Behavioral Health Services
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Behavioral Health Services 

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Behavioral Health Services (BHS) at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is a 34-bed department. Fourteen beds are located on the Intensive Treatment Area (ITA), eight beds are located on the Acute Treatment Area (ATA), and the remaining 12 beds are located on the Senior Treatment Area (STA). The ITA is a locked unit that is monitored by video and includes seclusion rooms, a dining area and a lounging area. The ATA is an open unit and has a community room and a dining room. Each floor is equipped with laundry/linen rooms. The emphasis is a multidisciplinary approach to individual patient care with treatment and reintegration back into the community or to a lower level of care. The program is based on the belief that psychiatric disorders result in disturbances in thought, behavior, and affective processes. These can disrupt a patient’s ability to carry out basic life roles and disrupt their health, and family, social and financial functioning.

BHS provides comprehensive psychiatric/medical services to diverse adult populations. There are two inpatient adult treatment tracks: one focuses on addictive disorders and the other is a general psychiatric track with an emphasis on mood disorders. An inpatient geriatric psychiatric program is available to adults aged 55 years and older.

We provide a structured, safe and secure environment that fosters independence, while at the same time acknowledging dependency needs of the individual. Our therapeutic groups provide patients with the tools to gain insight into their attitudes and behaviors and to strengthen interpersonal relationships. Group therapy is offered daily and other individual/group activities are individualized that addresses their treatment issues

A critical element of treatment is the building of positive relationships. The staff sees a major job as creating a supportive environment, molding, patients to learn trust, and serving as positive role models. Treatment programs are geared toward providing a safe environment where the patient can regain reality testing and self-control through ego building and adoption of coping strategies that promote self-reliance, personal responsibility, and problem solving. The program provides families and caregivers with an array of resources and support to actively engage in a self-evaluation process to strengthen their self-image, and adjust to meet healthy societal expectations.

The team of care providers in the BHS program is multidisciplinary. Below is a listing of our team members:

Counseling/Social Work Services
Counseling/Social Work Services provide information, education, assessment and therapy to patients and their families. The Social Worker is responsible for evaluating and treating patients’ psychosocial needs and keeping accurate records of all treatments and services. S/he is also responsible for collaborating with the Continuing Care Coordinators in discharge planning and referrals. S/he functions as the liaison between the inpatient staff and the community and maintains regular communication with family members and referral sources regarding the patient's course of treatment. The Social Worker works closely with the treatment team to identify patients’ psychosocial issues and needs. As appropriate, the social worker provides individual and/or family therapy and education.

Recreational Therapist
The Recreational Therapist is a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS). The CTRS is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive patient activity therapy program that addresses patients’ physical, social, cultural and psychological needs. The CTRS works closely with the treatment team in planning activities that are relevant to treatment goals and identified needs.

Nursing Staff (RN, LPN & MHA, NCP)
The nursing staff is an active member of the treatment team. The duties of the nursing staff include milieu management of patients, leading/co-leading groups and documentation of behavior, symptoms, and treatment progression in the medical record. They also provide 1-to-1 interventions and other special interventions as assigned. They are involved in the planning and implementation of patient care. The nursing staff is responsible for delivering quality care to all patients, maintaining confidentiality of patient information and completing professional competencies.

The nurse initiates the patient’s treatment plan and provides ongoing input into treatment team planning and review. The nurse is responsible for assessing/reassessing the patient on a daily basis and providing a change of shift report that includes patient identified safety and treatment needs. The nursing staff also provides information on patient treatment plan goals and changes that have occurred to the plan of care within the last 24 hours to the on-coming staff.

In addition to the above duties, the RN is responsible for carrying out nursing duties, which includes performing assessments and overseeing medication administration. The RN also provides patient education on medical/physical health matters and supervises his/her direct-care staff. LPNs are able to administer medication, perform follow-up assessments and assist in direct patient care activities as assigned by the RN. The Mental Health Associates ( MHAs) are able to collect vital sign data, perform simple patient care procedures, perform mental status assessments, conduct groups, and document under the direction of the RN. NCPs are able to collect vital signs data and perform patient care procedures under the direction of the RN.

Continuing Care Coordinator
The Continuing Care Coordinator (CCC) is responsible for the utilization review/ case management needs for all inpatients. The CCC review daily admission, continuing care and discharge criteria to assure appropriate level of care is being provided. The CCC works closely with the treatment team to identified patient discharge needs. The CCC is responsible for coordinating discharge plans with the interdisciplinary healthcare team, agencies and family members.

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