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ABSTRACTS THE CARE OF PSYCHIATRIC PATIENTS IN A GENERAL HOSPITAL WITHOUT SPECIAL FACILITIES
PAUL W. DALE; HAROLD S. WRIGHT
Am J Psychiatry 1962;118:930-932.
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The Psychiatric Dept., The Greenwich Hospital Association, Greenwich, Conn.

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Abstract

Experience over a 3-year period demonstrates that a general hospital can admit, and successfully treat, a wide variety of psychiatric disorders using the facilities that ordinarily exist in such a general hospital designed and built for the care of patients with physical diseases.The advantages of this program are that it permits the patient to be treated in the community where he resides. There may be more ready acceptance of hospitalization by the patient and his family. Usually his health insurance plan provides some coverage for such care. It permits patients to have simultaneous psychiatric, medical and surgical study, and almost always in our experience, several physicians were involved in the treatment of each patient. Lastly, it is of educational value to members of the staff–interns, residents, nurses and student nurses.This method of care of psychiatric patients in a community general hospital is commended to others who are considering similar programs. We suspect that wherever the three ingredients of a good psychiatric staff, a progressive administration, and a willing nursing department co-exist, such a program will be successful. Psychiatric services in general hospitals will improve medical care throughout the hospital, will strengthen the medical staff, will advance teaching, and, most of all, will provide a needed service for a group of distressingly ill psychiatric patients. These problems and these patients occur in all communities throughout the land.

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