Treatment begins immediately upon the patient’s admission. After the initial assessment, the physician develops an admission note which reflects the patient’s medical and psychiatric needs. The treatment team, under the leadership of the physician/psychiatrist or nurse practitioner, meets with the patient and develops a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan. NMSH uses an interdisciplinary treatment team approach that includes physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, psychologists, recreation therapists, mental health technicians, and others. All disciplines provide input throughout the patient’s stay based on their assessment and their personal observations of and interactions with the patient. The treatment team meets as a group weekly to assess the patient’s progress. The patient may sit in on subsequent weekly meetings.
On the units, we have a system designed to help the patient take responsibility for him or herself. The level system is used to provide structure, consistency, and a sense of responsibility for the patient’s behavior toward himself or others. Each patient’s therapeutic progress and level status is assessed weekly by the treatment team. A patient’s level may be lowered for continued disciplinary problems, failure to participate actively in treatment, any serious behavioral “acting out” problems, breaking unit rules, or attempting to leave the hospital grounds. In general, the more cooperative, active, and responsible the patient it, the higher the level will be the more privileges the patient will have.
Levels are identified by the patient’s armband color. The white level is used for patients when they arrive at the hospital. Patients are usually on the white level for 48 hours. During this time, they can only make one phone call per day. No therapeutic trial visits or passes are given at this level. Visitation is not permitted on this level, unless otherwise specified. Yellow and green armbands show progress. Red armbands are considered a Restricted Level and usually result from problematic behavior.
The treatment program includes therapeutic groups, recreation therapy, goal-setting, interaction with mental health professionals, and appropriate medication. Process groups help patients address interpersonal problems; didactic (teaching) groups assist the patients in acquiring skills for dealing with their illnesses. The program is designed and personalized to help each patient begin the process of recovery.
A continuum of care is emphasized through the patient’s stay. The goal is to be a part of the community mental healthcare system and to work cooperatively with other service providers to positively influence outcomes and overall care for our patients. Discharge planning begins the moment a patient enters the hospital. A social worker and/or other treatment team member will talk to the patient and his/her family about discharge plans. In working toward a smooth transition out of the hospital, various community treatment programs and support groups will be discussed with the patient. Based on the patient’s needs, community resources will be identified and referrals will be made prior to discharge.
If you have questions about your family member’s care, you may contact one of the following social workers:
Debra, Director of Social Services – (662) 690-4317