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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

What mental health supports are in a hospital emergency ward?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (24046points) May 26th, 2023

Like a Chaplain, or social worker, or psychologist?

Are they on call? Or only available 9am-5pm?

I’m ok for now, but years ago I could have used someone to talk to at 3am while I was in the ICU.

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6 Answers

LostInParadise's avatar

Didn’t you say one time that you sometimes go to the emergency ward when you have panic attacks? If I recall correctly, you said the hospital workers have all come to know you and let you spend the night and serve you breakfast in the morning.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@LostInParadise I don’t do that anymore as I had a helpful medication and diet change.

I would like to know if a Chaplain will help after 5pm.

LostInParadise's avatar

In the past, when you visited the emergency ward for your panic attacks, did you ever ask to speak to a psychologist, social worker or the chaplain? Did anyone suggest setting up an appointment?

One time when I was in the emergency ward, the chaplain passed by. He asked if I had a religion. I said no and he asked why, but I did not care to get into a discussion about this.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@LostInParadise I asked several times be admitted for long term, but they said that they don’t have any vacancies. I asked for someone to talk to, and they said that there is no one to talk too. It was usually a 5 hour wait to see a doctor, and the doctor sends me home and I sleep it off.

I’ve stopped trying. I have a student psychologist. In fact I have a telephone appointment today at 4pm.

Silly me. I will ask if there is a next time. Thanks for your answer

Cupcake's avatar

The staffing of chaplains or social workers in the evening/night shift in an emergency department would vary by hospital, hospital size, budget, etc. We would not be able to give you a blanket answer to your question. I have not heard of emergency departments staffing a psychologist, unless you’re talking specifically about a psychiatric emergency department.

In the emergency hospital within the hospital where I worked for 15 years, we had social workers staffed for 2 of the three daily 8 hour shifts and on-call for overnights. I don’t know the specific schedule of hospital chaplains, but I believe they were available 24 hours a day. This was at a very large university-affiliated teaching hospital in the US.

Just to clarify – your question title is about emergency departments but your details note you being in an intensive care unit. My responses are specific to emergency departments, as your question asked.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m in the US.

It all varies by hospital. You should request a chaplain if you want to speak to one while you are in the hospital. Large hospitals might have a chaplain on 24 hours a day.

I used to work for a behavior health hospital and we had an emergency receiving department 24 hours that could evaluate someone and decide if they need to be admitted.

Most large regular hospitals have a psychiatric floor or department, or they will transfer you to a place that does. Although, it’s not unusual for the ER to release patients that really should be helped more.

Growing up I was treated at Bethesda Naval Hospital and it was great that there were always lots of corpsmen around. I was never left alone a long time in an ER. Overall, a different attitude among staff at the military hospital, so much better than most hospitals in the US. Maybe it’s the same in Canada since your healthcare is socialized.

Can you go to a group of some sort during the day or maybe volunteer so you get to interact with people more?

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