Patients

Inpatient care may be the only safe setting to deal with behaviors that prevent outpatient therapy and management. With the average stay lasting five to seven days, our goal is to help stabilize patients during an acute mental crisis to prepare them for ongoing treatment after they leave our care.

The Behavioral Health Services unit employs licensed psychiatric social workers, a certified recreation therapist, counselors and registered nurses.We primarily provide general psychiatric care, which includes the treatment of conditions like:

  • Bi-polar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Major depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders

Patients with drug and alcohol issues are evaluated and connections are made with appropriate aftercare providers for those needs instead of admitting them as inpatients at our facility.

Our patients come to us one of two ways: through the Emergency Department or by referrals from a mental health professional. All patients must go through the ED first for a physical health analysis before being admitted to the Behavioral Health Services unit.

We are integrated into the community mental health system and will take involuntary admissions. Though our primary mission is to serve Centre County, we will accept patients from other communities or rural areas.

What to Expect

Being admitted to an inpatient mental health unit can be intimidating, but we want to help dispel as much anxiety as possible. All patients need to have medical clearance to ensure medical stability prior to admission. If someone arrives at the Medical Center Emergency Department for behavioral health concerns, ED physicians will medically clear the person with an examination and lab work.

Once medically cleared, either a Behavioral Health Services staff member or the local Behavioral Health Crisis team will conduct a psychiatric assessment to determine the level of treatment/intervention required, either inpatient or outpatient. If the patient meets the criteria for inpatient admission, the referral for admission will be made.

The process of ED medical clearance, lab work, psych evaluation, insurance precertification and admission can take several hours before the person is actually admitted to our unit.

During, the first 24 hours in the unit, the patient will meet with various clinicians to determine how we can meet his or her treatment needs and set goals to help ensure a safe return to the community.

The patient will also have daily meetings with a psychiatric clinician (either a psychiatrist or certified nurse practitioner). Patients are strongly encouraged to participate in the treatment activities and groups that are scheduled throughout the day to get the maximum therapeutic benefit from inpatient treatment.

Patients do not leave the unit during their hospitalization except for treatments or tests per a physician's order.

Additionally, to help manage anxiety and sleep issues, caffeinated beverages are restricted to 24 ounces daily, before 3 p.m. The unit is non-smoking and tobacco-free, though nicotine replacement can be provided.

What to Bring

Patients should bring a minimal number of personal items for their stay at the Medical Center. This should include:

  • Two or three sets clothing (a free-of-charge washer/dryer is available for laundering personal clothing)
  • Pajamas
  • Slip-on shoes without laces
  • Preferred toiletries (rechargeable razors are only permitted for patient use if they are cordless)
  • A comprehensive list of all prescribed medication
  • Assistive devices (such as glasses, contacts, hearing aids, a walker or a cane)
  • Calling card for long distance calls (free local calling is available from two patient phones)

What Not to Bring

Patients are strongly encouraged to leave money and valuables at home or with family members. The following items are prohibited:

  • Weapons of any type
  • Illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia
  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Sharp objects
  • Cell phones and pagers
  • Cameras and camcorders
  • CD players, MP3 players and audio recorders
  • Computers
  • Televisions
  • Corded appliances
  • Belts or clothing with strings
  • Jewelry
  • Glass
  • Products containing alcohol

Treatment

Treatment plans integrate biological, social and individual perspectives in finding the right approach for each patient.

Some treatment approaches we use include:

  • Individual, group and family therapy
  • Support-system assessment
  • Medication therapy
  • Regular evaluation by nurse practitioners and psychiatrists
  • Therapeutic activities
  • Connection to outpatient resources

Most insurance companies require precertification to authorize inpatient care.

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