Your stay on the Providence Epilepsy Services inpatient monitoring unit

We will admit you to our inpatient monitoring unit on a Monday morning. You will stay with us for about five days, depending on how long it takes to record enough seizures. The epilepsy team will meet with you each morning to discuss the goals and plans for your stay.

The team includes a neurologist specializing in epilepsy, epilepsy nurse coordinator, an EEG technician and inpatient nursing staff. You may be asked to do certain things to bring on a seizure, such as stopping anti-seizure medication, staying awake for a long time, watching flashing lights or breathing hard and fast.  The EEG technician will attach painless electrodes to your scalp and perform a baseline EEG. The results will serve as a basis for comparison during the rest of your stay.

After your baseline EEG, you will be continuously monitored with an EEG and video recording until we have collected enough data to confirm a diagnosis. When the electrodes are connected, you will spend most of your time in bed and follow our team’s directions to make sure that the EEG is readable. You will want to bring reading material or other activities to occupy your time while you rest in bed.

You will have your own room.  We encourage you to have visitors.  We recognize that having a seizure is scary.  Your room will be fully equipped with all the medical equipment necessary to keep you safe during a seizure. You will also have an intravenous (IV) line placed in your arm so that we can get medications into your body immediately if necessary.

When you have a seizure, the nurse will help keep you safe from harm. The nurse may also ask you questions during the seizure. Your doctor and nurse will meet with you each morning to review the results of your study and explain the next steps.

Once we have enough information to make your diagnosis and create your individual treatment plan, you will be disconnected from the EEG. You will be discharged when your anti-seizure medications are restarted at a safe dosage. This may include staying in the hospital until you have enough antiepileptic medication in your system. 

On discharge, you will be given follow-up instructions. Download our checklist prior to your stay.