All About Twin Cities Hospital in Templeton, California
I have had many occasions to use Twin Cities Hospital in Templeton, California as a patient, and as a visitor. Here's my report on what you can expect there.
Getting to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, California
How to find it, where to park
As you approach the hospital from the 101 freeway, the first driveway to your right is for the emergency room. Right after you turn in, you will make another left turn in front of the hospital building to park. Since the hospital was remodeled, the emergency room parking changed and you no longer keep going straight past the building to enter the ER and to park. Only ambulances should go straight now. (See pictures below. ) After you turn in to park, note that the first few spaces on the right are reserved for handicapped parking. Plan to park on the left side as you come in.
If you are coming to visit a patient, you will want to pass the hospital if you are coming from the freeway and turn right into the second driveway. You will find some handicapped parking near the entrance and a place to drop off people, but you will have to park farther west or behind the founders building. (See pictures below)
If you need to drop a patient off or pick a patient up, you can park for ten minutes only at the patient drop-off zone. (See picture below.) Drop the patient off inside and then go move your car into the visitor parking lot before they tow you off. The same thing applies when you pick patients up. Park in the lot until the staff is ready to have the patient wheeled out to the pick-up area. Then go get the car. Patients may have to wait longer than they expect for their paperwork to arrive so they can leave, or they may need to wait until a volunteer can get a wheelchair to the room to take them out.
Location Of Twin Cities Hospital
It's easiest to find from the 101 freeway.
Here's some of what you need to know
The rules and visiting hours can be found on the Twin Cities Hospital web site. I'm going to refer you there because security is very tight and there are rules about what I can and can't say without permission. So although I might say the exact same things about food service that are posted on the web site, I was told not to say anything unless I got permission from the food services manager, and I was definitely not allowed to use pictures taken inside the cafeteria.
Before you visit, it's kind to make sure the patient really wants visitors outside the family. Some patients are too sick to enjoy having visitors. When you visit, try to keep your voice down unless the person you are visiting is in a private room. The person in the other bed may be much sicker and extra noise might be stressful for that person. If you are not a family member, try to keep your visit short, and don't stick around if another person comes to visit the same patient unless you are normally a three-some.
If you are a family member, check to see if the patient needs anything from home before you leave to visit. Family members can be forgetful, and you don't want to make two trips.
When you visit, try to be helpful and generally upbeat unless it appears the patient may be critically ill. Try to keep things light unless it's obvious that the patient wants to address more serious subjects and initiates such discussions. It's not the time to bring up hospital horror stores, mistakes that happened during hospital procedures -- anything that might make the patient more anxious than she already is about things that might happen. Be encouraging and do all you can do help the patient remain positive.
The New Emergency Room at Twin Cities Hospital is a Great Improvement over the Old One
Here are some of the differences.
It used to be that there were about twenty chairs along the walls of a small rectangular waiting room with a check-in window not far from the door to the triage and treatment areas. Sometimes those checking in had to get out of the way when the door opened. You absolutely did not want to sit in that room when it was crowded because those with germs were sitting really close to you.
Then, when it was finally time to be taken back for treatment, they put you in an area with only cutains to separate you from the other patients. If, when you were in there, you needed an Xray or other test, they wheeled you away for it.
That has all changed now. Look at that picture of the check-in-counter. It's far from the door to the treatment area. Before you even go to the ER, if you don't have a life-threatening emergency yuou can check the Twin Cities web site for your estimated wait time. (Of course it can change if a couple of ambulances get there before you do. ) Since the wait times are now shorter due to a large emergency treatment area, you don't spend so much time in the waiting room. The time you do spend there is more pleasant. The waiting isn't really in a room as much as a hallway with comfortable chairs spaced farther apart and divided into separate sections. You can get farther from others. You can also ask for a mask if you need one and they ask you to get one if you might be contagious. You see hand sanitizer available in amost every hospital entrance, as well. Everyone is supposed to use it when they come in or go out.
The treatment area itself is also much better. There are actual rooms now, with real walls. The only curtains are at the entrance to make it easier for medical personnel. If you need an xray or other lab procedure, they now usually bring the machine right into your room if they can put it on wheels. It's still good to have company though, since nurses are busy and sometimes it helps to have someone around who can chase someone down if you need a drink or have other urgent needs. I think they've made the new emergency room as pleasant as it could be under the circumstances. It's still not a place a person would choose to spend a day except in an emergency, of course.
Links to More Information about Twin Cities Hospital in Templeton
It includes some of what I've written about my own experiences there.
Importanant Data and Ratings for Twin Cities Hospital in Templeton
This has all the statistics about number of beds, doctors, nurses, what care is provided by the hospital and what is provided by others, etc. It also compares patient satisfaction on many areas with the national and state averages for all rated hospitals. You will also find how much Medicare pays for each procedure performed in the hospital.
More General Information about Twin Cities Hospital
This link has ratings, physician information and links for appointments.
My own experience in the ER and as an inpatient
When I had symptoms of a heart attack, I went to the ER at Twin Cities and they kept me overnight. This is what happened.
An Excerpt from A Squidoo Lens on Caring for my Mom in her Last Years
This excerpt explains some of what happened during my mom's longest hospital stay at Twin Cities, and is followed by a brief poem I wrote during the long hours of sitting with her there. The poem could apply to any hospital.