Name of Hospital: Seattle Children’s Hospital
City, State/Province, Country: Seattle, WA, USA
Number of Stars: 3.5
Comment: My stay at Seattle Children’s was infinitely better than my first hospitalization experience. While most hospitals operate under the assumption that you will use anything you can find to hurt yourself or others, Seattle Children’s assumes that you will stay safe until proven otherwise. You aren’t watched while you shower unless you try to hurt yourself in the bathroom, you’re allowed to use any and all writing utensils unless you use them to hurt yourself, etc.
There was a pool, a service dog (which was my favorite part of my whole hospitalization experience, she was a golden retriever and the sweetest dog ever,) and if anyone tries to bring you a notebook that’s somehow “dangerous,” they’ll provide you with a different notebook, which was incredibly helpful to me considering writing and drawing are usually my main coping mechanisms. They provide time to keep caught up on your homework, and they actually bring in a certified teacher to help whenever they can.
The lessons they do for coping mechanisms and such are helpful the first time, but after you hear the same coping mechanisms and lessons over and over again like I have considering I’ve been hospitalized many many times, it can get incredibly boring. The staff NEVER touches you unless completely necessary, and I never even once saw anyone get sedated—I actually had a panic attack there and they closed off the area I was in to let me be alone until I calmed down. They have very comfortable rooms that can have 1-2 beds in them, and I was only once given a roommate before I was open about being a trans man and bisexual.
After that, I was always given a room to myself, which I personally preferred, but another trans man there was disappointed he didn’t get to have a roommate. The food wasn’t amazing, but at least it was edible—unfortunately it gets mostly cold by the time the trays are brought to the psych ward, but I’ve had far worse food in my hospitalization experiences.
The staff is usually sensitive and kind, however the only reason I give it a 3.5 instead of a 5 is because after I was hospitalized after coming out as a trans man, they refused to call me by my preferred name. It’s understandable that my legal name was put on my bracelet and food, but they never even once called me by my preferred name or pronouns. I thought when I went in they would be sensitive about my gender, but at that point I was outed to all the other patients as a trans man and they started asking me incredibly invasive questions, and the staff never did anything to help me with that. It was so humiliating to be treated that way, and it wouldn’t have helped by much to pretend I was a cis girl.
I seriously wish the staff was more sensitive towards trans people, but that’s really the only major drawback to Seattle Children’s in my experiences there.
Type of program (i.e. day program, inpatient): Inpatient
Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: Trans man