Sheppard Pratt

Name of Hospital: Sheppard Pratt

City, State/Province, Country: Towson/Baltimore, MD, United States

Number of Stars: 2

Comment: When I entered the building for the first time it was very cold. I kind of expected that because it was a hospital, however, I asked for extra blankets around 8 times from various staff. It took me two days to get those blankets and my body was sore from shivering all night. (The staff would keep saying they’d get someone to do it but nobody ever did anything).

A lot of the older staff are meaner than the younger staff who seem to enjoy helping people. Sometimes when I would ask the older staff for a cup of water, a towel for showering, etc. They would roll their eyes at me and act like it was a huge burden on them. Not exactly the type of interaction you would expect from a ward where 3/4ths of the patients are there for suicide attempts. Vitals are checked every morning and I had my blood drawn every day for about a week.

Three meals a day, with a paper form given to you for what you would like to eat for the next day’s meals. First meals are just random. Food is almost always cold, and you’re rarely allowed extra snacks outside of mealtime. If you happen to be asleep when meals are to be served, the staff don’t bother to wake you up. I would constantly miss lunches because of this.

There wasn’t much to do except draw, or watch TV (with the channels being limited and selected by the staff). Little to no reading material, I had to have my mom bring in my books. One time they let us make rubber band bracelets using a kit provided by one of the patient’s parents. Then the staff got mad at us for using all the rubber bands even though it was the only thing to do all day.

Staff-guided walks are available twice a day if I remember correctly, and are only available to patients of good standing. I was uninterested in the walks so I only went out once or twice. They sit outside for a bit before doing a quick lap around the building.

Group time activities are not technically mandatory, but expected, especially if you want to keep your good standing (missing just one prevents you from going on a walk). Group activities are pretty useless and rarely fun or engaging. Common things include telling everyone how you’re doing and picking several words to describe a situation. Nearly all patients hated them and only attended so they could go on walks.

Bathrooms were fairly well-kept. The shower must be re-activated every 30 seconds or so using a button, as the shower does not run continuously for very long. You are (understandably) not allowed to shave unless you are under good standing, with the razor given back after the process. You are not allowed to keep menstrual pads in your room (though some of the female staff found it understandable and would let it slide).

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

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

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