Inpatient Mental Health FAQ
Q. How do I get admitted to an Inpatient unit at API?
A. Call our Call Center at 619-667-6125. We will arrange a comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment by our admissions team.
Q. What will my insurance cover?
A. We participate in most major insurance plans. However, insurance policies and benefits vary greatly. Alvarado Parkway Institute's Assessment Services staff will help you obtain information on your policy concerning benefits allowable, co-pays, and deductibles.
Q. What is the average length of stay for inpatient services?
A. At Alvarado Parkway Institute we treat each patient individually. It depends on the patient's individual diagnosis and severity of illness. Your treatment team members will discuss your length of stay with you.
Q. Will I have my own doctor?
A. Every patient is assigned an attending psychiatrist. In many cases, our patients work with the same psychiatrist that they have worked with in the community and in other cases, our patients will develop a new relationship with a psychiatrist. Our psychiatrists will get to know you from the beginning by doing a careful diagnostic assessment. Based on this assessment you and your doctor will develop a treatment plan.
Q. When I finish my treatment at Alvarado Parkway Institute can I go back to my psychiatrist?
A. Yes, when our patients are discharged we provide a discharge plan so that you can continue your care with the physician who you were working with prior to coming to API.
Q. Will family members be involved in my treatment program?
A. We strongly encourage family involvement. Talk with your treatment team about involving your family in family sessions, discharge planning, and education about your symptoms and treatment.
Q. Should I bring medications I am currently taking when I come in for my admission?
A. Yes. When a patient comes for an inpatient admission, they should bring all the medications they are currently taking. That would include non-psychiatric as well as psychiatric prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, vitamin supplements, and homeopathic remedies. It is important for patients to provide information regarding any allergies, side effects, and prior experience with any medication. For Outpatient Services, simply bring in a list of your medications unless asked to bring in your medications by the Outpatient nursing staff.
Q. Can I bring my laptop or is there a computer I can use to send e-mails?
A. We do not allow patients to bring their laptops or computers as we know this sometimes can distract from treatment.
Q. Can I make business calls? Can I bring my cell phone?
A. There are designated phones available on the inpatient units for receiving and making calls during non-group times. Cell phones are not permitted on the inpatient units. We recommend that you bring a list of frequently called numbers. Personal cell phones are not encouraged in Outpatient Services.
Q. What is the dress code?
A. Appropriate clothing is required at all times. Shorts shorter than mid-thigh, bare midriffs, see-through clothing, miniskirts, tank tops, spaghetti string shirts, or any items with inappropriate logos or messages are not permitted. You may be asked to change clothing deemed by staff to be inappropriate. Staff will assess the appropriateness of a patient's appearance, including makeup, hair and cleanliness. Walking barefoot in the Outpatient buildings or on hospital grounds is not allowed.
Q. How much clothing should I bring when checking in for inpatient services?
A. Please bring enough clothing for about three days. Additionally, please bring a sweater or sweatshirt that can being easily put on and removed as room temperatures may vary.
Q. Are there laundry facilities?
A. Yes. Each inpatient unit has available laundry facilities that can be used at designated times.
Q. Can I keep a journal?
A. Yes. You are encouraged to do so. If you need journal topic suggestions, please ask your treatment team members.
Q. Can my children visit?
A. Children under 16 years of age are not allowed on the inpatient units. All minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Q. Can I be sent a care package?
A. Yes. Staff will assist you in opening your care packages.
Q. Are there Area Hotels where family members can stay when visiting?
A. Yes. Go to the Family Resources Page for more information.
Q. What inpatient unit will I be admitted to?
A. API has three inpatient units. The unit you are initially assigned to will depend on your needs at the time of admission and will be determined by your multi-disciplinary treatment team collaboration with your attending psychiatrist.
Q. Do I remain on the same unit during my entire hospital stay?
A. Whether or not you remain on the same unit or transfer to another unit depends upon multiple factors including your treatment needs and bed availability. The decision to remain on the same unit or transfer will be determined by your multi-disciplinary treatment team in collaboration with your attending psychiatrist.
Q. Will I attend group therapy?
A. Most patients are encouraged to participate in group therapy. There are multiple groups offered including traditional therapy groups, psycho education groups, and activity groups. Groups are offered by our Psychology Department, Addictive Disorders Department, and our Adjunctive Therapy Department and offer a variety of opportunities and methods for managing your symptoms.
Q. Will I have an individual therapist?
A. API offers individual therapy as one of the many services we make available to our patients. Your psychiatrist, in collaboration with your multi-disciplinary treatment team, will help you determine if an individual therapist can be of benefit to your treatment program. Individual therapy, if indicated, is provided by our Allied Health Professionals or by members of the Psychology Department.
Q. How often will I see my psychiatrist?
A. You will be assigned a psychiatrist upon admission to API. You will be seen by a psychiatrist within 24 hours and on a daily basis thereafter in order to review your medications, discuss your treatment plan, and to review discharge plans.
Q. Will I have a social worker?
A. Yes. Every patient admitted to our inpatient program is assigned a social worker who will meet with you to discuss your treatment plan, family involvement, and discharge plans.
Q. Where will I go after discharge?
A. Each patient is offered an individualized discharge plan. Your multi-disciplinary treatment team will collaborate with you to determine the discharge plan that best meets your needs. A discharge plan often includes placement, continuing psychiatric and medical treatment, and issues regarding benefits.
Q. Will I be able to see a chaplain or a spiritual counselor?
A. Yes. Our Adjunctive Therapy department offers the opportunity to participate in spirituality groups as well as the opportunity to see a chaplain individually. Simply make the request to a member of your multi-disciplinary treatment team.
Q. What if I'm on a special diet?
A. Our dietary services works in coordination with our multi-disciplinary treatment team to ensure that your diet is based on your health needs and your preferences. If you have any dietary concerns, please be sure to express them to members of your multi-disciplinary treatment team.