Quick reminder that everyone’s experiences are going to be different so if you go to a hospital, your story will be different than mine!
I’ve talked about what it’s like going to the ER for psychiatric evaluations and now I’d like to discuss what it’s actually like once you’re in the psychiatric hospital.
Typically the first thing they do is check your belongings and take any contraband which can include: medications/vitamins, electronics, strings/belts/shoelaces, and anything sharp like paper clips, blades or glass. The show you to your room and you get settled in.
Meals generally go: breakfast at 8, lunch at 12, dinner at 5 and there’s usually snacks available in the kitchen area for any time of day.
Meds are in the morning and at night for most people but some had meds throughout the day as well.
Vitals were first thing in the morning.
The psychiatrist and their team which could have simply been a nurse or a whole group of people including nurses, therapists, medical doctors, medical students, and patient care coordinators would meet with each patient individually in the mornings Monday-Friday. The only time you’d see the team on the weekend would be if you were admitted during the weekend or Friday afternoon. This meeting is where meds and general treatment plans were discussed such as discharge dates and any progress or lack of progress being made.
Groups were run by either group therapists or mental health workers. Some were CBT based others were DBT based, it depended on the hospital. There were anywhere from 2 groups a day to I’d say 5 or 6 a day with weekends being pretty quiet and just hang out time.
One place I went had a computer but no Facebook was allowed.
Phones and tv were allowed any time that groups weren’t happening or during quiet time which was 11 pm - about 7 am. Some places had time limits on the phones other places didn’t.
There were board and card games as well as arts and crafts.
Different hospitals have different level systems and those levels determine privileges like going off the unit with the group, going out with family/friends, or being allowed to have shoes.
Nurses would check in with each patient each shift.
Checks were every 15 minutes meaning a staff member had to visually observe you unless you were in the bathroom in which case they would knock and you’d say your name.
At my last hospitalization they had made a new rule where each shift change the nurse would come in and do a room check to make sure nobody had secured any contraband.
You have to ask for pretty much everything including deodorant and soap.
The units I have been on were pretty tame. There were a few meltdowns but nothing major like some other places I’ve heard of.
Visiting hours varied depending on the hospital. Generally the visiting hours were longer on weekends.
I’m sure I’m missing something so if you have any questions about what I’ve written or want to know more about something just comment your question.