Cayuga Medical Center

Name of Facility: Cayuga Medical Center

Location of Facility (City, State/Province, Country): Ithaca, New York, USA

Number of Stars: 3.5

Description of Experience: I was admitted that the adolescent’s ward in February of this year, and my experience was mostly positive. I was admitted for a gender dysphoria caused suicide attempt, and the nurses in the emergency room were very kind and polite. The questioning was long winded, but they managed to make it bearable. When I finally got into the waiting area for acceptance into the ward, I had all my current belongings checked (My shirt that said “If at first you don’t succeed, you probably just suck” was not allowed due to ‘rude messaging’ which I guess I understand) and I was given scrubs to wear for the time being. I waited for at least 5 hours alone to be moved.

When I finally got there, I was introduced to the nurse and tech, who were very nice. The schedule was filled with groups, but there was quite a bit of free time. We had two hours for schoolwork each day, and the school was contacted by the hospital for us. We met with the psychologist team everyday, and were given activities to prepare us for discharge. I stayed for about a week and two days, and my only complaints were that the staff yelled at me on the first few days for fidgeting via drawing, causing me to cry and breakdown. Their points system also meant that some nurses could give less points depending on if they liked you or not, which greatly affected what you were able to do. Also, we only went outside once, and it was incredibly claustrophobic inside the ward.

Type of Program (inpatient, outpatient, residential, etc.): Inpatient

Anything that might have impacted your stay? i.e. being LGBTQ+: Trans man, gay

Year(s) Your Experience(s) Occurred (i.e. 2015): 2017

News Articles on Buffalo Psychiatric Center

Name of Facility: Buffalo Psychiatric Center

Location: Buffalo, NY, USA

Articles

Health Alliance Hospital, Mary’s Ave Campus

Name of Hospital: HealthAlliance Hospital, Mary’s Ave Campus

City, State/Province, Country: Kingston, NY, USA

Number of Stars: 3.5

Comment: Staff were often kind and understanding, and worked hard to ensure people’s comfort. food was alright and there was a good variety. Groups were interesting, engaging, and sometimes fun.

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

Year(s) : 2015-2016

Benedictine Hospital

Name of Hospital: Benedictine Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: Kingston, NY, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Comment: This is going to be tough on me to recall. I was only there for one night and half a day, and it was one of the worste hospital experiences I ever had.

It started with them not bothering to alert anyone when there was breakfast. So they don’t care if you eat. When I asked about it, they said I probably wouldn’t want it anyway – just powdered eggs. I thought eating regularly was important for mental health but apparently not to them.

Immediately walking into the hallway I noticed patients aimlessly walking the halls and sitting rocking back and forth on the floors. Nurses didn’t care or seem to notice. I felt like I had been transported to the 50s.

I called my parents to tell them to come get me and “dont leave without me.” Well that ended up not being a problem because of what happened next.

I had a meeting with my “treatment team” none of whom I had met before, mind you they never had me speak to a doctor of any kind or a therapist. Well they pulled me into a room and told me I “had enough coping skills” and they were discharging me. Mind you, I sit before them with two arms still covered in cuts, having been brought in by police. I said “What coping skills?” and they said “You know…coping skills” they couldn’t identify any.

I insisted that I needed help and they told me that my parents “probably wouldn’t want to pay for it” and I said I knew my parents better than them and I’m suicidal and she ignored me. I asked her, if she had a family member, a daughter, with cancer, wouldn’t she do anything in her power to pay for her treatment? And the lady goes “If I could afford it.”

So they discharged me, and I got out of there and went somewhere else.

Mind you, I had health insurance that their hospital accepted.

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

Year(s) : 2010

Mount Sinai Hospital

Name of Hospital: Mount Sinai Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: New York City, NY, USA

Number of Stars: 3

Comment: I was strongly urged to sign myself (despite my reservations) into Mount Sinai’s inpatient program during my first psychotic episode, and stayed for two weeks.

The good: Patients had a lot of choice with their menus and we got to eat late night snacks. The staff was generally friendly and open to talking with patients. at any time The ward itself was quite pretty, with art on the walls and large windows. Visitors could bring in food and books without issue. There was a donation closet for people who needed more clothes while they were in the hospital, which is incidentally where I got one of the shirts that I still wear today. Night checks were thankfully unobtrusive, or maybe I’m just a deep sleeper.

The bad: The group therapists were condescending and often talked to us as if we were children. One of the nurses tried to proselytize to me, which felt very uncomfortable especially since I had been admitted with religious delusions? Mandatory skin checks every few days, not just when I came in. I had to strip naked every few days so they could see that I hadn’t somehow self-harmed while on the ward, which felt degrading and invasive. No cellphones or mp3 players were allowed. They locked my room for an hour every night due to an unspecified issue with my roommate, which was inconvenient for both us and we had to use other people’s bathrooms during that hour.

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

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

Year(s) : 2015

Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital

Name of Hospital: CVPH Medical Center

City, State/Province, Country: Plattsburgh, New York, USA

Number of Stars: 2

Comment: Overall horrible. I was lied to and tricked the entire time I was on my way in, I was told that it would be a decision I would have part in, and I really thought I was only there to get new meds soon, but I was then forced into hospitalization. The only thing that kept me around were the other patients.

They made everyone take sleep medications and questioned you heavily if you didn’t want to take them, and tried to get me out on stronger ones when I said I couldn’t sleep because this place made me anxious, even though I turned down the meds (they made me very groggy and sick in the morning). The staff was mostly extremely disrespectful and mocked me over my suicidal ideation, even though multiple times I insisted I never attempted it, and i never would.

I spent most of my time crying alone in my room, but that possibly made the stay longer so I had to force myself to go out and socialize with other patients who were just as miserable as I was.

Staff also didn’t seem to really understand how mental illness worked, and no one was allowed to talk about any concerns they had over anything in their own lives. Only methods on how to cope with things.

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

Cayuga Medical Center

Name of Hospital: Cayuga Medical Center

City, State/Province, Country: Ithaca, New York, United States of America

Number of Stars: 3

Comment: My stay at Cayuga Medical was not long at all, in fact it was only a week, but that week has definitely left a scar. That’s not saying it was all bad considering, just a good majority of it.

First of all, the first thing they let me know was if I was compliant I would be let go much faster. This was during intake where I still had an option to leave since I had admitted myself. Before even getting into the ward the hospital was treating me as if I was already admitted even though I hadn’t even seen or talked to a therapist/psychologist/etc. who would be able to assess me.

Once admitted they told me I had to be put down as a forced intake due to insurance purposes. I understood, but then they had an officer come with us and berated me when I started shaking due to fear.

While in the ward I had to routinely explain my gender and pronouns to the same staff day after day. They refused to listen to my requests for they/them pronouns and berated me for refusing to talk about gender and sexuality as it pertains to my mental illness (seeing as it was a whole different facet of myself that didn’t correlate to my needing to be there now I had no desire to keep teaching them).

During my stay I had a roommate who would scream and cuss at night. I couldn’t handle that, partially due to past abuse as well as general anxiety. Their solution was to put me in a small room behind the nurses station on a gym mat for the night.

If I didn’t interact much during groups they would say I would be here for longer.
They forced me into monitoring my blood sugar levels more so than I usually was (5 times a day versus my twice daily) , since I am terrified of needles this was not okay to force onto me. When they started some of the nurses poked in the wrong spot of the finger leaving me with sore spots.

A nurse almost gave me lithium when I had not even gotten to see a doctor about medication. They questioned me when I said I wasn’t taking any lithium. I was and am usually conscience and aware enough to know what medications I should be taking.
Overall, most of the staff was uninviting and treated us like children who misbehaved enough to get sent to detention. The only redeeming one was a man who was very big and tall, seemed very imposing, but worked with us on feeling safe and secure and even told my mother that it was okay for me to cry when she told me to stop crying. He was willing to be a physically strong presence when I felt scared. He was nice.

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

Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: Genderqueer, bisexual, autistic, and diabetic