Patient care at UCSF Medical Center is given by a variety of health care providers. Specialists from the various areas involved in your treatment work together to plan and provide you with the best care possible. The types of health care providers you see and how often you see them will vary depending on your illness and whether you are an inpatient or outpatient.
The doctors in the UCSF Division of Adult Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) work as a team. You will be assigned an attending physician from BMT at the time of your initial outpatient consultation. Your attending physician will supervise all of your treatment, although other clinic and hospital doctors also may assist with your care. Throughout your treatment you will meet several other doctors from BMT and doctors from other specialties. Overall, your clinic attending physician will assist in all the important aspects of your care.
Some of the UCSF Medical Center doctors who will be involved in your care are medical oncology fellows. These are doctors who have completed their primary and specialized training and are undergoing intensive training in hematology and medical oncology. Internal medicine residents and interns also may assist during your hospitalization.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses who have completed additional education and training, and function in an advanced practice role. They work with your doctors in both the inpatient and outpatient setting before, during and after transplantation. In addition, they perform physical exams, monitor tests, help order transfusions and medications, and perform certain procedures.
NPs are available to help answer any questions and explain all aspects of your stem cell transplant. They will provide most of the discharge teaching, including precautions to take when you are ready to leave the hospital after your transplant.
The nursing teams in the hospital and clinic are made up of a variety of nurses, each with special patient care responsibilities and skills. The nurses administer all the medications and transfusions and help provide information regarding dosing and side effects of medications. The nurses are a valuable source of information while you're in the hospital or outpatient clinic. Please feel free to discuss any special needs you may have.
While you are in the hospital, the nurses on your unit will check with you daily to see whether you have any questions or needs that are being overlooked. The inpatient nurse can take care of many simple problems quickly and is responsible for contacting a doctor or nurse practitioner when necessary. Please tell the inpatient nurse if you have any problems when you are in the hospital.
While in the hospital, you will also be visited by a BMT clinical nurse specialist, an advanced practice nurse with specialized training in BMT who works with your doctor. The clinical nurse specialist has many years of training in BMT and will be available to talk with you about your stem cell transplant and answer any questions you may have.
Each doctor works closely with a transplant nurse coordinator to prepare you for your transplant. The transplant nurse coordinator will explain your tests and procedures and give you information on how to prepare for them. The transplant coordinator will be your main contact and is an important resource for you and your family. He or she also can answer many of your questions about your care or find the person who can answer these questions.
When you are an outpatient, even after you have left the San Francisco area, do not hesitate to contact your transplant coordinator if you have a problem and do not know whom to call.
Case managers work with your insurance company to get approval for transplantation as well as for hospitalization and any tests that may require preauthorization. The case manager may help you when you are discharged from the hospital and advise you on arranging home care or obtaining any medical equipment you might need. If you have a problem with home care or any equipment you need at home, don't hesitate to ask questions.
For more information, see Case Management.
A clinical dietician will determine your nutritional needs and develop a nutrition care plan for you during your treatment and recovery. A dietician will meet with you several times during your hospital stay to find out if you are having problems eating and to suggest alternatives when necessary.
BMT clinical pharmacy specialists work with your doctor to monitor your drug therapy and make sure it is safe and effective. They also will review your drug allergies and can give you information about all the medications you receive. The pharmacist will review with you all the medications you will need when you are discharged from the hospital.
While you are an inpatient, all medicines prescribed by your doctor will be prepared by a staff pharmacist and delivered to your nursing station. While you are an outpatient, your prescriptions can be filled at one of the pharmacies approved by your insurance company and convenient to your residence. If you need refills on any of your medications while you are an outpatient, please call (415) 353-2421 and ask for the resource nurse.
You and your family may face unexpected emotional, financial, spiritual and family concerns while being treated at UCSF Medical Center. Social workers are professional counselors available to you and your family throughout the entire transplant course. They play an important and supportive role in helping patients and family members cope with concerns, and they also assist in locating and facilitating the use of concrete resources, such as financial assistance.
Social workers are available in the hospital and in the outpatient clinic. For more information, see Social Services.
A psychiatrist may need to be involved during the transplant course to deal with some of the medications used or if there are special problems. If you feel you need to see a psychiatrist, ask your doctor or nurse practitioner for a referral.
Chaplains at UCSF Medical Center provide the spiritual support that many cancer patients and their families need to deal with the impact of cancer on their lives. The chaplains represent a broad range of religious denominations and a minister from almost any faith or religion can be called if needed. If you would like a chaplain to visit you, let your nurse know so that she can arrange for a visit.
For more information, see Spiritual Care Services.
The receptionists in the clinic and inpatient area will help you schedule appointments, keep your address, phone number and referring physician in the medical record up to date, and make any appointment changes.
If you have questions about any of these issues, ask one of the receptionists. If you change physicians at home, let the receptionist know to update your record.
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Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.