Inpatient Adult Behavioral Health Hospital

courtyard with fountain

Jarret Nickel Operations Executive NCHC

Who to call

Who to call

Who to call

North Central Health Care’s newly built Adult Behavioral Health Hospital is designed to meet the diverse needs of every patient we serve.

This 9,020-square-foot facility is designed with an open concept to maximize client safety while offering a soothing space for recovery. All 16 private bedrooms have large windows and private bathrooms. The Adult Hospital has an on-unit kitchen extension and both private and on-floor nursing stations. On-unit therapy rooms, exam rooms, group rooms, and seclusion rooms provide the means for comprehensive care without leaving the facility.

Inpatient mental and behavioral health care will be provided by a multidisciplinary team of specialists including nurses, behavioral health techs, therapists, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists.

All new admissions for the Adult Behavioral Health Hospital will be referred from the North Central Health Care Crisis Center located at 1150 Lake View Drive in Wausau. The Crisis Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and already provides crisis services to both youth and adults. Call 1.800.799.0122 if you are in need of Crisis Services.

Learn more about the Adult Behavioral Health Hospital through the frequently asked questions answered below:

May I smoke in the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital or on the grounds of North Central Health Care Facilities?

Due to health concerns related to tobacco use and the desire of North Central Health Care to promote a healthy environment both inside the facility and on its grounds, the management of the facility has chosen to not allow smoking by staff, clients/patients, visitors, or guests within the facility or on the grounds. Unit nicotine supplements may be prescribed for clients who have a hard time with this.

Is the facility an Inpatient drug and alcohol long-term rehabilitation program and what medications are used?

The Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital is a short-term, generally one to three-day, psychiatric program. Patients are released to an Outpatient program when considered medically stable.

Do I have a private room? Bathroom?

All rooms are private and have their own bathroom with a shower. There are no televisions or telephones in patient rooms. There is a telephone in the common area that is available for use during free time.

About how much does it cost to stay in the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital unit per day?

The cost is approximately $2,000 per day including the Psychiatric, Social work, and medication costs. Some of the costs may be paid by insurance(s) but ultimately are the responsibility of the Client or the Patient. It is always recommended to check with your insurance before admission to understand your coverage. Additional charges will be incurred for Psychiatric services.

Will I be prescribed the medications I desire when I am at the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital?

Every effort is made to maintain your comfort and safety at the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital. A psychiatrist consultation occurs within 24 hours of admission. Depending on the type of medication you currently are prescribed and the reason for your admission, you may not receive the medications you may desire. Behavioral Health Services Staff will always be willing to explain why particular medications have or have not been prescribed.

Will there be a medical doctor available if I get sick (examples: flu, virus, cold, earache, etc.)?

There is a Nurse Practitioner/Physician’s Assistant available to provide medical care in the a.m. and by pager.

What is the youngest age that can be admitted to the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital?

NCHC admits patients 18 and older to the Adult Inpatient Hospital. Younger individuals when appropriate may be considered for admission to the Youth Crisis Stabilization Facility or the Youth Behavioral Health Hospital.

Is information about my loved one kept private and confidential?

Patients and staff are required to maintain confidentiality at all times. The information contained in your medical record is confidential. It is a legal requirement that North Central Health Care receive specific authorization before releasing this information. Authorization may be granted by completing a Release of Information form (ROI).

Could I or my loved one be arrested for aggressive behavior?

It is rare, but the answer is yes. If a staff is injured, they have the right to press charges.

When do you use restraint and how does that work?

Restraint is not a treatment modality, but a last resort safety intervention when an imminent risk of danger to the individual or others exists. (A copy of the Seclusion and Restraint Philosophy and Policy will be given to the patient and or guardian at their request.)

What is seclusion?

Seclusion is not a treatment modality, but a last-step safety intervention utilized to keep patients and others safe when behaviors presented pose an immediate risk of danger. The DHS defines seclusion as "the involuntary confinement of a person in a room or an area from which the person is physically prevented from leaving for any period, with the purpose of modifying a behavior".

Do the patients get fresh air and exercise?

Our brand new facility is slated to have a secure outdoor space for patients to enjoy fresh air and nature, however this space is still currently under construction. In the mean time, patients may be allowed outside under certain circumstances under the supervision of staff.

What is the usual length of stay at the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital?

The average length of stay is two to five days. Your loved one’s plan of care will determine how long he or she stays. The decision to discharge your one will be based upon his/her safety and if she/he can be managed in a less restrictive environment.

Are the patients ever taken off the locked unit? If so, why?

Patients are only taken off the unit for medical emergencies.

What is Milieu or Group Therapy?

The milieu is a safe and therapeutic setting that encourages positive change. Milieu means the totality of an environment. Group therapy is a treatment that uses social interactions to examine mental health issues. Group topics are determined by the participant’s needs. Topics may include social skills, coping skills, self-expression, life skills, or anger management.

Does my loved one receive individual therapy?

Therapy happens in a variety of ways on the inpatient unit. We offer a variety of group therapy options and activities including movement group, artistic expression, occupational therapy, and mindfulness exercises. These groups are designed to help your loved one set daily goals, work on new skills, and develop new ideas for recreational activities. A full-time mental health therapist also offers 2 treatment groups daily and individual sessions during the week. Our trained psychiatric nurses and mental health technicians are also available to speak with 24 hours a day.

Tell me about the Behavioral Health Care employees… What are their qualifications? Is there always a nurse? Is there always a doctor available?

The nurses at the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital are Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who have had training in managing a therapeutic environment. They work directly on the unit and provide your loved one with any needed medical care. Nurses are assigned on a shift-by-shift basis and provide the hour-to-hour care component of the unit.

Behavioral Health professionals (BHPs), educated about mental illness and therapeutic interventions, work directly on the unit with the patients. These staff members assist your loved one with setting daily goals and learning new skills that can help them cope. BHPs are assigned on a shift-by-shift basis and provide 24-hour care. There is always a Psychiatrist present or one who will be on-call who can be reached.

If I have questions, whom do I ask?

Direct your questions to your treatment team Charge Nurse and Social Worker during the day hours. Questions during the evening hours should be directed to the Charge Nurse. You are welcome to phone the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital anytime to inquire about your loved one. Call us at 715.848.4331 with any unresolved questions or concerns.

Does the psychiatrist come to the family meeting?

The psychiatrist’s schedule alters on a daily basis and may not be available for family meetings. It is not standard practice for the psychiatrist to attend family meetings.

What is a team or family meeting?

The goal of the family meeting is to gather family perspectives of your loved one’s needs and to involve the family with discharge planning. Your treatment team and social worker attends as does any outpatient provider that may be invited.

When do I get to see and talk to my psychiatrist?

You will meet with the psychiatrist within 24 hours of admission. After the first day you will meet daily with the psychiatrist for assessment and medication management. The doctor's focus is on patient care. Your liaison to the doctor is your assigned nurse.

Who is my attending psychiatrist?

All of our psychiatrists hold a valid Wisconsin medical license and most are nationally board certified.

Can Clients bring pillows, blankets, or stuffed toys to the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital?

Blankets and pillows are provided by the North Central Health Care. Personal Bedding is discouraged due to potential health and safety risks that may be posed to the patients upon doing so. If the patients would benefit from having a specific item with them, the doctor may write an order to allow them to have those items during all or part of their stay in the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital.

Do we need to bring toiletries? If so, what is allowed?

The hospital provides basic toiletries, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and shampoo. You may bring mouthwash, lotion, shaving cream, and razors as approved by the psychiatrist.

Are there snacks and beverages between meals?

Yes, there are scheduled snack times at 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

What kind of food do I get?

A brand new kitchen extension was built into the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital so patients will have access to an assisted on unit serving station during meal times. Dietary needs are taken into consideration by the dietician.

Where and when do we eat?

Meals are scheduled and are served within the Hospital unit. Meal times are 7:30 a.m. breakfast, 11:30am lunch and 4:30 p.m. for supper.

What about laundry?

Staff can use the washers and dryers in the unit to assist in laundering clothing items.

What kind of things may we bring and are electronic devices allowed?

You should bring an extra supply of clothing, socks and underwear, pajamas, and shoes without laces. Cell phones, pagers, CD / MP3 players, cameras, hand-held game systems or other electronics are not permitted within the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital.

May I bring my (minor) children into the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital?

Due to the types of illnesses and clients/patients that reside, children rarely visit this Hospital, but visits can occur if the staff thinks the patient is in a good place for it. Please call before making any visit to this Hospital with children. A visitation with a minor must be approved by the psychiatrist and be held in a consult room/group room.

May the patient make phone calls as well as long-distance calls? When? How long?

Yes, patients are allowed to make phone calls, preferably outside of group times. Phone calls must be appropriate - no yelling or profanity. Please be respectful of other patients and their need to use the phone. Phone use is prohibited after 10pm.

May other friends/family members call him/her?

Yes. Other family and friends are allowed to call to talk to the patient at the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital.

May I call?

Yes, you may call the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital at 715.848.4331. To not disturb your loved one’s care, he or she will not be taken out of therapeutic groups unless it is an emergency. You may call the Inpatient Behavioral Health Hospital directly and ask for an alternative time to phone. If group sessions are occurring, phone times may be limited.

When can we visit?

Visiting hours are 5:30-7:00 pm on weekdays and weekends. Special accommodations may be arranged with NCHC staff for situational needs. Families are encouraged to visit routinely.

What Items are Allowed?

These are some of the items you may bring with you.

  • Mobility devices with a physician order
  • (walkers, canes, shower chairs)
  • Soft cover books without sexually explicit or violent content

  • Wedding bands
  • 3 changes of clothing without strings

What Items are not allowed on the Unit?

For your safety and the safety of others, these items are restricted on the premise. You can also download or print the NCHC Restricted Items Poster which contains a full list of allowed and restricted items.