Western State Hospital Employee Reviews

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Fulfilling and rewarding.
Fiscal Technician (Former Employee) –  Tacoma, WAMay 29, 2014
High End data entry, I was in charge of 286 employee's Paychecks.
Input of over time, sick leave and personal leave accruals and adjustments as needed per pay period, Prepare fiscal reports, input information of new hires into DSHS Personnel systems. Enroll new hires into the Health Care Authority system and adjust current employee's changes to HCA. Answering a high volume of calls and E-mail's, Faxing, Scanning, and Copying. Maintain and update Filling, Inventory, Mailing and Database Systems.
being a Fiscal Tech 2 was very rewarding in many ways as I learned a great deal about communication, Time utilization, and Customer Service. I had approximately 15 co-workers whom I enjoyed seeing on a daily basis we, as Fiscal Tech's had a very stressful dedication to make sure our employee's payroll and leave compensations were completed accurately and by State deadlines. This at times would put high pressure in the office, but we all knew we would pull through as a team. The hardest part of being a Fiscal Tech at WSH would have been when a co-worker would call in for time off when it was close to payroll cut-off, this would cause us in the office to come together and make sure the absent person's payroll was completed before the State system locked us out. (Each FT was in charge of 250-300 employee's payroll)
The most enjoyable part of my job at WSH was the feeling of accomplishment twice a month every month, knowing my employee's were happy and they knew I would do what ever it took to get the job done accurately and on time every time and they appreciated it.
Pros
the bond with my co-workers and employee's, meeting new employee's, learning new things everyday because of state changes.
Cons
non-perm position.
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Very difficult place to work.
LPN 2 (Former Employee) –  Lakewood, WASeptember 7, 2015
The orientation was great, lasted 3 weeks and it was really excellent. That was the best part of my experience there; But after that, the ward orientation begins and the realities of working in a hostile environment hit you hard.
I was in a non-perm position and was hoping for a year or two, but only got 3 months out of it. I was given one day's notice my job was ending, which is all the hospital is required to give non-perms.
When my position ended, it came as a relief in many ways.
To sum up my 3 months there, it would go like this:
Too many supervisors telling me what to do, assaulted once by a patient (with only a minor injury), and a medication delivery system that was hard for me to work with, and a difficult morning med pass all combined to make a hard job even harder.
There were some very nice people to work with, and some of the patients were also nice, too. Treatment mall duty was the most enjoyable part of my job because I was off the ward and it was quiet.
I learned that survival in a big bureaucracy facility is difficult and stifling to the way I learn best, which is minimal to no supervision.
Pros
The benefits of a state employee are great, health care, retirement plans, and paid vacation.
Cons
Too many supervisors, Pyxis machine hard to use, and many required computer tracings need to be completed with minimal time if any to get them done.
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Do yourself a favor and stay away from WSH. Terrible place to work! You have been warned!
Psychiatric Nursing Assistant (Former Employee) –  Staunton, VaMarch 23, 2014
Western State Hospital in Staunton, Va is a terrible place to work. Please do not let anyone tell you otherwise. It might not be so bad if you are an RN, or even an LPN, but the the nursing assistants get treated like dirt by the supervisors and by the administration. The job of working with psychiatric patients is difficult and dangerous enough, but supervisors, co-workers and administration make it much worse. The gossip among employees, as well as the backstabbing mentality of the employees is horrible. The scheduling of staff is completely inadequate, and as a nursing assistant you will be mandated to work overtime( mostly double shifts) to cover holes in the schedule. The hospital does not care if you have family obligations or not. Patient aggression is often escalated by some RNs, and employees get hurt as a result of this. Employees, especially RNs, are often bullied by their peers. The administration play favorites, and gossip about employees in an inappropriate manner. One Assistant Director of Nursing in particular is especially guilty. These are only a few issues. I could go on and on. I worked there as a nursing assistant for five years and had good evaluations consistently. There is also no chance for promotion.
Pros
state benefits if you get hired full time.
Cons
no job security, mandated overtime, dangerous situations, controlling and deceiving supervisors, no advancement
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job is good..... management terrible
Pna (Former Employee) –  StauntonJanuary 12, 2015
er PNA....the job itself can be very stressful yet rewarding working with the patients isnt as hard as it May seem ...that is if you can get over the constant mandatory overtime with the scheduler threatening your job everyday if you don't agree to stay and the overbearing RN'S , the staff that have been there for years and years some of them are awesome others will stab you in the back in a heartbeat the upper management plays favorites and cares nothing about their staff, the PNA'S that is, they must not realize without them the entire hospital would go to s*** even more so than what it already has.most of the coordinators for the wards and the Assistant Director of Nursing will lie and do anything to get you in trouble if they don't like you . if they could fix upper management and give raises where they are due this would not be a bad place to work however save yourself DONT DO IT (especially if you have a license as the patients there can make up lies and they believe the patient no matter what unless it's on camera then you lose your license)
Pros
great benefits
Cons
forced to work 4 to 8 hours overtime at least two days a week terrible upper management
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co-workers
PNA (Former Employee) –  Staunton, VAOctober 17, 2015
I really enjoyed working with people, it make me feel great about my self. I've always worked with individual with mental illness. I feel that I can play a major roll in getting them back to almost normal life. Teaching them how to do proper hygiene skills, making their bed,dressing appropriate for the weather, brushing their teeth, feeding themselves. Helping them to maintain appropriate behaviors while in the community. As I have a brother whom has a disability both physical and mentally and have seen people make fun of him just hurt me so deep, because I feel they deserve a life that they enjoy without being made fun of, if everyone liked or loved the way people with disabilities do the world would be a much better place, they don't see wrong and they give and show emotions without thought...
Pros
Being able to help provide care to indiiduals that are in much need of it..
Cons
Seeing a person fail and not being able to prevent failer..
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An experience that everybody should have to enrich their knowledge to all sector in the medical field
LPN (Former Employee) –  Tacoma, WAMarch 11, 2014
It begins with a report from the previous shift and that gives the charge nurse what we have to tackle for the shift. Distribution of personnel to vital assignments with appropriate balance for the patient safety In mind. whatever the result, inform the charge nurse and the rest of personnel regarding the decision of assignments.
supervisors are informed whether personnel count is balanced for the acuity of the ward. Safety check should be performed prior accepting from previous shift. Proper participation of all staff when faced with obstacles to tackle the 'HARD PART OF THE JOB"
The most that I consider enjoyable part of the job is when patient's trust is earned and stars to connect where treatment is attainable. Discharge would be next and in sight.
Pros
knowing more people
Cons
some injury
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Intense work environment but quality personnel and leadership
Psychiatric Security Attendant (Former Employee) –  Tacoma, WAMay 21, 2012
my work day involved waking the offenders from their dorm areas, maintaining close observation on those offenders designated for that, medication watch, observing social interaction of offenders, charting behaviors and conversations for court records, minimizing all conflicts through physical restraint procedures. We worked as a team along side RN (shift supervisors) and Psychiatrist. Difficult part of the job was dealing with the assaultive behaviors of offenders. the closeness of the staff and how we supported one another is what i enjoyed because without it people can get seriously injured
Pros
teaches you how to work in a hostile, and intense work environment
Cons
state funding and facilities
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The best place I have ever worked. I hope that I find that satisfaction of a position that I can feel like I really help some one .
Transport driver (Former Employee) –  Hopkinsville, KYOctober 8, 2013
I would be the first to arrive at the office. I didn't have a supervisor title
but I would carry out duties of a supervisor. I have coordinate the runs that would be carried out for that particular day. Carry duties out.
I really learned a lot being in that kind of environment. Most of my co-workers loved and respected,admired me.The residents too.
The hardest part of the job was being the only female to have ever been in that department. The most enjoyable part of my job was taking the residents to their destination to get the service they needed whether it was a doctors appointment or a placement to a personal care homes.
Cons
being able to be out of the facility
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It's where I had my 8 weeks internship. (NO PAY)
CLINICAL ROTATION, HEALTH UNIT COORDINATOR (Former Employee) –  Lakewood, WAFebruary 10, 2014
My typical day was doing the data entry, admitting or discharging patients, filing paperwork in patients charts, getting their mail twice a day. Screen and relay phone calls in a prompt and efficient manner, multi-tasking in a fast paced environment. I was using what I learned in my health unit coordinator program and all co-worker especially my (preceptor) were so patience and helpful in my training. That hardest part is being in the Mental environment, seeing and hearing the patients. It was sad for me, but the enjoyable part is the people I was trained with and the fast paced job which kept me sane.
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Great benefits but cut-throat nursing staff
Nurse (Former Employee) –  Staunton, VANovember 24, 2013
The mental health patients have a legitimate reason for negative and sometimes shocking behavior, but I never expected the same from the staff. Almost everyone there is related in some way and they clan together. A large percentage of staff, especially supervisors (RNs) have been there way too long and have too much control over what happens. If you are a nurse just coming onboard, be very careful. The veteran nurses there are very territorial and two-faced. If you are fresh out of nursing school don't work at WSH, they will eat you alive. If you can handle it, the benefits are awesome.
Pros
great benefits
Cons
hateful nursing staff and gossip
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Comment – January 27, 2014

Ditto on this comment. The long time clique there is some of the most hateful, two-faced, sneaky people I have ever worked with. If you value your nursing license, don't take a risk of working here.

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Fun place to work. Great Co workers.
LPN4 (Former Employee) –  Lakewood, WAAugust 27, 2013
WSH is a wonderful place to work. Each night we completed first rounds checking each patient and our ward for safety issues. We had report with the previous shift and then the RN and I would assign duties to all staff. Once duties were assigned we did hourly checks of the ward. Gave medications as they were needed, made assessments and documented on patients. Monitored patients 1:1 when needed, Obtained vital signs and assisted the lab techs to obtain specimens as needed. Completed assigned tasks and then the RN reported off to the next shift.
Pros
co workers are great. lots of training here.
Cons
usually short staffed
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The people who work at WSH care deeply for the residents and love what they do. It was wonderful to work with dedicated, caring and humourous people
Medical Assistant (Former Employee) –  Lakewood, WAOctober 23, 2011
From the CEO of the Hospital to the Custodians and Cooks, everyone worked to bring healing to the people placed in their care. Sure, there were frustrations with it being a State entity, but those things got worked around too. I'd have to say close to 90% of the employees were long time--18-20+years--employees. That doesn't happen if you're unhappy...
Pros
very flexible schedule
Cons
tons of paperwork
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good insurance
Mental Health Technician (Former Employee) –  Lakewood, WAJanuary 11, 2016
The only good part about working there was the good insurance. Depending on where I was placed to work, some staff were awesome while others were not as much. Working on-call sucked because I would come to work and I would be told that there isn't a spot for me to work at that day. Or I would have to come in for the other shift to work. When I would be put into a spot to work for the shift, I could be changed to different parts of the hospital up to 4 times per shift. It was horrible.
Pros
good insurance
Cons
working on call sucks because of no stability
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It's rough
Patient Aide (Current Employee) –  Hopkinsville, KYApril 7, 2015
This place used to be fun to work at but has quickly plummeted into a gut wrenching pit of dread. It is understaffed with a high census, and that hasn't changed in over a year. You will not advance or get a raise by doing a good job, only used more in bad conditions.
Pros
Some of the patients are great, and the bad conditions will make you the best friends you will ever meet
Cons
You are over worked, underappreciated, and it's very dangerous at times
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LOVE LOVE LOVE
environmental services (Former Employee) –  lakewood, waFebruary 4, 2015
A typical day at work was to clean. Sanitizing, buffing, waxing, stripping, sweeping, mopping, being included in union stuff, I learned a lot at this job like how to use certain equipment, a lot about being around patients, how to strip and re-seal floors, how to wax, buff, etc. I loved working with my co-workers because i absolutely loved my job. no hard parts about this job...well maybe when patients would get in the way of us being able to work. :)
Pros
hours
Cons
nada
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Decent Place
Patient Support Associate (Former Employee) –  Hopkinsville, KYApril 23, 2012
I worked at Western State through a contracting agency called Crown Services. The actual hospital was a decent place to work. Like any job, it had its fair share of problems, but my overall experience was pretty good.

There were oportunities to move within the hospital, raises were fairly given, plenty of opportunities for breaks and every other weekend off. Benefits were fair.

I would definitely recommend applying for a job at this place.
Pros
1-hour lunches, raises, benefits, fun environment
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Working with the team of psychaitrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, Interpreted and translated documents for Farsi-speaking patients
Institutional Counselor II (Former Employee) –  Lakewood, WANovember 3, 2012
Translated all medical, social, family, and legal documents for the entire treatment team at the hospital and courts.Interpreting was also used when the patients were present in sessions.

- Very difficult at times because of the "institutionalized" situation of the hospital.

- Team worked very effectively together
Pros
a toally new environment for me to work in
Cons
not having had enough "safety" backgorund and training in dealing with mentally challenged patients
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learning and wothwhile experience
LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) (Former Employee) –  Lakewood, WAFebruary 25, 2015
Everyday in the work place is an experience. A learning agenda be it considered a not too good of a day, learning from it and try to avoid same error for personal or group. Take every minute important and without a minute wasted. Co-workers are part of the team that their in put and suggestions should be an important solutions if necessary to the accomplishments of the place. The hardest part of the job if there are conflict that are unsolved. Peace and understanding amongst the team.
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It is great to see patients get better and go back into the community.
Community Nurse Specialist (Current Employee) –  Lakewood, WAAugust 5, 2015
I have worked at Western State Hospital for 30 years. You have to love what you do to be here that long. No day is the same. When I worked on the wards the patients behaviors were unpredictable. It made for some pretty "exciting" days.
Pros
Currently make my own schedule
Cons
My retirement benefits do no get any better the longer I stay.
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An interesting place to work.
Warehouse Operator (Former Employee) –  Steilacoom, WADecember 5, 2012
Arrive in the morning, get your work for the day. must be very flexible, Management can be somewhat confusing at times, due to lack of comunication among themselves. Co-workers were like a family. great group of people to work with. Hardest part of the job was the lack of communication. The most enjoyable part was when there was a variety of things on the job.
Pros
steady work
Cons
confusion in management
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Overall rating

3.6
Based on 54 reviews
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