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Dorothea Dix Hospital: Practical Matters for Patients

Financial Arrangements

Dorothea Dix Hospital will never turn someone away because he or she cannot afford treatment. Hospital charges are based on the patient's ability to pay, and third party payments are accepted from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. Adult patients will be contacted by a representative from our Patient Relations Office to arrive at a determination of payment ability. The Patient Relations Representative will be happy to answer questions or address concerns about financial arrangements. Their number is 919-715-7676.

Pastoral Services

Pastoral Services provide spiritual-emotional care for patients at Dorothea Dix. There are two chaplains who make regular rounds to each unit of the hospital. You may request a visit by a chaplain by asking a staff person on your unit. Church services are held at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings in the All Faiths Chapel on the hospital grounds. The Department of Pastoral Services may be reached at 919-733-5562.

Patient Conduct

At Dorothea Dix, patients and staff each have responsibilities for maintaining an environment which respects the dignity and rights of all persons. All patients and staff are expected to conduct themselves in ways that will enhance the recovery and growth of each patient.
It is the patient's responsibility to:

  • Work with the staff in setting goals for your recovery.
  • Follow recommended treatment plan.
  • Abide by established ward regulations.
  • Refrain from destructive behaviors such as:
  • Physically harming self or others.
  • Stealing and/or damaging property belonging to others.
  • Possessing and/or using drugs not included in your treatment plan.
  • Using excessively loud or abusive language.
  • Sexual harassment, threats, or use of obscene language.


Visits and communication with family members and significant others play an important role in treatment. Visiting hours may vary with each program but are generally from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. Children, 12 years of age and under, are not permitted to visit except by pre-arrangement on an individual basis. Please inquire as to any other visiting restrictions that may apply individually to each patient.
Patients and visitors may not take photographs on campus in order to protect the privacy of all patients.


Pay telephones are available on each ward or building for your convenience. Upon orientation each patient will be informed of the location of the phone and policy concerning its use.


The Dorothea Dix Hospital has been designated as a smoke-free facility. Smoking is permitted by patients ages, 18 and over, in specified outdoor areas. Patients will be informed of smoking locations during orientation.


The Hospital Grill, is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm and vending machines are also available at various locations.

Identification Pictures

Upon admission, pictures are taken of patients for identification purposes. This helps staff become familiar with newly admitted patients.


Individual staff members cannot give or receive gifts from patients or family members. Any gift from a patient or family will be considered a donation to Dorothea Dix Hospital, and will be used to benefit all patients.

Clothing and Personal Items

At the time of admission, patients' clothing and personal items will be checked and listed. As a precaution against loss or theft, you should allow all clothing to be marked. The hospital is liable only for valuables or marked clothing turned over to staff for safe keeping or laundering in the hospital laundry. Please expect a two to five day period for clothing to be returned from the laundry. Valuable property such as legal documents, property deeds, car titles, credit cards, expensive jewelry, large amounts of cash, etc. should be returned with family members if possible, or deposited in the cashier's office for safe keeping. A receipt will be issued if deposited in the cashier's office. If you keep valuable items you will be asked to sign a statement releasing the hospital from any liability for them.
Patients are not allowed to keep sharp or potentially dangerous items such as knives, scissors, straight and safety razors, cigarette lighters and lighter fluid, and glass bottles or other potentially dangerous objects.
If you have these in your possession, they will be returned to your family or locked for safekeeping until the time of your discharge. Electrical appliances must be cleared with program staff and inspected by the Electronics Department.
Since storage space is limited, you should keep only the amount of clothing that would be needed within a week's period of time. Laundry facilities are available for washable clothing, but dry cleaning will be at your own expense.


Medications brought to the hospital by patients are sent home with family or listed and sent to the hospital pharmacy for safekeeping. They will be returned upon request at time of discharge. Only medications prescribed by your physician may be used in the hospital.

Money Matters

Patients are allowed to keep a reasonable amount of spending money and may withdraw up to $35.00 from their personal account on deposit with the hospital by notifying the designated staff member on the unit. A unit staff member is available to explain the procedure for ordering money.
When a patient's personal check is deposited in the cashier's office, the deposit cannot be drawn on for ten working days. Out-of-state checks require a fifteen working day clearance time. Ready NC Connect NC