For inpatient behavioral health stays, there are several items that patients should be sure to bring along. There are also several items that patients should be sure to leave at home. From our years of experience with inpatient care, we have developed a set of packing guidelines. These guidelines help ensure that we can provide the best experience for our patients, and they also help ensure that our patients can get the most out of their stay with us.
What should people bring with them to a behavioral health hospital?
When preparing for a stay at a behavioral health hospital, people only need to bring three days worth of clothes. We have laundry services onsite, and our patients will have clean clothes each day. Our goal is to provide patients with an environment where they can focus on their health, and sometimes, too many clothes can serve as a distraction.
When choosing clothes to bring, we recommend that people bring comfortable, casual items. In particular, we recommend that people bring a jacket or sweatshirt without strings and comfortable shoes, such as slippers. People should keep any revealing clothing or clothing with inappropriate logos or graphics at home.
In the interest of safety, people should not bring any clothing that has strings, laces, or sharp metal accents. People should also refrain from bringing clothing that contains wires, such as underwire bras. Relatedly, people should not bring jewelry for their stay, and people should remove all body piercings. Our staff can help patients remove any jewelry or body piercings and later return these items on the patient's discharge date.
On a similar note, we recommend that patients keep grooming supplies, such as lipstick, eyeshadow, and foundation to a minimum. These products can detract from the main focus of the person's stay, which is their behavioral health and overall wellbeing. Importantly, any grooming supplies that the person does bring along must not contain alcohol ingredients and must not come in glass containers. Also, people staying with us must not bring glass mirrors, which can be dangerous if they break.
What are the guidelines for other accessories?
Some people who are preparing to stay with us wonder if they can bring electronic equipment, such as iPods or mobile phones. Patients staying with us cannot bring iPods, cellphones, or other electronic entertainment items with them. We have found that these items significantly detract from the person's inpatient experience. Similarly, we do not allow musical instruments, as these items can be disruptive for others who are staying in the facility.
For communication during an inpatient behavioral health stay, we provide patients with a unique patient code. Family, friends, and other mental healthcare professionals can use the patient code to reach patients on our phone system. Importantly, patients must distribute their patient code to people they want to be in contact with before their stay.
Some patients have a variety of sleeping accessories and aids that they wish to bring with them. For items such as CPAP machines, oxygen devices, egg-crate cushions, air mattresses, and incontinence supplies, patients should inform our staff of these items before their stay with us. Of course, we want to be accomodating, where it is appropriate, and our priority is patient safety.
Are there any other items a person cannot have during their stay?
Yes, there are several other items that we never allow during a behavioral health stay. We ban these items for safety reasons and to keep our hospital compliant with mental health laws and regulations.
For all patient units, we do not permit alcohol, drugs, or drug-related paraphernalia. We also do not allow sharp objects that could harm a person if misused. These objects include razors, scissors, glass bottles, mirrors, picture frames, needles, pins, aluminum cans, spiral notebooks, keys, makeup pencil sharpeners, paper clips, hair clips, and underwire bras. Patients should consider any item with sharp edges and any item that a person can break to create sharp edges to be banned from our facility. Relatedly, we do not permit weapons of any kind.
We also do not permit items with rope or string. These banned items include shoelaces, belts, pantyhose, headbands, ace bandages, and clothing with drawstrings or long ties.
Patients can not bring items that cause fire or are potentially flammable. These items include matches, lighters, aerosol cans, fireworks, candles, and incense.
We do not permit most electronic devices at our facility. These banned devices include personal televisions, stereos, video games, CD players, CD recorders, boom boxes, computers, audio or visual recording devices, cellphones, and iPods. These devices are often too distracting for patients, and they negatively impact a patient's stay with us.
Patients cannot bring self-administered medications of any kind. Our clinical staff must approve a patient's medications before their stay, and our staff will administer the approved medications each day.
Other prohibited items included magazines, books, pictures, or clothing that shows or encourages alcohol use, violence, racism, gang activity, Satanism, sexual content, or other potentially offensive material.
Remember, we only have these restrictions for the benefit of our patients. We want to create a safe and distraction-free environment so that patients can focus on their behavioral health. We can help store any prohibited items during a patient's stay, and we return any stored items when we discharge the patient.
How can a person get started at Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital?
Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital offers a variety of behavioral health programs to patients in Santa Rosa and the greater Sonoma County area. In addition to our inpatient behavioral health programs, we also offer outpatient behavioral health services. During the admissions process, our clinical staff will help determine if an inpatient program or outpatient care is right for the patient.
To get started at Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital, call our Assessment and Referral department at (877) 717-0085. Prospective patients and their families can call us at any time.