Aurora Charter Oak Hospital

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Whistle-blower's Review and Follow-up of a Well Below-Average Psychiatric Facility in Covina, CA
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Serious Deficits in Mental Health Facility Standards Which Remain at Aurora Charter Oak Hospital – Covina;

Just a Symptom of a Desperate National Mental Health Picture

To All Whom It May Concern,

Aurora Charter Oak Hospital - Covina (ACOH-Covina), which is a mental health care facility located in Covina, CA, as part of Aurora Behavioral Health Care, a private, for-profit, mental health care company, has an administration, of which, on the regional corporate and local hospital level, regularly colludes with their regular nursing supervisors to subvert Patient's Rights, JCAHO (the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals), Medicare and Medi-Cal standards, and Health Dept. regulations in order to overcrowd the hospital with patients so they can build large bonuses for themselves from the faceless corporate offices back in the Midwest. As a result, violations inevitably occur, and patients are mistreated in many ways. Administration then routinely covers up many of the bad outcomes that result from this policy by directing their nursing supervisors to direct, sometimes through subtle coercion, the licensed and non-licensed clinical personnel to alter the patient’s official record, using “creative charting” techniques, as though it should be a routine part of doing business, impoverishing patient care, and jeopardizing the licenses and jobs of it nursing and allied healthcare personnel.

Another subtle tactic that the local administration uses is that they hire an unusually large amount of former or current drug addicts or alcoholics for part of the licensed nursing staff (as for the non-licensed staff, the percentage is arguably higher, based on my empirical observations), who are not even allowed to pass meds legally due to restrictions on their licenses. Medications are being passed out to adults and children by people who have serious psychiatric illnesses and current substance abuse issues, who, meanwhile, haven’t themselves been taking their prescription medications routinely. One RN, with full-blown, un-checked mania, continued to be put in charge of a whole unit of patients, despite her fellow colleague’s protests, and had her patients staring at her in disbelief of her zany actions. On Night shift, a Bipolar-Manic LVN, a normally balanced person when on her meds, was off her prescription psychiatric meds for too long, and, in a full-blown manic state, was allowed to roam about freely as an overt sexual tease, agitating patients, and distracting male and female employees alike, pulling them away from their nursing duties to engage in this semi-lascivious behavior, just because it was deemed to be “funny”.

An RN was allowed as charge nurse of the Child & Adolescent Unit for a long while, and then was fired. It was then found out that he had had a long-standing relationship with a female minor, which started when he was an adult and she was a twelve year-old... this apparently was openly discussed by this RN with other members of the staff, and administration was made aware of it, but did nothing - until something happened at work, involving this RN and a female minor.

There was also a well-known suspicion that there were two weekend PM shift charge nurses who were committing sexual acts upon one another while no RN was on the floor watching their patients. Staff on the floor treated it as an inside joke, and when finally notified by a new employee who wouldn’t stand for it, supervisors and administration looked the other way, and no action was ever taken in either case, and both employees involved currently remained at work in this facility.

Yet in another situation, the regular Noc nursing supervisor was so incompetent, that, besides the fact that she sometimes made very poor decisions which the charge nurses had to over-rule, it was a well-known fact that she spent a good part of her shift most every night hiding out in a bathroom reading a book or sleeping, while charge RN’s were busy at work, frantically trying to reach her so that important decisions could be discussed, and one employee told me that, on more than one occasion, they saw her doing word puzzles while on duty, while the rest of the hospital was piling up with admissions and work. Again, administration was made aware of her incompetence, yet chose to do nothing about it. And this is just some of the incidents that have happened in the last few years that immediately come to mind.

Basic living standards, like food, blankets, indoor cool air in the summer, indoor warmth in the winter, a non-leaking roof, and basic privacy issues were being violated. Heating and air conditioning in Building A, even after being repaired, was wholly inadequate… it only heats and cools the hallways, not the rooms… a year and a half ago, when the air conditioning unit went out in the early Spring, the patients and staff had to endure indoor temperatures into the mid-90’s plus, with no air movement, for 3 months of unfulfilled administration promises. Patient agitation levels were off-the-charts, with patient fights up and seclusion and restraints of patients happening sometimes twice a shift, and then administration tried to pin the blame on unit staff at first. It took nearly a third of the patient population and their families to write and phone in complaints, and a good part of the staff threatening to quit to finally convince them to replace the central air conditioning unit (on their own, not by professionals, which nearly caused a horrible accident when the new A/C unit threatened to come crashing through the roof during its placement, all while both staff and patients where left unprotected in the immediate area below) but, like I have written, replacing the A/C unit only partially solved the problem. The administration themselves did finally have to admit (through the nursing supervisors) that the system was not adequate for this building, which holds 60% of the hospital’s patients – but they did promise to remedy the issue, but haven’t as yet done anything about it.

Often you will find three (on a couple of occasions, even more) people sleeping in a 2-patient room, or patients sleeping on the floor, or on lounge couches, because there is no regular bed for them available, even though there are cots that sit unused in another building just a couple hundred yards away, simply because someone is too lazy to retrieve them. On occasion, due to overcrowded conditions in the past, children have been put to sleep on the floor in small office rooms meant for doctor's consultations.

Most of the time, there is no hot water for washing/bathing in patient care areas, yet, mysteriously, hot water is always present in the administration building. Dietary requirements are not being met for those that are not on a standard diet, i.e.; what the dietitian recommends is rarely written into a doctor's order, and if it is, is never followed by the Dietary Department.

There are never enough towels, blankets, washcloths, sheets, pillows, pillowcases to last through a 24 hour period – despite numerous protests to correct this rather easy-to-solve situation. Such protests have been met by administration with comments such as “the reason there are not enough linen is because Noc shift wraps themselves in them to stay warm at night… Right… the Night shift would regularly swaddle themselves with washcloths and pillowcases… how did administration ever find out… These arguments from administration were considered a laughingstock amongst the nursing staff at the time.

Patients of low ability were often allowed to walk around in their own filth (urine and fecal incontinence) for days without anyone lifting a finger to do anything about it during their wake periods, which is most always AM and PM shift. A lack of snack food and drink have led to patient frustration, leading to agitation, all too often causing staff to have to manage the patient by chemical or physical (i.e., restraint) means.

Patients in the Needs Assessment Office are being handled by people with minimal or no credentials, who can't even spell the diagnoses they are applying to the patients, much less tentatively assigning the diagnosis correctly. Prospective patient’s belongings are being left unscreened, allowing for contraband items, such as narcotics, prescription drugs, knives, alcohol, and on at least one occasion, whole boxes of bullets, etc., to sit near the patient unchecked for hours while the patients sit waiting to be assessed and processed. These items eventually make their way onto the unit (yes, even those bullets), which have the potential to cause suicide attempts, as well as assaults on other patients and staff – even on the good people of the neighborhood community of Charter Oak, which surrounds the facility. If this lack of procedure continues, one day some paranoid individual will walk in to that facility with a loaded gun in their bags, and it will remain unscreened, until the point this patient, or another curious mentally-ill patient, retrieves the gun and opens fire… it is an inevitability.

In the Admissions & Intake Dept., nursing was often led by a male RN who commonly wrote STAT Doctor's Orders and forged them under the name of the patient’s assigned psychiatrist. When some of the doctors had complained, administration mildly scolded the individual and swept it under the rug. There have even been instances where this same RN has fraudulently written STAT I.M. injection orders for patients that had already been transferred to other units, could not find a medication nurse willing to carry them out, so he administered the I.M. medication himself, even when he wasn’t assigned to the unit the patient was on! This happened twice that I am aware of, once resulting in the patient's blood pressure dropping dangerously low, requiring greatly increased monitoring and nearly sending him to the ER.

Another problem in admitting is the lack of proper medical clearance for in-coming patients intoxicated on alcohol and narcotics. Patients are being allowed to be processed through intake and admitted to a unit with BAL's (Blood Alcohol Level) approaching, near, or exceeding the lethal limit, because someone, either in Admitting & Intake, or a supervisor, is guessing at the Patient's BAL toxicity instead of sending the patient out for evaluation, proper testing and medical clearance. The same goes for patients not being properly drug tested, so detox orders can be obtained, if necessary.

Patient take-downs themselves have often been overt ways for staff to take out their frustrations out on difficult-to-manage patients. The results have been particularly devastating. As an example, one male patient, in his 50’s, of slight build, who was psychotic and/or high on some illicit substance, became agitated and began to throw his fists in the air. Staff intervened far too roughly, and ended up badly breaking the poor gentleman's arm, resulting in several fractures! Another poor gentleman, in his 60’s, with a Dx of Bipolar with psychosis, R/O dementia (my nursing diagnosis; not necessarily the literal Doctor Dx, since it has been almost a year ago, and I do not have the chart in hand) was taunted by AM Shift BHS workers, made to wear a hat involuntarily, of which he visibly hated, and was becoming increasingly agitated, and then was allowed to swing his arms at staff and fall on the ground a number of times, all while non-licensed floor staff stood around him laughing. I happened to be there off-duty to finish some charting, and witnessed this occurrence for an extended length of time in plain sight of other patients, some who actually attempted to go to the aid of this poor gentleman by taking him out of the hands of these “care-monsters”, but where soundly rebuffed by these same personnel, two of whom actually threatened these would-be “hero” patients by saying they would tell the med nurse to give them an injection if they “got in the way”. Only after pleading with the RN's-in-charge who were standing in the station, 10 feet away in plain sight of the incident, to do something, and receiving shoulder shrugs from both - did I make the call to alert the nursing supervisor myself. I am not aware of any staff terminations due to this egregious act, nor am I aware of any corrective action being taken on behalf of the patient (I had suggested an order for a gerichair or wheelchair with a posey vest), or any action against the staff perpetrators or RN enablers. I was tempted to terminate my employment right there and then, but I felt leaving my employment at the facility would just allow the problems there to go on unabated, so instead of leaving, I filed several complaints with Patient’s Rights, JCAHO, the Health Dept., and the local U.S. congress and state assemblypersons who represent that facility’s area.

However, due to a unrelated sham fantasy issue brought up by a vengeful former friend and co-worker, which had nothing to do with my work at Aurora Charter Oak Hospital, but rather, had a lot to do with how angry this co-worker was about getting reprimanded by me (privately, quietly, and professionally, I must add) regarding an earlier repeated issue of insubordination and conduct unbecoming of a nursing professional while on the job; administration then used the later fraudulent issue, without any proof as to whether it was true, to summarily fire me in October of ’07, ending my employment, and personal involvement in, Aurora Charter Oak Hospital.

That did not end my watch-dog role there however; I still receive reports from current personnel that support me in my quest to improve conditions at Aurora, especially since the JCAHO inspection this last January, and we have begun to bring about some change, though it is not nearly fast enough, nor has it, unfortunately, effected any significant transformation.

Since then, I have been passed along a strong rumor that a licensed staff member may have been involved in some indiscretions with an adolescent patient while on-duty in the unit, and that it may have included drugs. To what extent I do not yet know, but it would seem it is business as usual for the staff at ACOH.

Now that I am in the role of an educated outsider from that facility, and have personally sought and accepted a position in one of the best, forward-thinking, caring, for-profit health care organizations in the nation, which provides, as just one of its initiatives, very good quality mental health care, which is self-audited, as well as audited externally, and spends an enormous amount of money self-educating its employees to make real quality improvements. I see the stark differences between the two ways of doing business, and I realize that my termination was a blessing in disguise… for I am able to do far more as a patient advocate in the nursing position I have now than I was able to do before as simply just another disgruntled employee. For I have begun to realize that the mostly tax-paid, government-funded corruption I observed while in the employment of Aurora Charter Oak Hospital-Covina was just a rather nasty sampling of the poor conditions that exist locally, as well as state, and nation-wide.

This large area of Los Angeles County, for which this facility provides mental health services to an underserved population, desperately needs this psychiatric hospital, but it doesn’t necessarily need its current administration or its nurse-collaborators, and it most definitely MUST be rid of its poor health and safety practices. It was my belief six months ago that this facility's license to operate should be suspended immediately, or at the very least, the administration and the facility should have to undergo a major JCAHO investigation, as well as other appropriate departmental investigations, to sort out its many improprieties.

Now that such a JCAHO investigation has occurred, my hope is that my letter above will lead to a follow-up examination of this facility, this time to demand ACOH to produce a detailed action plan to resolve the facility’s woes and it’s employees’ misconduct, with short-term mandatory deadlines as to when this must be accomplished, and real punitive action if the goals are not met.


Mental illness affects nearly every extended family in America in some way… yet we quite often treat our under-insured and indigent mentally-ill like feral dogs. As an applied sciences-nursing graduate, fresh out of college, I chose this line of registered nursing as my profession because I wanted to make a difference; I wanted to find a way to push against the tide of mediocrity that is the American mental health system. It is for the same reason I chose to work at Aurora, instead of taking offers elsewhere, and when a few colleagues and doctors warned me not to waste my skills there.

Will others stand up for once for these less-fortunate people, or will these poor souls be, once again, swept under the proverbial rug, just because they do not have a powerful political voice to stand behind them? And if the sweeping should begin again, then shame on you, Yes You… in the government, in the hospital watch-dog groups, in the patient advocacy arena, in the TV, radio, internet, and print media, and you, the individual licensed doctors and allied health personnel, who did not stand up… it IS time to say “NO MORE”, then move on to splinter that vile broom, instead of kicking back in your chair, joining your fingers together under your chin, and saying “Yes, yes, it is a very sad thing, someone should do something about it…”

Someone else, not too long ago, summed it up well, I think…

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Now, a call out to all fellow skilled health care workers and Physicians:

What form of behavioral health care do you want to be a part of?
A Purveyor of “fresh, passionate, engaged mental health care”, or a Caterer of “stale, faceless, Mental Healthcare fast food on-a-Stick”? The future, ultimately, lies in your hands to effect the change, in one direction, or the other.

Forward, respectfully,

S.W., Nurse Anonymous
Read 47 RepliesAdd reply
User Replies:
Anonymous on 05/17/2008:
Your own loose lips sank your whistle blowing ship. As a result, you moved from Whistle Blower to 'disgruntled former employee'. California has fairly stout protections for whistle blowers. It would have been better if the OP would have ensured that those protections were solidly in place before sharing with a co-worker. If the allegations are true, the poster did a greater disservice to the patients than the alleged destroying his/her chance to be a mechanism for patient care improvement. As is, any founded allegations of wrongdoing have been reduced to anonymous posts on blogs...the high-tech equivalent to spray painting them on the town water tower.
DebtorBasher on 05/17/2008:
I sure hope you do continue to contact the proper authorities...even your local TV station who might be able to get some undercover investigators in there. Those patients do NOT deserve this kind of treatment. I'm sorry you had to go through what you did, but you did the right thing in trying to report it...but anytime you do something like that, NEVER trust even that ONE person with the info...because that person will trust one, and so on and the result will be as it was.
Please keep us posted...Thanks!
DebtorBasher on 05/17/2008: that chart you have posted, has the actual names of the may want to remove that.
Nurse Anonymous on 05/25/2008:
" that chart you have posted, has the actual names of the may want to remove that."

Hi... What are you referring to? There are no individuals named in my review...
old fart on 05/25/2008:
My goodness.. I believe this is the most literate, well written review that I've ever seen on this site.
This certainly should be brought to the attention of the authorities as soon as possible...
DebtorBasher on 05/25/2008:
Nurse...when the review was first posted, there was a graphic of a chart with nurses names on it...that's what I was referring to...but I see it is no longer there.
89419840+98 on 11/23/2008:
Hello everyone and thank you for your time. OK, first of all, I am not saying that not any of this is true especially regardign the staff, room temps, etc. I can honestly say that my wife staye in Unit B for a couple days to deal with some PPD after our sons birht. Although it was extremely depressing and very sad to see my wife sitting in here, I did not see any of these things of the environment described in this posting(s). Patients seemed to be clean, happy, and I couldn't believe all the activities they were given to pass time not to mention "snacks and food" were offered to the patients every 10 minutes it seemed. Like I said I am not saying that the things said did not happen there, I am just saying in the 3-4 days I spent there visiting my wife and doing some group talks (therapy), I did not see any of these things mentioned.
Nurse Anonymous on 12/16/2008:
Yes, sir, but the fact is, you visited a few minutes a day for a few days... I worked 8 hours a day for 3 1/2 years there, and was privy to the goings on at the facility on a day-to-day basis when I wasn't there through staff report. Getting a better picture?
agape on 01/29/2009:
It appears Nurse A really has had a lot to say. Unfortunately... not much is viable. I hope you get the help you need to clear the pain and disappointment you clearly have hidden for some time. Throwing up the low blows at a former employer and co workers is sad. Having had all this information only to wait until leaving make it an issue... not too sure I am satisfied with your thought process. Again I do hope you seek help. Aurora Charter Oak remains standing and growing....enough said.
BokiBean on 01/29/2009:
Aurora Charter Oak may remain standing and growing, but the fact is, you never addressed any of the issues that she brought to light, and my guess is that its not all sunshine and roses. I wouldn't put my dogs in there.
aconcernedparty on 02/10/2009:
Many of the claims made in this review do seem far-fetched. I can agree, however, that the buildings that house patients are in serious disrepair and that the units are severely understaffed (likely to improve those management bonuses you mentioned) which negatively impacts patient care. I find it difficult to believe that staff would deliberately abuse a patient in the manner you described. The "RN/Doctor", and I think I know who you an egomaniac who barely has a license to practice as a nurse but I certainly hope would not presume to write doctor's orders! I find that very hard to believe. All things considered, there are a lot of good, caring, and experienced people who truly have the patients' best interests at heart working there!
Nurse Anonymous on 06/17/2009:
"Agape" is obviously one of the leaders at ACOH; claiming I have attacked Aurora Charter Oak for "personal reasons" after I left is simply incorrect... perhaps, you should read my letter again... em?

In any case, if anyone is interested (say, present and prospective employees and patient's families), they may want to check out what JCAHO (the Joint Commission who investigates lapses in hospital standards) has to say about Aurora Charter Oak, and it's sister hospital, Las Encinas... don't take my word for it... take theirs.

As for "aconcernedparty": I do believe you're correct about at least some of the nurses and staff at Aurora; they are nice, and do their best with the tools that are provided them. However, overwhelmingly, the administration's complete lack of concern over the needs of the patients and staff is what has drawn me to the point of speaking out.
Lastly, as for the personal attack "agape" (strange name for one motivated to so easily discredit someone trying to speak out against injustices; very strange, yet funny in an absurd way).
The fact is I now work for one of the most prestigious mental health care facilities in the state, and love and work with my patients in the best of conditions... and receive from a very satisfied employer nearly twice the amount of pay to do it than I received at Aurora. I hardly need help; I lovingly supply it. But, good try, anyway...
Anonymous on 06/17/2009:
odd there are so many first time posters on this review.
Does anyone know the e-mail to JCAHO? I am presently employeed at the Aurora Charter Hosp. in Covina, during the week I noticed JCAHO is doing a investagation, but were warned not to talk to them and avoid them. I would like to email them my concerns of violations I have witnessed, without being fired.
Thank you,

Employee of Charter Oak
DebtorBasher on 01/30/2010:
Charter Oak Employee: You will get more of a response by people who might be able to help you, if you post this as a 'General Question'...because this review is from 2008 and won't get much attention.
DebtorBasher on 01/30/2010:

Here is the page with all of their contact info, including Email address':
thank you, Debt. Basher
DebtorBasher on 01/30/2010:
You're welcome...I think the above info may be what you are looking for. Good luck to you.
Anonymous on 01/30/2010:
Charter Oak, more importantly if you are witnessing violations that are compromising patient care you should be contacting the California Department of Health Services.

They have oversight of all California hospitals.
DebtorBasher on 01/30/2010:
Good Info, Pro!
Thank you,Pro for the information, I just had a few violation I wanted to point out to the JCAHO investagators, with being fired.
Anonymous on 01/30/2010:
I think JCAHO would be very interested to know why you were instructed to NOT speak with them. Be sure you tell them who told you that. JCAHO takes their certification process seriously (as they should!)and they will not tolerate employees being strong armed into silence. You cannot be fired for speaking with them, and if you are the JCAHO would like to know about that as well. I'm not saying that you are, but if they find out that you are a disgruntled employee on corrective action making false allegations, you will have some explaining to do.
Thank you, ProConsumer for you input,
I am not a disgruntle employee, just a employee that wants to make JCAHO aware of the violation I have witnessed, so I will e-mail them my information.
No false allegations made by me, just a employee who was told to stay out of JCAHO way and do not talk to them. Also a person who knows the job market is bad right now, and I can not afford to lose my job.
Anonymous on 01/31/2010:
Understood Charter Oak and JCAHO will listen. Best of luck to you.
Nurse Anonymous on 01/05/2011:
Update: Just was informed that Aurora Behavior Healthcare (the Parent company for Aurora Charter Oak, and La Encinas Hospital in Pasadena) has a class action lawsuit pending, involving inadequate payroll practices, poor working conditions, and unsanitary practices.
"You reap what you sow." - it just takes time.
DebtorBasher on 01/05/2011:
Thanks for returning with an update!
DebtorBasher on 01/05/2011:
I miss Boki :(
jktshff1 on 01/05/2011:
You and me both DB, though the nick is still active. Another victim of the M3C Summer of '10 Wars.
DebtorBasher on 01/05/2011:
She was always fun to chat with...oh wait...I forgot I AM Boki! *Smacks myself on my forehead*
Anonymous on 01/05/2011:
DB, didn't you say boki gave u a reason for not coming on anymore?
jktshff1 on 01/05/2011:
Well post something then!!
DebtorBasher on 01/05/2011:
I haven't heard anything from her since she left.
MRM on 01/05/2011:
Give it up General. We've lost her. She has been KIA.
jktshff1 on 01/05/2011:
Long as the nic's alive there is still a chance.
MRM on 01/05/2011:
Keep hope alive!
Marky-WA on 07/04/2011:
Nurse Anonymous, I was wondering if you would be willing to share the name of the facility that hired you when you left Charter Oak?? It sounds like the kind of facility that I have been searching for! Thanks.
Marky-WA on 07/04/2011:
P.S. Also, you state "In any case, if anyone is interested (say, present and prospective employees and patient's families), they may want to check out what JCAHO (the Joint Commission who investigates lapses in hospital standards) has to say about Aurora Charter Oak, and it's sister hospital, Las Encinas... don't take my word for it... take theirs." How would I go about doing that??..I have tried going to their site but do not find a way to access that information. I only found that the most "recent" evaluation results posted were apparently done in 2009, even though an employee posted here about one that took place in 2010.... so where would I find those results??? Thanks agasin for your input on this subject.

95136 on 09/15/2011:
My son was admitted in Sept 2011. I am very disappointed and frustrated with the care he is receiving. He went willingly, expecting to get help. He was met with a hostile unsafe environment. The staff has outright lied to me on more than one occasion. If I had known what he would encounter I Never would have taken him to this hospital. I am documenting everything, including names, dates, etc. I will be contacting JCAHO and anyone else who will listen and work to improve the hospital for the sake of future patients. If he needs help in the future, I sure hope to find a more professional, supportive, safe, clean, hospital.
95136 on 09/15/2011:
This is the link for JCAHO -
lexophiliac on 09/15/2011:
95136 - Get him out of there.
kinthenorthwest on 09/15/2011:
I thought I recognized the name.Googled it and yep that's the place.
Its not a place fit for your worse enemy or even the roaches of society...
I know they had some overflow contracts fron another major medical facility..They were finally canceled for very good reasons.
95136 on 09/16/2011:
If I could take him out today I would. I am emailing every name on staff website, and following up with JCAHO. It has been a heartbreaking experience.
95136 on 09/20/2011:
heres my update... on Friday my son admits himself, Saturday morning a nurse said he was threatening, which is very unlike him, so they move him to North building which is for the most seriously disturbed, they give him an injection, he doesn't remember anything from Saturday morning till Sunday, on Monday his doctor signs a form to have him transferred out of North building, I push every day for him to be moved...Monday to Friday they don't move him. I'm ignored. He's ignored. On Friday they finally move him but tell me they will only do so if he signs a paper which states they can move him back to North if he is threatening. I say no way, because I know the paper will also state they are putting a hold on him. I emailed everyone on their staff from website, they call me, they move him, he asks for a AMA which is release against medical advice. Doctor evaluates him, says no reason to hold him. He's out. 7 days later. He did not receive any help, only Very stressful stay with people who were very disturbed. Next day he goes to Verizon to have his phone scanned for problems, shops for groceries, helps his dad install a dryer, and goes to the day cleans house, goes to play poker with about 9 friends....tonight at a sports bar with friends...this does not sound to me to be someone who needed to be in high security part of hospital. They were only trying to drag out his stay for the insurance money. He is doing great, except for his memories of that place. I had hoped they would have in therapy for his anxiety, depression, all they did was medicate and hold him in crappy hostile environment. I am told Inter-community Hospital has a good mental health department...I wish I would have known..we would have gone there instead. Now I am looking for a good doctor to help with therapy and medication....;/
At Your Service on 09/20/2011:
My serious thoughts are with your son. I truly hope the very best for him.
A regretful mother on 09/10/2013:
I'm very grateful for this blog. As for the nurse who started this blog, you are truly an angel. Please don't stop advocating for what's right. Also to 95136 MY son was injected with a medication called Haldol while in the custody of this facility causing him to have no memory of even who he was for a couple of days. He said he thought he had lost it and just wanted to die. My son's situation was a bit different in the fact he had been in an altercation with a staff member who is known to taunt the kids while they were there. After the bad altercation occurred with this staff member they put my son in restraints and injected him with Haldol. The staff member continued to taunt my son even after the bad altercation, saying things to my son "You must be a loser just like your dad", "Do you know what we do with kids like you? We make them bite the curb.", and last he told my son "You need to learn to follow through with your punches.". I didn't know this was what happened until my son was released later. The staff member had filed an assault charge against my son, which was later dropped after I called Aurora and made an official complaint against the staff member. I live with the guilt of the treatment my son had to endurer while in the care of Aurora. I also requested my sons medical paperwork including all medications given to him on the day of January 10th, so I could better understand what and why my son felt the way he did after being given the medication that day. What I noticed is someone altered the amount given to my son from what looks like a 5 to the #2 and I noticed 2 entries below the first entry on the same day, looks like he was given 3 mg at an early time ( which doesn't make sense because if it was give before the supposed first dosage it should have been written before,not after the second dosage) it to looks like it has been altered. The Haldol shot was followed by 50mg of benadryl that was given at 12:45 and that's not counting the other Benadryl that was given two more times that day. My son indicated when they injected him with the Haldol he started to go into convulsions, but he said no one came to help him right away. After looking up information the Benadryl is given to counter act an allergic reaction. I have been so overwhelmed with guilt, not just for not saving my son from going through this, but for not posting something sooner to prevent any future person from experiencing the same treatment. I asked a friend about this and she spoke with her lawyer who said he didn't feel we had anything to go on,but my gut continues to feel completely disgusted by the thoughts of someone else's child having to go through this.
However, I must say there was one employee who did work there that was, I believe an angel sent from God to protect and help my son through this hell. His name was Mark, but that's all I know. I think often on how to contact him just to let him know that my son said he wouldn't have made it through the hell that he went through, if it wasn't for a man named Mark. Anyway, I know the original post is old, but I felt this was an opportunity for me to try to, not only confirm what the nurse that was fired is saying, but also to help anyone else to make the right decision by not put anyone they love in this facility. I also forgot to mention my son was on 5 different medications that were stopped abruptly for three days, until the Dr. spoke with me to review my sons history and mentioned it looks like my son was only being given Topamax currently and I asked him about all the rest of he meds he was supposed to be taking and the Dr. said it doesn't show your son is on any other meds. He asked me why I didn't let anyone know? I totally freaked out, because my son was on pretty high doses of a couple of them. I knew that it could be fatal to just stop taking these meds abruptly. The Dr. Said he would look into it, but then realized as he was reading over my sons admittance papers that I had provided this information. The Dr. said well it doesn't matter anyway, because they are obviously not working and he would get my son on something new meds. Anyway, I'm sorry to those of you who have also had bad experiences. For the gentleman that did have a good experience count your blessings, because I wouldn't wish the guilt I carry on a daily basis on my worst enemy.
Patientxxi on 01/09/2014:
I was a patient in Nov 2013, I went in for information on an outpatient program as my LMFT thought group therapy could be beneficial with my anxiety of the upcoming holidays. Upon going in for an assessment only I was forced to turn over all of my belongings and take out my shoe laces. From there I spoke to an intake person who seemed very nice, I expressed my concern was that I have made poor choices in the past and now that I am more educated and self aware I wanted to be proactive and do something before things started to get messy. Then I sat around and waited for a while and she came to tell me I was voluntarily admitting myself? Voluntary usually means one is on board, however, I don't recall that being an avenue I wanted to involve myself with. I came in at 4:pm and didn't get taken to a unit until 9:pm. The first unit they took me to the tried to put me on a cot in a room with 3 people already residing in it. I made a scene to the nurse and demanded to go home since I was only voluntary. They instead took me to the "newer" unit where I was given my own room. It had been a long day so I went to bed. The next two days were a joke, anytime I inquired to leave I was threatened that if I left AMA they would force a 5150 hold. There were quite a few issues with meds and other things that are borderline illegal but it's a mental health facility and since clearly mental health patients have no say, I wasn't really surprised by the treatment. Upon finally being discharged (delayed due to the Psychiatrist not showing up) the financial person meeting w/me gave me some outrageous story on how my ins policy was suspended because I didn't complete a survey, then she tried to have me sign up for a hospital credit acct through a bank. I declined it but compromised to agree to allow her to see if I qualify should my ins actually be an issue. When signing my discharge ppwk it stated that I was suicidal which I asked to discuss with someone because it was false and was told "you're being discharged, do you really want to make a scene"? I was so mad that I just left, cos getting psychical with a staff member at a psych ward isn't the best way to prove one isn't crazy. I didn't hear from the hospital after leaving despite I was "suicidal" or about their issue w my insurance. I actually called my insurance and found all was fine and the claim was paid except my deductible of 20%. In December I got a $5000 bill for a credit card I never signed up for for hospital charges (even though my insurance charges were only $3000). I called the cc comp and they advised me to call the hospital and I talked to someone and they were going to get back but never did. I called a week later and basically was told I have to pay my $350 copay before they take care of the credit card issue. I'm not too keen on insurance practices but I would assume something in all of that can't be legal, I know the situation lacks ethics but I'm just not 100% on legality. If anyone has any advice on who I can contact for further escalation or anything please let me know. I am mildly hesitant to just go all out and contact BBB or something because I am the mental patient and apparently my word is never going to par that of a crooked unethical medical facility. Sorry this was so long, this is my own form of therapeutically dealing with this instead of making a poor choice and acting out of anger. Thank you for reading if you made it this far.
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