The nursing department provides round-the-clock support for patients at the Inn, and nursing staff members are available as needed to assist patients at every level of care. Each patient has a Nursing Care Coordinator, either a registered nurse or a mental health worker, who provides support and guidance in managing daily life at Riggs. Nurses offer education and assistance with medication management, assessment and intervention in crises and encouragement in developing relationships with others in the Therapeutic Community. At times nurses help patients to recognize and change repetitive, self-defeating patterns of behavior, or, if needed, to manage personal space and hygiene. Nursing staff members get to know patients well, individually and in groups. They often notice when someone is becoming distressed and can intervene flexibly to prevent or respond to crises. Equally important, they are available informally, at meals, coffee hours and in common areas between meetings, fostering a relaxed and welcoming environment at the Inn and Community Center. In addition to acting as patient advocates, nursing staff members are participants in the Therapeutic Community and, like all staff, work in a partnership with patients to help create a safe therapeutic environment.