What to Expect in a Psychiatric Emergency
For adults brought in by law enforcement or transferred from another facility
I’ve been told my loved one is in a large area in a recliner with a bunch of other very sick people. Is my loved one safe?
For someone who has never been to a psychiatric facility and is brought in by the police, or transferred from another hospital; this experience can be difficult for the patient and family. Please understand that our number one goal for all of our patients is their safety. Our (Psychiatric Emergency Services) PES unit is for the sole purpose to medically screen and psychiatrically assess all of our patients and is not based on one’s ability to pay. The PES is an environment where all the patients are treated and cared for in a least restrictive community based environment. What makes our PES unique is that treatment begins once a patient has been admitted to our PES, rather than waiting in an inappropriate Med Surg facility for appropriate transfer or taken to Jail. After the psychiatrist has completed the evaluation, the level of care that is appropriate for the patient is initiated. That could include transfer to another more appropriate facility; inpatient into our hospital or appropriate community based outpatient services. Many of our patients just need some time for stabilization and do not meet the criteria for admission and return home with a follow up appointment. Since 1983, Green Oaks has been accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare, licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services, Certified Medicare and Medicaid Provider and Champus Provider. Green Oaks has personnel available 24 hrs. a day for your loved one to address any concerns they may have. Remember, our number one goal is Patient and Staff safety.
I hear that once a person is inside your hospital, they can’t leave.
Yes. Green Oaks is a lock-down facility. All Psychiatric hospitals are a lock-down facility. As mentioned before, our number one goal is our patient’s safety. We keep our doors locked for that very reason; to keep our patients safe.
Why did the police handcuff my loved one? Were they arrested?
For the officer’s protection, and for your loved one’s protection, it is policy for the police to place handcuffs for all transfers to our hospital. It is not an arrest, just a measure of precaution the police must take.
When will my loved one see a psychiatrist?
Patients are assessed and seen by a physician as soon as possible, but may remain at the hospital for up to 24 hours depending on their individual situation. While our patients are waiting to be seen, they are monitored by our clinical staff and attended too for any needs they require. Clinical treatment is initiated as appropriate!
I want to talk to my loved one.
In order to speak to your loved one, you will need a 3-digit patient code. All patients are provided this code upon entry into our facility. Your loved one is the only person that can provide you with this number. This policy complies with our hospital's Notice of Privacy Practices. Please feel free to leave a message through the nurse or receptionist that you need the three digit patient code. They will do their best to try and get a message to your loved one to call you with the code. (This in no way reflects that Green Oaks acknowledges that your loved one is at the hospital). Phones are available for the patients to make calls throughout the day and during the evening.
What happens if my loved one is discharged or transferred? Will someone let me know?
Once an evaluation has taken place, appropriate ongoing care will be determined (return to home with a follow up appointment, outpatient treatment, inpatient stay or transferred to another appropriate facility). Please understand if the patient is an Adult and you are the patient’s legal guardian, we sometimes will not notify the family member about the treatment plan for the patient. If you are the legal guardian, please notify us and present the proper documentation. Your loved one may also list your name on the Release of Information. If your name is listed, we can provide you with any information you need in regards to the treatment plan for the patient. Please remember to ask your loved one to notify you if they should be transferred and make sure they have all the needed contact information.
I want to talk to my loved one’s doctor or nurse.
You are welcome to call and let the Unit Secretary know you want to speak to the doctor or nurse, but please remember that your name must be listed on the Release of Information for the patient. You are also welcome to speak to our discharge planners and/or treatment managers who are part of the treatment team and can address most questions or concerns you may have. Our discharge planners and treatment managers are in direct contact with the physicians and can be your best source of information. Also please keep in mind that the staff are working with several patients and may need to return your call if they are busy. You will be required to provide the 3-digit code at the time of your call.
I want to bring clothes for my loved one.
Please understand while a patient is in our PES unit, we do not accept personal items (i.e. cloths, books, toiletries). While staying in PES, please be assured your loved one will have all the items they need. If your loved one is admitted into the hospital and assigned a room, you are welcome to bring clothes for your loved one. Please see our visitation guidelines.
I have important information that you need to know about my loved one.
If you would like to provide important information about your loved one and/or leave contact information so that you can be reached, please ask to speak to the Discharge Planner. If the Discharge Planner is busy, then ask to speak to the Receptionist. You can always drop by the hospital and to fill out a form for the hospital. If it is urgent, let the receptionist know by calling (972) 991-9504. We will make every effort possible to make sure your information is given to the discharge planners and/or nurses.
What should I do while waiting to hear from Green Oaks or my loved one?
During the first 24 hours, we suggest that you please return home and get some rest. It is important for the families of loved ones to take care of themselves during this time. The discharge planner will call you with an update on your loved one's condition once the patient has signed a release of information and/or to speak to you to obtain necessary information. At that time, you can be given an update on your loved one's condition provided you have the 3 digit code and/or on the release of information.
If you would like information about resources and support groups in your area, please call NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Dallas at (214) 341-7133. NAMI is a national non-profit organization which uses support groups and education to help families and loved ones who are suffering from mental illness and substance abuse. Visit their website at www.namidallas.org.
If we have not addressed your question or concern, please call the hospital at (972) 991-9504 and ask to speak to the House Supervisor.