There’s a bit of mystery and uncertainty surrounding Psychiatric Hospitals across the country. They are staffed with caring professionals and the goal of today’s show is to sort of demystify the process of dealing with a Psych Hospital and also understanding some best practices for getting help to the folks who need it most.
Our guest today is someone I have a personal relationship with because he’s my brother, Eric Osterlind! Eric is a psych nurse and he works in Psychiatric hospitals with acute patients. Eric also works in the ER, dealing with their psych cases. Most of the cases Eric works with are acute, so the first priority is to keep the patient safe, and then any treatment would come after the psych team is sure they are safe.
Most of Eric’s patients come in on a 5150 psych hold, which lasts for 72 hours. If they are a danger to others or a danger to themselves, then they can be held on this hold. Reasons for this hold could be that a person becomes suicidal or homicidal, maybe they’ve had a psychotic break, or have somehow gotten to the point where they cannot care of themselves. Listen in as Eric explains the current conditions a psychiatric patient would encounter in a hospital situation.
• Safety comes first in the psych hospital.
• Choose your ER carefully, as it could determine what the outcome is for the patient.
• Unless a situation is acute, it may be best not to call 911 for help.
• Visiting a psych hospital for the first time can be jarring.
• When a patient is in a psych hospital visiting hours are severely restricted.
• Psych hospitals try to mimic reality as closely as the hospital, so it’s very different from a medical hospital.
• Upon entering a psych hospitals a patient still has rights, so they are advised of their rights immediately.
• Psych hospitals actually act as an advocate for the patient.
• A 5250 is a 14 day hold that can be mandated by a Doctor.
• The hospital has Patient’s Rights Advocate as a way of checks and balances in the system.
• As a family member, you can approach the care team if your relative is in the gray area. Do not lie to the Psychiatric Evaluation Team, but give them useful information.
• An entire team is available to help the patient in a 72 hour hold – Psychologists, Marriage Counselors, Recreational Therapists, Movement Therapists, Pet Therapists, and others may all be part of the team.
• When dealing with a child patient, take them to an ER with a juvenile (adolescent) psych ward, otherwise it will take awhile to get transferred
• Always get help – help is available to everyone!
Suicidal? Help is available. Please reach out!
National Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255