I floated down to the ER for a couple of nights to sit 1:1 (I'm a CNA) with an early onset Alzheimer's patient and much to my surprise, she had been there for 3 days and the woman next door --waiting for a court ordered involuntary admission to the state psych hospital-- had been there over a week!
My hospital does have a pysch floor--though there is always a waiting list for beds, as well as a med-surg floor (with empty spaces, usually) where the majority of the 1:1s and people waiting for open psych beds hang out/stabilize.
Is it common for people waiting on psych transfers to spend multiple days in the ER? What happens to your in-need-of-more-security-than-a-floor-bed psych patients?
I really want to be an ER nurse and was happy I floated down there, even if it was mostly watching someone sleep all night. It seemed like a great team and I was happy to help with the "altered mental state" patient.