Should I rent a house directly across the street from the hospital?

Specialties Psychiatric


I work at a psychiatric hospital that has HUGE grounds. This hospital allow the public to use their grounds as a park for the locals. There must be fifty acres of lawn with a frisbee golf course, a baseball diamond, and several other free amenities that the residents of the neighborhood can use at no charge.

I would be able to go play fetch with my dog under huge, beautiful trees. It's really something. It's one of the nicest parks I've ever seen.

I work in the Forensics program for the criminally insane. I've heard of people being targeted outside of work and having their cars and motorcycles keyed, that kind of thing. It's at least remotely possible for a patient to make a phone call and have one of their business associates do some work on my property.

But, it's just a rental. Any damage to the house itself is not really my problem.

Also, I treat my patients well. I'm not a power-tripping jerk or anything, I doubt I'd be targeted. Nevertheless it is a possibility.

Also, it would cut my commute from 2.5 hours round trip to about three minutes round trip.

The house would be on a postage stamp lot, but with a 50 acre front yard.

What do you think?


1,304 Posts

Specializes in psych. rehab nursing, float pool.

That you feel the need to ask this question says that you have some concerns about the safety of this. I think it could best be answered by someone that you work with who knows the area as opposed to us who do not.

Short story

I lived 11 miles from my work in psych many many years ago. A patient discovered where I lived, managed to burn down the garage at the home I was living in , and the garage of my soon to be x-husband all in one night.. oh well, life happens. Oh you might ask how did they find out where I lived? I received a subpoena to testify in court. Fortunately it never went to court .It was in regards to a family matter this patient had shared with me and was now going to court. From that document this patient had my full name, from there they found out where I live...... I no longer am listed in any phone book, I have done web searches making sure I take out any personal information on myself such as phone number or address.


16 Posts

Specializes in student.

I personally wouldn't.

Lovely_RN, MSN

1,122 Posts

Treating your patients well can make you just as much of a target as treating them poorly. I don't think it's safe to allow any patient to ever know where you live.

Virgo_RN, BSN, RN

3,543 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ED.

Sounds nice to me. I'd love to have a big open space to exercise my dogs right across the street!


2 Posts

I live on a main street, 5 minutes walk from the Psyche facility whr I work. This facility has 2 open wards (including my ward) and I often see patients walking past my house. If I am sitting out the front of my house I dive to the ground to hide behind the 1.5' wall so I am hopefully not seen. We both know that it doesn't matter how good you are to some pts in MH, if they decide you're the one that's after them, there's no reasoning. I often worry that I'll have pts knocking on my door or breaking through our front windows to take their frustration with the hospital (as many never gain insight) out on me.

The location is great and the reduced travel = reduced stress (more sleep) but if I was moving again I wouldn't live so close. I also tell all pts that I live in a suburb that is a 40 minute drive from work.


1,350 Posts

I think I'd forgo the trees and find another home not so close to where you work. It's a pity, but I don't think you can take any chances with psych patients.....


38,333 Posts

I had former clients stalking me everywhere I went, so it really doesn't matter where you live. If someone wants to make you their target, they will find you and do what they want. If you think you can live there without a lot of anxiety, then go ahead. If it becomes a problem, then you can move later on. But I wouldn't go out of my way to let anyone at work know where I lived. I can see it now, Suzy calls off sick, "Call Joe to come in, he lives across the street!"


36 Posts

I have been told by patients they have wandered subdivisions looking for me. Try not to live where you are easily accessible. I have my name listed in the phone book under my maiden name so if anyone really knows me they can find me, otherwise, they will have a harder time. Safety is priority. People can want to find you and stalk you regardless if you treat them well or not. They can imagine (ie delusional?) that they love you and you love them and when that is not reciprocated all .... can break loose. transference can be deadly.

Specializes in Forensic Psychiatric Nursing.

That's some good feedback. I'm not going to live that close to the hospital. Thanks, everyone.


210 Posts

I would not want to live that close to work regardless of the type of nursing. THAT IS TOO CLOSE.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

I'm not a psych nurse and it looks like you made your decision, but my 2 cents anyway...

Don't do it, because then you'd never be able to escape your job. Besides the worries with the psych patients, you'd also never escape your coworkers, boss, etc., especially once they found out you lived right across the way. You'd be the first one they'd call if they were short a nurse, and you'd never have any privacy--you'd get too many questions about what you were doing/who you were with/when you came home/etc.

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