What to Expect When You Arrive

Assuming your child has been referred to inpatient care from an emergency room, once an inpatient bed is found, your child will be transported by ambulance to the facility. You will be allowed to ride along. There will be another intake assessment upon arrival, at which you will have to retell an account of what led up to the hospitalization. You will be asked about your family’s history of mental illness. Genetics play a huge role in mental health, and your family’s experience may be relevant to the kinds of medications that may be appropriate for your child.

Ask for the number of the nursing station and put it into your phone immediately, so you don’t lose it. This will enable you to call the nurse’s station whenever you want to find out how your child is doing, ask questions or ask to have the doctor or social worker call you.

If you have missed a meal in transit, ask for food. Most intake departments will have sandwiches or something on hand, but the actual unit will not.