When a patient is admitted into our Emergency Department with what appears to be a mental health condition, our emergency room team is faced with difficult, confusing, and time-consuming decisions. Is this an overdose? Is this person over or under medicated? Are they dangerous or suicidal? Is there a mental health history, and what about prescriptions and dosages? Are the police involved -should they be, and do they need to be transported to another facility? Are there children involved without home supervision that will require Child Protective Services to be contacted or do we need to contact Adult Protective Services for the patient if they visit the Emergency Department frequently?
To add to this complex problem, sometimes people craving drugs will fake symptoms to get drugs. All of these things take precious time for our emergency room team to sort out, often interfering with the care of other patients, and adding a larger burden to the already overburdened wait time, which is something Ridgecrest Regional Hospital cares deeply about. We’re here for all people with an emergency mental, or physical illness episode; the more information we have to aid our emergency room team, the quicker we can provide relief!