Visiting a patient
The inpatient unit is located on level 4 of the Burr Wing at the Kingston General Hospital (KGH) site. Regular visiting hours are daily between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. We know that some families may want to visit outside these times and we try to be flexible depending on individual situations. There may be times when visiting hours are restricted due to situations outside of our control on the units. Please talk to the treatment team about visiting so that a schedule can be developed that works for the patient and their treatment.
Patients are only allowed to socialize with fellow co-patients in common areas and not in other patients’ rooms.
If young children are visiting an inpatient, there is a family room on Unit B that is to be used. Young children are not allowed to visit in the IOA.
Who can visit?
Family members and very close friends may visit patients on Burr 4. The patient or someone the patient knows and trusts should identify visitors the patient would want to see. These names will be written on the patient’s file. Patients have the right to refuse any visitor. Family and friends from out of town who will be visiting a patient on the unit for an extended period of time and are looking for accommodation options, please read more about places to stay in Kingston.
What can I bring to the unit?
Here are some examples of items that may be brought from home for patients:
- 4-5 day wardrobe of casual, comfortable, appropriate clothing (there is access to laundry facilities), sleep wear (i.e. pajamas, slippers, robe)
- Personal toiletries (i.e. tooth brush, tooth paste, shampoo, brush, electric razor etc.)
- Reading material, writing, and small hobby supplies (i.e. pencils, crayons, markers)
- A small amount of money for vending machines
- Anything that has a cord must be CSA approved (they will be stored at the nursing station or in an assigned locker outside of the patient room for safety reasons).
- A list of current medications including over the counter drugs i.e. vitamins and supplements
- Cell phones are allowed but will be kept at the nurses station and provided when on a pass only
What should I leave at Home?
Items not permitted on the unit include cameras, recording devices, valuables (i.e. jewelry, credit cards), sharp objects (i.e. tweezers, glass bottles, mirrors, nail clippers, scissors, razor blades or sewing needles etc.)
For safety reasons, a staff member will search belongings when they are brought on to the unit. Any items that can be a threat or danger to patients and/or staff will be stored in a secure location.
All unnecessary valuables should be sent home, otherwise they will be stored at the KGH site's Security Office. They will be returned upon discharge with the exception of prohibited weapons or illegal substances as per hospital policy. The hospital is not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged belongings.
What to expect when admitted to the unit
For adults who are admitted from the emergency department, the doctor will determine the level of care and admit the patient to either:
- The Intensive Observation Area (IOA) – for patients who need a higher level of nursing care and observation
- The Main Adult Unit (B Unit)
All children and adolescents under the age of 18 will be admitted to the Child & Adolescent Unit
Upon admission, an assigned nurse will greet the patient and begin the admission process. This may include the following steps:
- Admission Assessment - Involves asking questions about how the patient is feeling and what brought them in to the hospital, taking blood pressure, recording height and weight, and talking about what to expect over the next few hours.
- Allergy Assessment - Questions will be asked about allergies to any medication, food, or to environmental sources. Patients with allergies will be given an allergy wristband. For safety reasons, it is very important for this wristband to be worn at all times. Hospital staff needs to be able to identify quickly any allergies in emergency situations.
- Identification Wristbands - Patients will be given an ID wristband with name, date of birth, and KGH site medical number on it (if this isn’t already done in the emergency department). It is very important to keep this wristband on at all times for patient safety. Hospital staff need to be able to identify patients properly before giving medication and performing tests.
Nursing staff have 2 rotating shifts: DAY SHIFT 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and NIGHT SHIFT 7:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.
A specific nurse will be assigned to each patient for each shift. Patients should plan to remain on the unit and be available to meet their nurse between 7:30 a.m./p.m. and 8:00 a.m./p.m.
Psychiatrist Meetings with patients
Patients will meet with a Psychiatrist and/or Resident daily Monday - Friday. The times will vary depending on the Psychiatrist. Meetings usually take place between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Psychiatrists will discuss patient progress and any goals or issues they may have during the admission. Psychiatrists will receive daily updates from the nursing staff as well as the rest of the treatment team. Over the weekends and on holidays there is an On-Call team, a Psychiatrist and 2 Residents, who are available for new admissions and emergency issues only.
Meeting the rest of the inpatient team
Inpatient Psychiatrists will consult other members of the treatment team i.e. Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Dietitians, and Pharmacists, on an as needed basis depending on the patient’s treatment plan. Team members are available to meet with patients throughout the day.
During an admission, family involvement varies for different people. Adults must give permission for the treatment team to speak to anyone about their care. However, if the patient does not consent to the team providing information to the family, the family is still able to provide information to the team.