Understanding and Guidance
You can use your relationship with nursing staff in many different ways–to help bear difficult feelings, to recognize and change repetitive, self-defeating patterns of behavior, or to manage personal space and hygiene. Because nursing staff members get to know patients so well, they are often the first to notice when someone is becoming distressed and can intervene flexibly to prevent or respond to crises. Equally important, they are available informally, at meals and coffee hours and in common areas between meetings, fostering a relaxed and welcoming environment at the Inn and Community Center. In addition, nursing staff members are participants in the Therapeutic Community Program and, like all staff, work in a partnership with patients to help create a safe therapeutic environment.
You will have a dedicated nursing care coordinator as part of your treatment team who offers understanding and guidance in managing daily life at Riggs.
It is important to note that keeping yourself safe and asking for help are your foremost responsibilities in our open setting. Maintaining a working alliance with the nurses is an essential aspect of this. We expect you to bring to the nursing staff any concerns you have about your own or any other patient’s safety. There may be times when you are asked to sit with and tolerate uncomfortable feelings. While learning to bear such feelings is an important part of the treatment process, it is also essential that you clearly communicate to nursing staff if you are in need of immediate help.
Nursing staff encourage all patients to use words, rather than actions, to express their emotions. This verbal expression may allow you to defuse what might feel like a crisis so that healthier and more constructive options might be explored.