Patient identification wristbands must be worn at all times to ensure correct identification and administration of all medications.
Each day shift, an assigned nurse or mental health specialist checks in with every patient. An assigned evening contact person checks in again at the end of the day.
Throughout the day, nursing staff are available for any needs or concerns. To ensure safety, the psychiatrist orders five- to 15-minute checks. This means that either every five or 15 minutes, a staff member must see that patients are safe and doing well on the unit.
Checks are conducted 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Patients are encouraged to remain in their rooms between the hours of 11pm and 6am to promote regular sleeping patterns and optimal sleep hygiene. The dining room and TV room are closed at this time as well.
Unit Permissions and Sign-Out Board
Patients must sign out on the large white census board when they leave the unit. They are asked to include the time they leave, the time they will return, and the destination. Patients must check in with a nurse before leaving on a pass. When they return, patients erase the departure time and destination as confirmation that they are back on the unit.
We use three permission levels at the STU to denote the degree of patient supervision a care team believes is needed at various times during a patient’s stay in the hospital. Only the psychiatrist has the authority to increase a patient’s level, but in the case of an emergent situation regarding safety issues, the nursing staff reserves the right to decrease their level to ensure a patient’s safety.
- Level 1: Patient is restricted to the unit
- Level 2: Patient can leave the unit when accompanied by a staff member
- Level 3: Patient can go off the unit with non-staff (family or friend) during designated times
As smoking has been identified as a major public health risk as well as a fire hazard on the unit, the STU is a smoke-free environment. Smoking or possession of lighters or cigarettes is not permitted on or off the unit during hospitalization. We offer nicotine replacement therapy and other support for smoking cessation.
McLean is not responsible for any patient’s lost, stolen, or broken belongings.
Patients are encouraged to keep no more than $25 on the unit. If a patient has more than that amount of money with them, the excess money should be sent home, or if this is not possible it will be sent to the hospital’s safe.
We ask that patients keep their rooms clean and not leave any clothes on the floor. Fresh linens are available on the unit.
During their stay, patients may be required to move into a different room for clinical reasons determined by staff. The patient’s cooperation is appreciated.
For sanitary, health, and cleanliness reasons, we ask that patients neither put their feet on the furniture nor lie on the couches in the TV room. Failure to comply will result in closure of the rooms.
Patients are required to dress appropriately on the unit. Patients may wear personal clothing as long as it does not display large areas of bare skin. Shoes, socks, or slippers must be worn at all times for health and safety reasons.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served on the unit.
- Breakfast: 8am
- Lunch: 12pm
- Dinner: 5pm
Patients’ food products should be labeled with their name and date and kept in the kitchen. Foods left in the patient refrigerator unlabeled are disposed of, and after three days (72 hours), personal food is disposed of by the dietary department even if it is labeled.
Patients cannot bring open food or beverage containers into their rooms or the TV room, as it welcomes bugs. Also, patients are expected to clean up after themselves in the kitchen, as it is open to all.
Patients are responsible for washing personal clothing. A laundry room and laundry detergent are available on the unit for use 7:30am-10pm.
For purposes of infection control, we ask patients not to combine their laundry with that of other patients.
The hospital has a mail room. To mail a letter, patients may do so by leaving it at the nurses station. We provide postage.
Incoming packages are examined by a staff member and this is done in the patient’s presence.
We ask that everybody be respectful of each other’s personal boundaries. No physical or sexual contact is permitted between patients or between patients and visitors.