Western State Hospital

Western State Hospital Employee Reviews

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Enjoyed working there
Certified Nurse Assistant (Former Employee) –  Hopkinsville, KYAugust 24, 2016
Enjoyed working there and want to go back. Left due to illness. employees and leadership was fun to work with. Learned a lot in a little time and enjoyed working with my patients.
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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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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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Internship
Internship Medical Office/ Medical Records (Former Employee) –  Tacoma, WAMay 21, 2015
I enjoyed working in the Admitting ward as a Medical office intern and also the Health Information Management applying what I learned in my studies Tacoma Community College.
Pros
State Benefits
Cons
short lunches, dangerous environment working with the patients
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loved this job
Social Worker I (Former Employee) –  Hopkinsville, KY 42240August 10, 2016
I loved the job working with Mental Health patients. They treated me like their family instead of just someone who worked there! I would recommend this place to anyone!
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They need to improve
Recreation and Athletics Specialist (Current Employee) –  Lakewood, WashingtonSeptember 16, 2015
The state needs to spend more money on mental health. There are too many cooks in the kitchen. Respect is hard to come by. The union is strong, breaks are good, benifits are good.
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Summary
PHYCE AIDE (Former Employee) –  Staunton, VAJanuary 26, 2015
PNA - physic aide
charting, one on one with patients
My job her was to assist patients with their daily routine, doctor appointments, transferring patients to physical therapy. Going on trips with the patients, assisting in groups/ classes
And TOVA if needed, for patients that had to be restrained, to not harm themselves other patients or staff
Pros
Good state benefits
Cons
Dangerous job
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WSH has been an invaluable experience
Psychiatric Nursing Assistant (Current Employee) –  Staunton, VAFebruary 23, 2016
A typical day for me at Western State Hospital includes serving the clients breakfast and then assisting them with ADL's before escorting them to their groups for the morning. Once the clients return at 11 lunch is then served. The clients then go to groups for the afternoon and return around 3pm. Sometimes I take clients to their appointments if indicated. My coworkers and I work as a team to accomplish our assignments. Working as a team facilitates our daily tasks. The hardest part of this job is trying to help the clients when they are uncooperative. The best part of the job is seeing the clients get discharged because they are now ready to be back in their community. Working at WSH has taught me more about mental health and how important it is.
Pros
Health insurance
Cons
Getting mandated excessively
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Fun and helpful place
Information Support Specialist (Current Employee) –  Hopkinsville, KYOctober 29, 2014
I love working here and learning about mental illnesses and disorders. I've learned much about these areas.

The hardest part of the job is my hours and the benefits or the lack of benefits and advancement.
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Good place to work
Registered Nurse, Center for Forensics (Current Employee) –  Steilacoom, WAMay 1, 2015
Overall is a good place to work for psychiatric nursing experience in an inpatient facility . Good benefits and retirement. May be difficult at times with patients but is fulfilling to help with this population.
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Good workplace but can get stressful at times...
PNA (Current Employee) –  Staunton, VAJuly 16, 2013
Good job but doesn't pay enough I think. As a full-time employee you get excellent medical benefits. The only problem I would say is controlling RNs. Can make the day at work extra stressful in a environment that can already be tense.
Pros
Working with the patients
Cons
Staff and pay
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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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Very challenging
LPN (Current Employee) –  Staunton, VAJuly 9, 2013
There is NO typical day. You never know how the mentally ill clients will be from one day to the next. Always a chance for physical aggression towards self, peers, and staff.
Pros
Good state benefits
Cons
Can be stressfull.
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Great
Externship (Former Employee) –  Steilacoom, WAJanuary 6, 2014
Good people, great place to work and learn. Have good benefits if you become an employee. Feel very safe and able to talk to superiors about anything.
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Dangerous workplace
LPN 1 (Former Employee) –  Fort Steillacoom, WAJune 24, 2012
Daily work environment and hazardous patients in not-so well-supervised environment compensates to the employment benefits.
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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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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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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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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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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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Overall rating

3.6
Based on 73 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
3.5
Compensation/Benefits
3.7
Job Security/Advancement
3.4
Management
3.2
Culture
3.5