Centennial Peaks Hospital

Centennial Peaks Hospital
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Everyone Deserves the Finest Health Care!
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Some Chickens in Boulder Have it Better -- Lack of Fresh Air for Non-Smokers

At Centennial Peaks it is hard for non-smokers to get fresh air!

I do not think it is necessary to demonstrate the importance of fresh air and natural sunlight for anyone’s health and particularly for patients with psychiatric challenges. European sanitariums and even the famous MacLean hospital in Massachusetts use nature as healing. However, just as with prison inmates, patients do not have full privileges initially.[1]

Until the patient has seen a doctor, they are not allowed outside to the courtyard with the basketball court. And even so this access is highly limited (once a day it seemed) in comparison with the the number of times in which smokers are permitted outside during the numerous smoke breaks (at least four times, perhaps even more).[2] As a non-smoker with sensitive lungs, if I had not seen a doctor or had missed gym time, I had no other recourse to obtain fresh air except when it is clouded with smoke. As I explained this to a staff member with long smooth dark hair she sharply told me, “You do have a choice.” A choice between no fresh air and polluted air? I also begged staff to permit me a scant two minutes of fresh air before the smokers came in and this was summarily denied.

[1] On the sociology of the psychiatric ward, Erving Goffman,. Asylums: Essays on the social situation of mental patients and other inmates. Aldine Transaction, 1968.)
[2] The frequency of these smoke breaks, far greater than I have witnessed in other impatient units, combined with the unit actually supplying cigarettes is rather curious. It remains shocking that the unit is happy to supply a deadly drug yet as will be seen shortly, will deny me my lithium.

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