Patient identification wristbands must be worn at all times to ensure correct identification and administration of all medications.
To ensure patient safety, the psychiatrist prescribes five- or 15-minute checks. This means that every five or 15 minutes, a staff member must see that each patient is safe and doing well on the unit. Checks are conducted 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Unit Levels and Sign-Out Board
There are two safety levels described below. The safety level is determined as a collective decision made by the patient and their treatment team.
- Level 1: We ask the patient to remain on the unit
- Level 2: Patient may attend off-unit group activities with staff on the campus
Patients are expected to sign out on the sign-out board before they leave the unit. Patients are asked to include the time they are leaving and their destination. When they return, they erase their departure time and destination as confirmation that they are back on the unit.
As smoking has been identified as a major public health risk as well as a fire hazard on the unit, the program is a smoke-free environment. Nicotine replacement gum and patches are available.
We suggest that patients keep a maximum of $50 on their person. Large sums of money can be sent home if possible. When this is not possible, money can be sent to the hospital safe.
Patients are asked to maintain their room in an orderly fashion. Fresh linens are available on the unit.
Patients may be required to move into a different room for clinical reasons.
We request that shoes or slippers be worn at all times. Personal clothing may be worn. Staff encourage patients to dress appropriately while on the unit.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served on the unit. A snack is available in the evening. All opened food containers should be labeled with the patient’s name and date and kept in the kitchen. Please do not bring open food or beverage containers into patient rooms.
Patients are responsible for washing their clothing. A laundry room and laundry detergent are available on the unit for use. For purposes of infection control, patients should not combine laundry loads with those of other patients.
The hospital has a mail room. For patients who would like to mail a letter, they may leave it at the nurses station. All incoming packages are examined and opened in staff presence.
For sanitary reasons, patients are asked not to share toothbrushes, razors, hairbrushes, or items of underwear with other patients. All personal grooming implements are kept in patient rooms, rather than the bathroom.
There are a few simple rules that help prevent the spread of infection while a patient here at McLean Hospital. These rules are in place to protect patients as well as those they come in contact with on the unit.
Simple precautions are needed to avoid exposures to blood and other body fluids, which may contain germs—these other body fluids are things like saliva, feces, and vomit.
- Wash hands thoroughly after using the toilet, touching wounds, blowing your nose, or before eating or handling food
- Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing; use a tissue and be sure to dispose of used tissues in a trash receptacle
- Use only your own fork, knife, spoon, straw, cup, plate, etc., and avoid sharing food or drink with someone else; any food or drink handled or partly eaten should be thrown away in a trash receptacle
- Personal items like makeup, earrings, razors, nail clippers, and clothing should not be shared
- Personal hygiene items, such as toothbrushes, soap, brushes/combs, and mouthwash, are kept in patient rooms; they should not be left in the bathroom where others might use them, and do not share them
- If clothes become soiled with blood or other body fluids, wash them in the washer/dryer on the unit; be sure to use a hot water cycle; ask nursing staff for help if needed
- Dirty or soiled areas on the unit should be reported to the staff
These rules are intended to protect patients and staff. Feel free to discuss questions or concerns with the staff.
Patients are expected to be respectful of others’ personal boundaries. No physical contact is permitted between patients. Visitors are encouraged to visit in open areas. If visiting in the patient room, visitors are not allowed to lie on the bed.