Preparing for Your Stay

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact Karen Secore, Nurse Navigator for the Cottage Epilepsy Center at: 805-832-3633

Your health care provider has recommended an inpatient stay in the epilepsy monitoring unit.  This is a four-bed unit within the neurology unit in Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Specially educated nurses and staff will be caring for you. Electrodes will be placed on your head for the purpose of recording video and brain waves. Here are a few details to help you prepare.  

During Your Stay

  • Scalp and hair must be clean.
  • Do not use styling products.
  • An IV catheter will be placed in order for medications to be given quickly if needed.
  • No smoking will be permitted during the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit stay.
  • Soft physical restraints may be used to ensure your safety. Your team will work with you to best identify if and when restraints are to be used.
  • Patients will be directed to stay in front of the camera for video monitoring in their room.

Activity During Your Stay

Cottage Epilepsy Center

A patient room in the Cottage Epilepsy Center

  • Patients will be able to move in their rooms with supervision of staff to provide safety.
  • Patients may be asked to do certain activities to trigger a seizure.
    • Stay awake for periods of time
    • Deep breathing
    • Exercise
    • View flashing lights


  • Medications will likely be adjusted to allow for seizure activity to be captured on the EEG and Video Monitoring:
    • Your physician and treatment team will discuss with you when medications will be held and when they will be restarted.
    • This process may allow for medication changes to better control seizures.

What to Bring

  • Button down or zip up shirts/blouse or pajamas
  • Your current medications in their bottles
  • Personal hygiene items - the hospital provides these items during your stay, however, do remember you will not be able to wash your hair or shower until the electrodes are removed.
  • A variety of activities - think about what may help you pass the time. Examples include: books, puzzles, board games and crafts.
  • Cell phone, iPad, laptop, other small devices
  • Electronic items - please note they will be checked by our engineering department before used.

Cottage Locations

Support Group

Doctor speaking with a patient

Cottage Epilepsy Center offers a support group for patients and their families to discuss issues related to the condition and the effect that it has on the patient and family. For more information call, 805-832-3633.

View Classes