Critical Care Visitor Guidelines - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Critical Care Visitor Guidelines

As a family member, caregiver or friend, you are a valuable part of the healing process and the healthcare team. We welcome your visits to the PIH Health Critical Care Center (CCC). Follow these guidelines to help everyone stay safe and healthy.

Who May Visit?

As many as three people at a time may visit a patient in our CCC. Two people may visit inside the room while the third person remains in our CCC waiting area. We invite children 16 years of age and younger to wait with family members or caregivers in the hospital’s main lobby. In special situations, children under 16 may visit in a patient room. Check with the nurse to make arrangements.

Visiting Hours

We welcome visitors at any time—depending on the patient’s condition and the decision of the nurse who’s caring for that patient.

Because our medical team members exchange important information when they change shifts, visitors may be asked to leave patient rooms and wait in our CCC waiting area or in the hospital’s main lobby each day at these times:

  • 7 to 8 am
  • 10 to 11 am (when our doctors make their rounds)
  • 7 to 8 pm

For everyone’s safety, we ask that you postpone your visit if you have a cold or if you feel any symptoms or show signs of illness.

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Keeping Everyone Informed

Ongoing communication among all parties involved in patient care helps keep patient progress on track. To help everyone, we use two primary methods:

  • Family spokesperson – One person selected by family members to receive all information about the patient’s situation from the healthcare team; the spokesperson will be updated on any changes to the patient’s condition and asked to share the information with the rest of the family and caregiver network
  • Family meetings – Regular opportunities for family/caregivers to ask questions and express concerns about your loved one’s condition, outlook, medical care and treatment plan to CCC team members, including doctors, nurses and hospital staff; use the dry-erase board in your loved one’s room to write down questions and comments for these meetings

Visitor Guidelines

In the PIH Health CCC, our primary focus is on patient care and comfort. The following guidelines help us ensure the safety, health and well-being of patients, healthcare team members and visitors.

Hand Hygiene

Wash your hands before and after your visit. Hand-sanitizer gel dispensers are located near the door inside each patient room.


If you see a sign on the room door indicating that a patient is “in isolation,” check with the nurse for instructions before entering the room.


For health and safety reasons, flowers and plants are not allowed in the Critical Care Center. We welcome balloons, greeting cards, photos, and CD/tape players. Because MP3 players are small and easily lost, be sure to leave them at home.

Food and Drink

Food may be enjoyed in the hospital’s main lobby and in our cafeterias. Because the CCC is not licensed by the health department as a food service area, no food or drink is permitted in the CCC waiting area or patient rooms.

Cafeteria Locations and Hours

At PIH Health Hospital - Whittier, we offer two locations for food and beverages:

  • Tower Café – Lower level, Shannon Tower; service available almost around the clock; closed daily from 3 to 3:45 am and 10:30 to 11 am
  • Jazzman’s Café – West Road inside the main hospital; open Monday-Friday 6:30 am to 8 pm; weekends 6:30 am to 6 pm

At PIH Health Hospital – Downey, the cafeteria is located on the lower level and is open from 6:30 am to 7 pm and again from 12:30 am to 3 am.  A toaster and microwave are available 24 hours a day.


Restrooms are available in the CCC waiting area and in the main lobby of the hospital.

Ways to Comfort CCC Patients

As a family member or caregiver, you’re encouraged to spend time with your loved one in the CCC. Gentle touching and quiet talking are very important. Although your loved one may appear unable to hear, assume they can. Soothing words and caring touches like holding a hand can calm your loved one. Feel free to bring comforting reminders of home, such as pictures or favorite music.

Be sure to encourage—and allow—your loved one to rest often while in the CCC. Rest is very important for healing. Even when visitors are present, remind your loved one to rest.

Caring for the Caregivers

As a family member or caregiver, it’s important to recognize that having a loved one in the CCC can be an emotional and stressful time for you, too. You need your strength as you help support your loved one. Remember to eat healthfully, get a good night’s rest and accept support from family and friends.

PIH Health offers the services of a social worker and chaplain to assist you with crisis intervention, emotional support, access to services and guidance for personal and spiritual needs. In addition, our case manager can answer your questions about insurance benefits and help you plan for the time when your loved one is discharged from the hospital. If your loved one is not insured, our financial counselor will automatically be available to discuss options and/or eligibility for Medi-Cal.

Critical Care Center Team

The PIH Health Critical Care Center Team provides continuous observation, immediate attention and special medical care to the most seriously ill people in the hospital. Each person in the CCC is under the care of a specially trained doctor—a board-certified critical care physician known as an intensivist—who manages their treatment plan.

Rapid Response Team

In the CCC, our healthcare team members, patients and/or family may directly talk with the charge nurse and/or intensivist about their concerns for the patient’s condition, especially if it seems to be declining.

Contact Us

For more information about PIH Health’s Critical Care Center or specific services, contact us at:

PIH Health Hospital - Whittier
12401 Washington Blvd.
Whittier, CA  90606
562.698.0811 Ext. 16100
Case manager – Ext 12955
Chaplain – Ext. 12500
Social worker – Ext. 12973

PIH Health Hospital – Downey
11500 Brookshire Ave.
Downey, CA  90241
Case Manager – 562.904.5478
Chaplain – 562.904.2507
Social Worker – 562.904.5313

Hospital Locations

PIH Health Hospital - Whittier

PIH Health Hospital - Whittier

PIH Health Hospital - Downey

PIH Health Hospital - Downey

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