When severe emotional trauma or acute psychotic episodes overwhelm a patient or loved one, NuHealth’s Psychiatric Emergency Department (PED) at Nassau University Medical Center is the only separate and self-contained emergency room in Nassau County ready to care for those in crisis. The Psychiatric ED is fully-staffed and open for referrals 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Our multidisciplinary professional staff is always ready to provide expert emergency psychiatric care for victims of acute emotional or psychological trauma, just as the staff of NUMC’s Level I Trauma Center stands ready to treat those with severe physical injury.
In the PED, patients meet with psychiatrists, psychiatric residents, psychiatric nurses and clinical social workers. Despite their psychological state, we do all we can to make our patients feel they are in a safe place where their confidences will be kept and every effort will be made to listen to their concerns and respect their wishes regarding treatment. The PED staff also invites input from family and outside professionals, such as the patient’s personal physician, therapist or case manager.
Despite the acute-care environment, we always strive to maintain the highest possible display of respect and professionalism to the patient as a form of treatment in and of itself. In addition, we view empathy and positive interactions with patients and their loved ones as an important part of a successful approach to emergency psychiatric therapy. Among the tools we use to diagnose and stabilize patients in acute psychiatric distress are:
- Detailed interviewing and multi-modal data gathering.
- Thorough medical evaluations to rule out neurovascular problems, adverse reactions to medications, and other diseases and disorders whose symptoms might appear to be psychiatric in origin.
- New psychotropic medications to alleviate psychological pain.
- Crisis counseling skills to provide immediate coping strategies to help the patient deal with psychosocial stressors contributing to admission to the PED.
- Discharge planning and referrals to appropriate inpatient or outpatient services.
Throughout their stay, we make every effort to inform our patients of their rights, calm their fears, consider their preferences and respect their dignity.
To obtain a referral to the Psychiatric Emergency Department, call (516) 572-6822.
Lisa Jacobson, LCSW Administrator, Psychiatric Emergency Department