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Hospital. What to expect.

Discussion in 'Help Me! I Need to Talk to Someone.' started by Peregrin, Jun 14, 2016.

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  1. Peregrin

    Peregrin Member

    I'm seriously considering going to the emergency room cause I'm close to losing it. I'm not sure what to expect if I go there. (I live in the USA). If I voluntarily go in can I leave when I want? Do they take all your possessions you have with you? What happens when you are in there? Do you see a therapist or psychiatrist?
    I'm taking care of my elderly mother and I can't leave her alone for a long time. I have a lot of responsibilities but I feel like I'm barely functioning. I am on meds and I see a therapist. She (therapist) supports my decision on going to the emergency room but can't really tell me what to expect. I know all hospitals are different but I was hoping someone would have an idea of what it would be like.
  2. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Hi there, you go into Accident and Emergency (ER) (I'm from Ireland), you will see the crisis nurse and they will evaluate you and see if you need to be admitted to the psych ward. They will ask you are you a danger to yourself or others? If yes, you will probably be admitted especially if you have a plan and the means. If not in imminent danger they may prescribe something to calm you down and then you follow up with your general doctor.

    In the psych ward, you will be searched when entering then they bring you into and asdmittance room and ask you a thousand and one questions down to your diet and faith. Be prepared it can be a lenghty process. They do blood work, drug tests (sometimes), assign a bed to you and you will be checked on every 5 or 10, 20, 30 mins depending on how high risk you are. The psych wards are there to help you and there are activities like meditation and bingo and a mini gym. The food is quite good in the one where I am- from. The patients can be violent so they are often put on one -to one nursing to keep the other patients safe. It can be scary but you will also meet others like you and even make friendships. It can be a good or bad experiences depending on various things. They will take things off you that you could harm yourself with but will leave you have your possessions such as phones.clothes etc.. but not a laptop for obvious reasons. Oh and you will have a nurse assigned to you so they will check on you as they have to do a report on you each day. You will see the psychiatrist every few days.

    I wish you well and hope my analysis of psych wards helps you.
  3. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

  4. betteroffunknown

    betteroffunknown Well-Known Member

    I live in the US, and it can vary somewhat from state to state, but I think for the most part the basics are the same. (I could be wrong, though.)

    If you go into an ER and tell them what you're there for they will usually call in someone to do an assessment on you. The assessment should be a fairly lengthy process taking about 45min to an hour, at minimum, when done thoroughly and properly. (If it's less than 30min then seriously question if you've been properly assessed!) Some hospitals already have their own behavioral health person there. If this is who you meet with make sure to request talking with the attending doc so you can make sure everyone is on the same page, and you can make sure it's going to be a voluntary status.

    Some hospitals will call in a specially trained crisis individual (which is preferred) to come talk to you, and they generally consult with their supervisor via phone or other means. No matter which one they use that person will also consult and work with the attending doc on duty cuz it's the actual doctor who will have to sign off on the orders.

    Once they're done with the assessment and writing up their notes they'll generally do a urine test (and sometimes blood work) just to make sure a person hasn't already taken something or simply check for illegal substances. Basically, they clear you medically. Then they begin to look for a bed at a facility somewhere.

    Keep in mind you'll need to expect to be at the ER for several hours, usually 4-8hrs unless the assessment is done somewhere else. If the assessment is done elsewhere such as a crisis center then at the ER they'll just need to clear you medically, and that wouldn't take as long.

    Procedures vary from (psych) hospital to hospital, but they will generally hold your personal items other than clothes. It's also possible that some hospitals will require you to wear their scrubs. All places will supply you with the necessary hygiene items - deoderant, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc. Phones, laptops, or any other electrical equipment is not allowed at most places (they'll hold them, but you won't be allowed to use them) of which they claim is for privacy reasons, so if there are phone numbers you'll need it's best to write those down on a sheet of paper to keep with you.

    There is a general intake procedure where they ask a hundred questions and do your vitals. Then they assign you to a room. Now I'm not sure about other states, but where I live you'd just have one roommate. There you will see either a therapist or social worker as well as a pdoc. Generally you will see the therapist or social worker daily, and the pdoc as needed. You will see a pdoc within your first 24hrs for sure, though.

    One thing we have in common with where Petal lives is that they will monitor you based on how safe they think you are. If you're not safe at all you will be monitored MUCH more closely. If that's the case it's not uncommon to have someone assigned to you to make sure you stay safe, or you could be assigned to a special room that is constantly monitored by a camera(s), but if you're not as much of a risk checks will be done less frequently (for obvious reasons).

    If you go in voluntarily you should be able to leave when you tell them you're ready, but beware they're gonna want to make sure that you're safe to go home (or wherever you're going) which sometimes consists of them doing another assessment of sorts. However, they will generally prefer to keep you there for a minimum of three days just to be on the safe side.

    Hope this helps!! Hope you'll be able to find the help you're needing and seeking!!!
  5. Peregrin

    Peregrin Member

    Thank you Petal and Betteroffunknown. Your information helps a lot. I'm really scared.
  6. brknsilence

    brknsilence "Keep Moving Forward"-Meet The Robinsons movie

    I know it can be scary but your safety is important - you are important.

    From what Petal described is pretty much what they do in the US minus the cell phones and any electronics. I was admitted in a few states due to suicidal thoughts and planning.

    I hope you're doing alright. Hugs
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