Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tell Me Your Psych Unit Search Stories

I'm planning to write an article on strip search policies at psychiatric hospitals and that's why I asked anyone who has been hospitalized in a psychiatric unit in  the last three years to take my Strip Search Survey.  Roy pointed out to me that I didn't define 'strip search' and that his hospital does not do this---they ask patients to change into a gown and search their clothes, but not their bodies.  I did assume that people would define strip search as the visual inspection of the skin after the removal of all clothes, and that being told to change with some sort of privacy --in a bathroom, behind a curtain, while a nurse of the same gender holds up a gown or a sheet but isn't looking-- is not a strip search. 

Will you help me with my article?  Can you tell your stories in the comment section and let me quote you?  I will not use 'names' but quote "one commenter said,"  and you are welcome to give your feedback as "Anonymous."  I would like to know what state the hospital you're talking about is in, and if you are a patient, a psychiatrist, a nurse, a family member.  I'm interested in stories of how being searched was handled well and how it was handled badly, stories by hospital personnel.  I know some of you have told your stories here before, but I didn't ask for permission to quote, so feel free to repeat yourself here if you don't mind being quoted.    Also, if you were strip searched, I'd like to know if it was because of a blanket policy at the hospital versus a specific concern the staff had about you and any danger you might pose to yourself or others.