Prior to admission to WSH, you will have been seen by a community mental health professional who has determined that hospitalization can be beneficial for you. This person will have contacted the admitting office at the WSH to make arrangements for you to come. It is very helpful for the WSH team if you will sign permission for your medical/psychiatric records to be sent ahead or for them to accompany you to the hospital. Having this information immediately available helps the team begin planning your treatment with you quickly.
Items To Bring With You
- Limit what you bring – most patients will share a room and that has limited storage room. Please leave valuable items at home.
- Several changes of clothing, including pajamas, robe, and coat, hat, boots (if you are coming in the winter). It is best to bring comfortable, casual clothing that can easily be laundered. Please try not to bring clothing with strings, belts, underwire bras, ties, and in some cases shoe laces etc as these are not allowed for safety reasons. Any items that are not allowed will be placed in storage until discharge.
- Identification – Driver’s license, social security card, other ID.
- Addresses and phone numbers of people you might want to contact.
- Personal Hygiene Items – basic hygiene items (lotion, shampoo, conditioner, soap/body wash, toothpaste and toothbrush) are provided by the hospital. Only bring additional items that are not in glass containers (no mirrors etc) and that don’t have alcohol in the first few ingredients listed. Do not bring razors as electric razors will be provided.
Items To Leave At Home
- Anything valuable – The WSH Business Office does provide a safe for small items when it is necessary to bring them. However, since the rooms are all dormitory style, it is best to leave anything valuable at home.
- Items that could be used to injure oneself or others – No weapons, knives, glass containers, chords, belts, ties or sharp objects are allowed. Anything that is considered a weapon will be stored until discharge. Any illegal drugs that are found will be turned over to local law enforcement and legal action taken.
- Medication – In general, it is better to leave previously prescribed medication at home. Please bring information about the medication (type and dosage), but not the actual pills. The doctor will be actively adjusting and perhaps changing the medicine. If you do bring in medication, it will be stored in the hospital pharmacy until discharge. At that time it will be returned to you.
- Tobacco – WSH is a tobacco free facility. Nicorette gum, nicotine patches and smoking cessation classes are available for those people who need help overcoming a tobacco addiction. Neither cigarettes nor chewing tobacco is permitted on grounds.
Upon arrival at the WSH, you will first be seen by the admitting clerk. They will ask you about basic biographical information like date of birth and next of kin, etc. They will also ask you to sign a consent for treatment form, a form to contact Social Security, and some other financial papers. Patients are billed according to their ability to pay. The billing rate considers assets, income and monthly obligations. People who are indigent or unable to pay are still accepted for admission and the cost of their care is covered by the state.
After signing papers with the admitting clerk, you will go to the hall where you will reside. On the hall, you will be introduced to the staff and other patients. You will be assigned a room, probably with a roommate. All newly arrived people are asked to take a shower. Scars and identifying marks will be recorded. Clothing is checked, marked with your name and laundered. A staff member will review the hall procedures and the hall schedule of activities.
The psychiatrist will interview you about the issues that led to admission, your past history and other pertinent information. After the interview, he will write orders for medication, diet, initial treatments and anything else necessary.
Several people from other disciplines will also do initial assessments with you. These will include the social worker, the psychologist, and the hall nurse. Each of these people focus on a particular area, although some of the questions will be the same. You will be referred to the hospital clinic area for a physical exam by the medical doctor. Basic lab work and a chest x-ray will be done.
The Wyoming State Hospital operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Active treatment is offered seven days a week by recreational therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, case managers, psychologists and other disciplines as are appropriate. Licensed nursing personnel and certified nursing assistants are always available to help. During the hours when your psychiatrist is off duty, there is always a “doctor-on-call” available for emergencies.