FAQs – Inpatient

What is the appropriate attire for the hospital?

  • Patients are asked to wear comfortable, appropriate clothing to groups and meetings. Appropriate attire includes jeans, casual slacks, sport shirts, skirts and dresses that are knee-length or longer, jogging suits and appropriate-length shorts. Dress for therapy should be casual and in good taste. Hats and sunglasses, clothing that depicts alcohol, drugs, sex, violence, gambling or sports teams, low-cut, sleeveless or spaghetti strap tops, see through clothing, clothing that does not cover underwear and anatomy (when seated or standing) and or any clothing deemed inappropriate by staff is not allowed.

Is it OK to leave my car in the parking lot for an extended amount of time?

  • Automobiles, if brought to the hospital, may be parked at your own risk in the facility main lot. Please let the nurse know, at admission, if you have brought your vehicle, to determine if it will need to be moved. Car keys should be locked in the facility safe on the unit. While you are at the hospital, you may not visit your car without staff accompaniment.

I am currently taking doctor-prescribed medication. Can I bring this to the hospital with me?

  • If you are an inpatient, you may take only those medications prescribed by the physician at UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital. You may not keep medicine with you in your room. You may not share either prescription medicine or over-the-counter medication with others.

What is a typical day like while a patient at UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital?

  • The treatment program is comprehensive and intense.  Each day has a variety of therapeutic, educational and recreational activities planned. Daily meditation, lectures, process groups and recreation and/or occupational groups are included. 12-step support groups are scheduled many evenings as well as Big Book study. If you have a problem that would interfere with timely attendance discuss this either with your assigned nurse, or therapist as soon as possible. Vital signs will be taken at approximately 6 a.m. Meditation group is at 7 a.m. Medication is distributed from the nurses’ station at 8 a.m., noon, 5 p.m., 9 p.m., at meal times and after the last group session of the day.

What is the meal plan?

  • Proper nutrition is an important aspect of treatment. Physicians will order a specific diet for each patient. If you have been on a special diet prior to coming to UF Health Shands Psychiatric, please inform the staff. A dietitian is available daily if a dietary consult is ordered.  A nutrition class is planned weekly.You will have the opportunity to choose from a daily menu. Meals are served on individual trays in each unit’s dining area. Meals are social times and are NOT to be eaten in patient rooms. Some snack items are available in the kitchenette area. Caffeinated coffee is available only between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. This is limited because of the psycho-active properties of caffeine. Patients are limited to two cups per meal.

 Will there be a phone in my room?

  •  Cell phones are not permitted. Two telephones are available for patient use. The phones may be used between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. during free time on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. If a patient needs to make a private call, arrangements can be made with the nurse or therapist. Long distance calls may be made using a calling card or by calling collect. Phone use is limited to two calls, fifteen minutes per call, to allow others to use the phones Wednesdays and Saturdays only. The main number for UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital is 352-265-5497. Unit staff members are available 24 hours a day and can take messages for patients. Due to the importance of your participation in the treatment program, family and friends should call during free time only.

Will there be a television in my room?

  • Patient rooms do not have televisions. There is one television within the unit. It may be turned on for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening for news purposes only. Evening television time must start only after all groups have been completed. The entire community, in consensus with staff, must agree on what will be watched. A movie/DVD/videotape from the library is shown on Saturday evenings.

 Can we smoke while at the hospital?

  • UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital is a non-smoking facility. No smoking is allowed anywhere on the grounds of the facility. Additionally, no tobacco products are allowed at UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital. The use of smoking cessation products like the nicotine patch can be discussed with the physician.

Will I have access to a computer while at UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital?

  • No. Patients will not have computer access. A daily newspaper is available every day. The hospital staff will provide postage for letters or cards (within reason.) Mail is received and distributed daily.

Will I have my own room?

  • Private rooms are available. The request for a private room must be approved by a physician.


If you have any other questions about your stay at UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital, please call 352-265-5481.