Duke University Hospital

Name of Hospital: Duke University Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: Durham, NC, USA

Number of Stars: 2.5

Comment: I had a difficult time in this hospital. The emergency ward that you’re placed in before a bed opens up is abysmal. Everyone with a psych disorder is placed in a room with sheets separating the beds and TVs blasting constantly, which isn’t good if your mental illness involves an aversion to loud/conflicting noises as mine did at the time. One of the other patients was violent and attacked the nurses station. I voluntarily went into the solitary confinement room to get away from the noise and violent patients.

The Williams Ward was better because it had individual rooms that were quite nice. However, I was hospitalized on the weekend, which means there were very few doctors there and we didn’t receive any kind of therapy or help. It was essentially just a holding ward to keep you from killing yourself, which is ok for some people, but since I was manic at the time it was very hard to have no stimulation or outlet for my energy. The courtyard is also terrible, basically just a concrete slab with a huge fence that I was only allowed to go to once in my 4 days.

I had a homophobic incident in this hospital in which I was accosted for my (undisclosed) sexuality, based on my appearance, by another patient. When I approached a nurse about the problem, she told me to stand up for myself and went back to reading her magazine. Most of the staff was nice but I thought that was terrible, there should have been more intervention. I’ve heard that Duke is the best hospital in North Carolina for psychiatric disorders but I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised to have been met with homophobia.

Type of program (i.e. day program, inpatient): Inpatient

Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: Lesbian woman

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