FAQs

What should I bring to the hospital?

Limit your clothing to what you will need in the course of a one-week stay. Casual clothing is recommended.

  • Four to five changes of casual clothing without drawstrings. For women, slacks or jeans and tops or comfortable, casual dresses. For men, slacks or jeans and casual shirts. Please note that offensive or inappropriate logos will not be allowed.
  • A supply of socks and underwear that will last between three and five days. Please do not bring tube socks or leggings.
  • Bring two or three pairs of comfortable shoes without shoelaces. Open backed slippers are discouraged because of the high risk for falls.
  • A sweater or light jacket without drawstrings.
  • Toiletries (no glass or aluminum containers, no mirrors, no alcohol content, and no flat irons or curling irons): comb, brush, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste. The hospital can also provide toiletries, if needed.
  • Unit staff must be notified at the nurses’ station whenever patient belongings are brought onto or removed from the unit. These measures are essential to the maintenance of a safe environment on the unit and can reduce incidents of lost or misplaced personal items. All disallowed items will be stored in a locker, placed in the unit safe or sent home with family or friends.
  • Please provide a list of your current prescription and over-the-counter medications, including dosages and frequency. Unless otherwise instructed by hospital staff or physicians, please leave your medications at home.

Please leave these items at home:

  • Please do not bring jewelry, money or other valuables. Money is not needed, but patients are permitted to keep up to $10.
  • Any clothing with drawstrings is prohibited: sweatpants, running shorts, hoodies, pajamas, etc. Belts are also not allowed on pants.
  • Electronic devices such as MP3 players, radios, cellphones, alarm clocks or other items with a cord.
  • Tobacco items, lighters or matches. No smoking is allowed on campus. You may use a nicotine patch and/or gum for cravings.
  • Your own pillow, blanket or stuffed animal – in order to control for infections.
  • Food and drinks from outside of the hospital. You will be provided with snacks in addition to regular meals.
  • Medications ¬– all necessary medications will be provided by the facility. If you are not able to provide your prescription, your supply may be sent from home.
  • Luggage should be taken home by family or friends once the patient is admitted. If luggage is left, it must be properly labeled for storage.
  • All patients will indicate their wishes regarding their belongings on the “Valuables and Effects” form reviewed and signed upon admission. Austin Oaks Hospital is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged articles unless fully described and deposited in the Austin Oaks Hospital safe and a receipt is issued.
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What should I expect from the admission process?

When you enter the admission area, you will be greeted by a hospital staff member. Adults and children/adolescents have separate waiting areas in our facility. An admissions nurse will meet with you and explain the admission process. Please be prepared to spend 30 to 60 minutes completing initial paperwork. At this time, staff will discuss which items are allowed on the unit. Patients will be seen by their psychiatrist within 24 hours of admission.

Please be prepared to bring:

  • Form of ID
  • Insurance card
  • Emergency contact information
  • List of current prescription medications
  • Medical Power of Attorney or Guardianship Paperwork
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What are visiting hours? What are my phone privileges?

Visitors: All visitors must have the patient code, check in at the reception desk, sign in at the front desk next to the nurses’ station and wear a visitor tag at all times. The signature placed in the unit sign-in book offers a helpful record of unit visitors but is also a pledge made by each visitor that they will maintain the confidentiality of every patient on the unit. Only two visitors are allowed per patient at a time, and children under 12 years of age are not allowed on the unit. Visitors may not enter patient rooms – common rooms are provided for visiting. If a visitor engages in disruptive behavior or wears inappropriate attire, he or she may be asked to leave. Should your visitor not be able to make it during the designated visiting hours, special arrangements may be made.

Phone privileges: Phone calls can be made and received during set times. Patients may not make or receive calls during scheduled group times. Staff will be available to help patients make and receive calls, and patients must remain within sight of a staff member while using the cordless phones. Calls will be limited to 10 minutes to ensure that all patients have access to the patient phones.

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What kind of therapy will I receive at Austin Oaks Hospital?

Therapeutic Community
Austin Oaks Hospital’s inpatient care operates on a therapeutic community model. This model emphasizes the need for each individual to take responsibility for their own behavior and to accept the positive and negative consequences of their choices.

Inpatient Therapeutic Treatments
Individual Therapy – The psychiatrist will supervise each patient’s care and see the patient in individual sessions at least six days per week. Many patients will receive a recommendation for outpatient individual counseling and the patient’s social worker will assist with selecting a suitable outpatient counselor.

Case Management – A social worker will be assigned to manage each patient’s case throughout that patient’s hospitalization

Group Therapy – Patients will be assigned to a therapy group based on the types of issues that brought the patient to the program. Types of group therapy include cognitive behavior, interpersonal relationships, coping skills, assertiveness, anger management and psychoeducation.

Family Therapy – A structured family meeting will be arranged if the patient and treatment team determine that a family meeting would have therapeutic benefit.

Therapeutic Recreation Group – Recreation therapy utilizes various activities as a form of active treatment to promote the improvement of a patient’s health and well-being, thus enhancing a patient’s quality of life and productivity. Therapeutic Recreation interventions include self expression, stress management, problem solving, resource education, social skills, journaling and leisure/recreation skills.

Psycho-Education Group – Provides patients with valuable information and education regarding diagnosis, medication stabilization, wellness, and behavior management techniques.

Spiritual Care – Many patients turn to spiritual resources during illness and benefit from spiritual counseling during their hospitalization. Our Chaplain is trained to encourage beneficial spiritual coping processes and help patients and families draw upon their spiritual and religious resources to more effectively manage difficult emotions.

Pet Therapy – Patients will have the opportunity to interact with a trained pet therapy dog and therapist.

Healing Arts techniques such as Yoga and Tai Chi

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Will my insurance cover my hospitalization?

We are an approved provider for most major insurance companies and Managed Care plans. Please feel free to call (512) 440-4800 to determine if Austin Oaks accepts your insurance plan.

Austin Oaks works closely with patients, their families, agency representatives, insurance companies, EAPs and managed care providers to determine all possible payment options. In addition, Austin Oaks will accept direct payment of fees for individuals who do not have or want to use insurance.

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Does your program treat those with dementia-related disorders?

Austin Oaks Hospital treats patients with mild to moderate dementia who are still able to benefit from active treatment and group therapy. Our admissions staff will help families assess a patient’s level of participation.

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Can a Medical Power of Attorney or Guardian sign patient into treatment?

A guardian may sign a patient into treatment when the patient meets criteria for commitment according to county guidelines. However, patients are only eligible to stay under guardianship provision for 24 hours. After 24 hours, our staff will file for a 72-hour commitment at the Travis County Court House. This allows the patient to stay in the hospital and receive needed care.

A Medical Power of Attorney does not allow a friend or family member to sign a patient into services. An MPOA is helpful when patients refuse medication. The MPOA allows us to administer medication to the patient.

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