Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will I be able to smoke?

    • Smoking is prohibited on the hospital grounds. If you are a smoker, nicotine replacement options are available with an order from the attending doctor. Assistance with smoke cessation is also available if you wish.
  • Will I be able to go outside immediately upon my arrival?

    • Patients will be able to go on off-hall breaks with staff and other patients once they are placed on staff escort (SE) level. In general, newly admitted patients are not placed on SE as the team needs time to asses each patient’s level of safety. This assessment time is variable based upon individual safety issues.
  • Will members of my family and/or concerned others be involved in my treatment?

    • This is a matter that will be discussed between you and your inpatient treatment team, and varies depending on your individual treatment issues. Due to federal HIPAA guidelines, you will be asked to sign a consent form for the release of any personal information. Phone contact, family meetings, and/or family therapy are available with your assigned social worker depending on individual treatment issues. For some patients, family contact is not advisable and this will also be discussed.
  • Can friends or family visit me while I am on the unit?

    • Visiting hours are: Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays visiting hours are from 12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

      Visitors must be over 12 years old. There is a maximum of two visitors at a time. If you wish to have visitors outside of these hours or wish to have visitors under age 12, please speak with your social worker to arrange this.
  • Will my outpatient treatment team be involved with my care at Sheppard Pratt?

    • Outpatient therapists and psychiatrists are a critical part of each patient’s treatment team. They will be contacted at least twice during the hospital stay, usually shortly after admission and then close to discharge. Additional communication with outpatient providers is based on individual treatment issues and plans. In general, unless other specific arrangements are made with the treatment team, while on the The Trauma Disorders Program’s inpatient unit, patients may speak with their outpatient treatment team one time per week for a brief check-in of about 15 minutes. This contact should be scheduled and the treatment team made aware of when it will be occurring.
  • How will medications be handled?

    • One of our attending psychiatrists will be assigned to you for medication management. The psychiatrist will review your medications and write orders as needed. There are times when a change in medications is clinically indicated. Your inpatient psychiatrist will discuss your options, the risks and benefits of each change, and possible side effects to help you make an informed decision. The inpatient doctor may be in contact with your outpatient doctor to discuss medication/medical issues. Any medications you bring from home must be in their original container and will be stored in the hospital pharmacy until your discharge from the unit. At times, when clinically indicated, medications brought from home may be used in your inpatient care. Per hospital policy, any loose or unlabeled medications will be disposed of.

      Sheppard Pratt does not permit the use of herbal preparations.
  • How do I get to Sheppard Pratt?

    • Address:

      6501 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21204

      If driving, parking is free and secure but limited.

      If traveling by plane, the closest airport is Baltimore-Washington International (BWI), which is located approximately 40-45 minutes from the hospital.

      If traveling by train or bus, Penn Station is 15 minutes south of the hospital.

      To get from the airport/bus station to Sheppard Pratt you may take a taxi/cab, travel via MTA bus (#3 goes directly to Sheppard Pratt), or take the Super Shuttle (800-258-3826) from the airport.

      Patients are responsible for getting themselves to the hospital and we are unable to provide any funds for transportation.

  • What can I bring to Sheppard Pratt?

      • Two pieces of luggage: one no larger than 3’x2’x1’, the other no larger than 2’x1’x1’ (Excess items or luggage will be sent home)
      • Pillow (will be provided but you can bring your own if you choose)
      • Casual clothing (modest and free of suggestive logos or images. Please note that we only allow clothing with a maximum of 5% spandex or elastane)
      • A robe (without ties)
      • Slippers for nighttime and shower shoes/flip flops
      • Laundry detergent (will be provided but you can bring your own if you choose)
      • Calling card (needed for all outgoing long distance phone calls)
      • Unbreakable, non-toxic items such as grounding beads, unframed pictures, and koosh balls
      • 1-2 bound journals for writing/note taking and pens (spiral notebooks are not allowed on the unit, and only pens without metal clips or internal springs are permitted)
      • Small stuffed animals
      • Appropriate books and music
      • Battery operated alarm clock/radio (bring extra batteries– staff cannot recharge batteries)
      • Shampoo, lotion, etc. (Must be in clear bottles with manufacturer labels. If bottles are not clear plastic, and/or liquid is too dark to see through, these items will be kept in the nursing station and dispensed into small cups for each use). Please note that all containers without the manufacturers label will be placed back in the luggage and cannot be used on the unit.
      • Money for use in vending machines when on staff escort level (Please note that all money must be kept on your person (up to $50) at all times OR it will be sent to security and will not be able to be retrieved until discharge. Please limit cash to small amounts.)
      Some of the recommended packing items must be stored in the nurses’ station and signed out for personal use at staff discretion. These items may include:
      • Items containing alcohol (i.e. mouth wash, perfume, hair spray, lotion, etc.)
      • Balloons (Balloons must be kept for enjoyment by all in the nursing station)
      • Bar soap
      • Extra batteries
      • CDs and CD cases
      • Crochet hooks/knitting needles (plastic or wooden only; metal crochet hooks/knitting needles are not permitted)
      • Dental floss
      • Disposable safety razors/electric razors (Safety razors can be used on staff escort level only, electric razors may be used on behavioral observation or staff escort levels)
      • DVDs
      • Hair picks
      • Hot liquids
      • Jewelry
      • Keys/key rings
      • Liquids in containers that are not translucent must be kept behind nursing station and will be poured in cup for use
      • Paper nail files
      • Sanitary pads and tampons
      • Speakers w/ a cord less than eight inches must be used for all audio devices, i.e., MP3 players, iPods, or portable CD players (Headphones and ear buds are NOT permitted)
      • String/yarn
      • Tweezers/nail clippers– please bring your own! May be used on staff escort level only.
      • Food: No food items may be kept in bedrooms. Food items must be in their original packaging, labeled, and kept in the pantry area. Food items brought by visitors should be limited to a quantity that can be eaten upon arrival or within 24 hours. There is no microwave so please don't bring any microwavable foods. Please notify staff prior to admission of any food allergies or specifications (e.g. gluten free, no dairy, no seafood, vegetarian, etc.)

      Other items will be monitored by staff discretion based on individual safety concerns. When safety issues arise, some items may be temporarily removed from your possession until your safety is able to be independently managed.

      • Alcoholic beverages
      • Aerosol containers
      • Art supplies with metal or labeled as toxic
      • Belts
      • Bleach/cleaning products
      • Bobby pins
      • Canes w/ heavy metal top
      • Cans
      • Can openers
      • Cassette tapes
      • Clothing with inappropriate logos or images
      • Clothing with numerous buckles/strings
      • Drawstrings
      • Drug paraphernalia
      • DVDs and books with sexual content, violence and/or obscene language
      • Elastic Hairbands
      • Electric toothbrushes
      • Electronic fidget spinners
      • Eyelash curlers
      • Fans (electric or battery operated)
      • Flowers w/ thorns
      • Gauze wrap/cling wrap/ACE bandages
      • Glass/ceramics items
      • Hair dryers/curling irons/flat irons
      • Hangers both metal and plastic
      • Headphones/ear buds
      • Heating pads including Thermacare pads
      • Heavy/metal belt buckles
      • Heavy boots
      • Herbal remedies or supplements
      • iPods with cameras, internet access or metal clips
      • Items that may have internet access/capabilities that may include but are not limited to: laptops, Kindle/Nook or other electronic reading devices, cell phones, iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch
      • Liquid glue
      • Jewelry that is heavy, sharp, or long
      • Journals with elastic bands
      • Knee high socks
      • Laundry baskets (plastic or mesh) or large plastic containers
      • Loofahs
      • Matches/lighters
      • Tobacco products
      • Metal hair accessories
      • Metal nail files
      • Metal picture frames
      • Mirrors
      • Musical instruments
      • Oil-based products
      • Pens with metal clips or extra fine or ultra-fine tips or internal springs
      • Permanent markers
      • Personal bedding and blankets (weighted blankets may be brought in but require a doctor's order for use)
      • Personal electric appliances with cords
      • Personal towels/washcloths
      • Plastic bags
      • Purses, bags, or luggage with long straps
      • Recording devices (sound or images) including cameras or webcams
      • Rubber bands
      • Scarves/bandanas
      • Sharpeners of any kind
      • Sharps: paper clips, personal scissors, pins, razor blades, x-acto knives, etc.
      • Shaving cream
      • Shoe laces
      • Spiked heel or platform shoes
      • Spiral notebooks/3-ring binders
      • Splints/braces with metal, long straps or highly stretchable material
      • Staple-bound legal pads
      • Steel toe shoes
      • Straight razor blades
      • Tights/nylons/spandex clothing (more than 5% spandex is prohibited)
      • Toxic paint
      • Two-way radios and beepers
      • VHS tapes
      • Weapons of any kind

      Please note that upon admission both your person and your belongings will be searched by staff for prohibited items. This is for your safety, as well as the safety of others on the unit. We ask that you bring all needed items with you to admissions. Once admissions paperwork is signed, you will be unable to return to your car for additional belongings.

      Any prohibited items found in your suitcase will be stored in your suitcase off the hall until discharge.