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Frequently Asked Questions

Valued Fairfax Customers:

Often patients and families have questions about what to expect at Fairfax, and our hope is that this page may help answer some of them, decrease any anxiety about seeking inpatient behavioral health treatment, and help make the transition to Fairfax Hospital easier.

While this list may provide answers to many questions you may have about Fairfax Hospital, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions. Our Assessment and Referral department is available 24/7 to assist you as well as being available to answer questions about our services.

Q: How long will I need to stay at Fairfax?

There is no set length of stay (LOS) for patients at Fairfax Hospital. Stays are based on individual need and typically range from 5 to 14 days. A typical LOS is approximately 9 days.  Admissions for drug and alcohol detoxification are usually shorter, closer to 5 days.

The treatment team, which includes an attending psychiatrist, assesses patients within 24 hours of admission. The team makes an initial determination about the course of care for each patient, develops a care plan, and an anticipated length of stay.  

Q: Can I check myself out of the hospital?

Fairfax Hospital accepts both voluntary and involuntary patients. Patients who admit themselves on a voluntary basis can request discharge during their stay. Patient requests for discharge are brought to their treatment team for discussion. Only a physician/psychiatrist can officially discharge a patient and therefore the psychiatrist must evaluate patients prior to discharge, even for voluntary patients.

Q: What can I bring with me? Can I wear my own clothes?

We recommend bringing about 3 days worth of clothing and sleepwear with you on admission. Basic toiletries and change for pay phones and vending machines is also recommended. We have laundry rooms for clothes washing.

We encourage patients to wear their own clothes. We make sure that clothing and other belongings are safe for everyone on the unit. We recommend slip-on shoes and comfortable clothes without drawstrings. Drawstrings (on pants or shirts), shoelaces, glass, metal, and other potentially unsafe items will be either placed in storage or sent home with family members.

We discourage bringing items of value and are not responsible for lost or broken items. 

Q: Will I have to share a room? What will my room be like?

Yes, most likely you will need to share a room with another patient. Unlike medical/surgical hospitals, the treatment model at Fairfax is group therapy and emphasizes keeping patients out of bed and active. Therapy groups are offered from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

Our rooms are designed with safety in mind and therefore do not have items or furniture that  might pose a safety risk. On our adult units, each room has a bathroom and shower. On our youth and adolescent unit, each room has a sink and toilet, with a separate shower room located on the unit for patients to use.

Q: My family member is at Fairfax, who will call me with updates about their care and when?

Members of a patient’s family and support system are encouraged to participate during treatment with us. Permission is required to allow us to acknowledge the presence of a patient in our hospital.   When permission is granted, a member of the patient’s treatment team will make contact. 

During the course of care at Fairfax, the primary point of communication is a Clinical Therapist. A Clinical Therapist provides therapeutic care to the patient and family as clinically indicated and communicates the plan of care to the patient’s identified family/support system. In addition, Discharge Planners facilitate the transition to other levels of care upon discharge.

Q: How can my family or support system contact me during my stay?

In order to maintain a patient’s right to confidentiality, we assign each patient an Access Code when admitted. Patients can choose to provide this access code to family and friends. When family or friends call the hospital, they need to provide the Access Code in order to connect with the patient during their stay. 

An Access Code is not the same as being listed on a patient’s Release of Information sheet.  If family or support system contacts are not listed on the Release of Information sheet, then Clinical Therapists and other staff cannot give information about the patient.

Family and friends are welcome to leave information for the Clinical Therapist directly or on their voice mail if they are included on a release of information.

Q: Can I smoke?

Yes, adults 18 and over can smoke while at Fairfax. We have several scheduled smoke breaks throughout the day in outdoor spaces adjacent to units.  Because we are focused on the overall health of the patient, we acknowledge that patients may not be prepared to give up smoking when coming to our hospital. Our physicians are able to prescribe nicotine patches or other assistance for patients who request them or are interested in smoking cessation.

Q: Is the unit locked?

Yes, all of our units are locked. Locked units provide an additional level of safety for all of our patients and visitors at Fairfax Hospital.

Help is just a phone call away: 800-435-7221
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