a visit interferes with your care, or the care of the other patient in a shared room.
- When a visitor is causing trouble.
- When there are too many visitors in your room.
- When there is a chance that you could pick up an infection from a visitor.
- When a visitor could get an infection from you.
- When you or your roommate needs privacy or rest.
If visitors must be limited, they can wait in the nearest family/guest lounge and take turns visiting. Visitors may also be asked to wait in the lounge when care is being provided to you or your roommate.
Visitors must obtain badges during normal visiting hours (generally 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.). After hours, temporary badges are provided by our security team. Obtain them at the ER lobby or the hospital lobby information desk).
Guidelines for overnight visitors
It may be your desire to stay at your loved one’s bedside during the night. Please let your nurse know, and we will work to accommodate your request. We support overnight visitation when appropriate, such as when your loved one:
- has a physician order for comfort care
- requires translation help
- is confused
- is a child
Generally, one adult may spend the night after consideration of the patient’s condition and the condition of the other patient in two-bed rooms.
For questions or additional information about our visitor policy (Policy 2878), please ask a nurse or staff member. Or review any additional visitor materials included in your patient folder.
Pets and service animals
Service animals are generally permitted. Visits by pets — all animals other than service animals — are permitted in some instances. Specific requirements apply to both. For information or questions, please ask our staff.
About isolation precautions
There are many types of germs and they spread in different ways — and some spread more easily than others. Isolation precautions are used for some patients to make sure that germs do not spread from person to person. We will use one or more techniques, such as contact precautions, droplet precautions and/or airborne precautions. The techniques used will be determined by the type required to keep everyone safe.
For example, you and your visitors may be asked to wear masks or gloves at certain times, or to clean your hands at certain times. Roommates may or may not be allowed in your room.
If there is an isolation patient in the same room with you and your family, you will be safe. Isolation procedures have been proven effective in preventing the spread of germs from one patient to another, and have been used in hospitals for many years.
Nurses will explain the isolation procedures. UC Davis Medical Center places a high priority on safety, and families and visitors reluctant to use our isolation techniques will be asked to leave. If you have questions, please ask your nurse or health care provider.
Our medical center demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to providing safe, high-quality care and a willingness to be measured against the highest standards of performance. Patients are encouraged to “speak up” at any time with questions and concerns.
We encourage you to speak with your nurse, other members of your health care team or the manager of the unit where you are staying should you have any questions, concerns or special requests while in the hospital.
If you need additional assistance, our Patient Relations staff and the Code Help hotline (a special help hotline) are also available for urgent mattersare also available options.
For Patient Relations contact information, please visit the Patient Relations web page. For Code Help infromation, please see the welcome booklet you are provided upon admission to the hospital.
Clinical social workers are available to assist in the adjustment and impact of diagnosis and treatment of illness and injuries and to provide community resources, when appropriate. Patients and their families may request a social worker by asking their physician or nurse, or by calling 916-734-2583 (4-2583 on a hospital phone).
Chaplains are available 24 hours daily to provide pastoral care services and spiritual support to all. To contact a chaplain, call 916-734-3657 (4-3657 on a hospital phone), or call or text pager 916-816-7729 and leave a call-back number.
The Battistella Meditation Room/All-Faith Chapel on the first floor (shown above) is a quiet place to sit, relax and reflect. Page 916-816-7729 for details on regular and seasonal services and activities.
Uniformed university police and security are on duty throughout the hospital 24 hours a day. If you see or hear anything that concerns you, please notify your nurse immediately.
To contact security or police, please call 911 or 916-734-2555 (4-2555 from any hospital phone).
Fire drills and emergencies
Hospitals have to conduct fire drills on all shifts and in all buildings. For your safety, UC Davis Medical Center performs more than the required number of drills. We do not evacuate the hospitals in event of a fire, as our floors, walls, doors and other building components are designed to protect occupants and keep fire and smoke isolated. In the event of a fire alarm, remain calm and listen to any announcements from hospital staff. To report a fire or emergency, please call 911 or 916-734-2555 (4-2555 from any hospital phone).
For additional information, call 916-734-2687 or visit the hospital's maps and directions page.
The Patient Rights and Responsibilities tab gives you very specific detail regarding your care, and your role in your care.
In addition to your rights and responsibilities, UC Davis Medical Center encourages patients and their families to be aware of the following:
Advance care planning
Advance care planning is making decisions about the care you would want to receive if you become unable to speak for yourself. Advanced care planning helps ensure that your treatment preferences as a patient are documented, regularly updated, and respected. There are two documents used to record these preferences:
- Advance health care directives
- Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms
It’s good to discuss advance directives with your family, doctors, nurses and cleric while you are alert and feeling well. If you already have an advance health care directive, with or without a POLST form, please provide your medical team with a copy. If you can’t provide us with a copy, we can help you create a new document while you are here. There is more information below, and you can also ask your bedside nurse for further information.
1. Advance health care directives
An advance health care directive is a form that you fill out to describe the kinds of medical care you want to have if something happens to you and you can’t speak for yourself. It tells your family and your doctor what to do if you’re badly hurt or have a serious illness that keeps you from saying what you want. There are two main types:
- Power of Attorney for Health Care: This lets you name a person to make treatment decisions for you when you can’t speak for yourself. This person is called a “health care agent” or “health care proxy.”
- Living will: This tells your family and your doctor what kinds of treatment you want to receive as you near the end of your life and if you can no longer speak for yourself. A living will is also called a treatment directive.
As long as you can still make your own decisions, your advance health care directive won’t be used. You can stop or say “no” to treatment at any time.
2. Physicians Orders For Life-Sustaining Treatment
A Physicians Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is a physician order that helps give patients with chronic or serious illness more control over their care during times of serious illness.
POLST specifies the types of medical treatment that a patient wishes to receive towards the end of life.As a result, a POLST can prevent unwanted or medically ineffective treatment, reduce patient and family suffering, and help to ensure that your wishes as a patient are honored.
The POLST form complements an advance health care directive, and is not intended to replace that document. An advance health care directive is still necessary to appoint a legal health care decision maker, and is recommended for all adults, regardless of their health status.
All of us at UC Davis Health want you to understand your rights to make medical treatment decisions.
UC Davis Health complies with California laws and court decisions on advance directives. We do not condition care provided or otherwise discriminate against anyone based on whether or not an advance directive has been written. We have formal policies to ensure that your wishes about treatment will be followed.
If you have already prepared an advance directive, or should you choose to do so in the future, your responsibility is to provide a copy of it to the hospital so that it can be kept with our records. If you have questions about advance directives, you may contact one of the following UC Davis Health departments:
Clinical Social Services (24 hours):
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. – 916-734-2583
After 5 p.m., weekends and holidays – 916-762-5585 (pager)
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. – 916-734-5527
Clinical research opportunities
Individuals today enjoy longer, healthier lives than ever before because of knowledge gained through clinical research conducted at university hospitals like UC Davis. Clinical research conducted at UC Davis is reviewed by three Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). These are campus-wide committees of physicians, nurses, scientists and people from the local community. The committees are established to protect the rights and welfare of research participants. Each IRB carefully reviews research studies before they are made available to patients and others. You may have the opportunity to participate in some of our clinical research. It is up to you. Participation is voluntary and does not affect the quality of your care in any way.
If you decide to participate, our medical/research staff will fully explain the purposes and procedures. You may also be required to sign an informed consent form. You may withdraw from the research study at any time.
Bioethicists evaluate the ethical implications of patient care. UC Davis has a Bioethics Consultation Committee available to assist your medical team if bioethical questions arise during the course of your care. Please talk with your medical team if you think an ethical problem has arisen. You also may contact a member of the committee directly by calling the hospital telephone operator.
Notice of Privacy Practices
Your privacy is important to us. UC Davis Health has a notice that describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. To view a copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices, please ask at the registration desk or visit the medical center's Privacy Practices and Information web page.