I worked at Laurel Oaks (LO) in various positions for three years. Most of my experience in that time period was positive. I felt that I was being listen to (at times) and they were flexible with me. Recently, I was fired due to failing mystery shopper-style phone calls because it meant that I was a financial liability because we could lose patients ($$$ -even though the beds were always full). I was only given one write-up. At that time, I asked specifically how the calls could affect my employment. I was told to take it easy, that I should not worry, that "nothing" will happen (well... what a surprise I had). I failed a call and they kicked me out the door. Nothing else mattered. Before this event, my time at LO was clean, no write-ups, not even verbal warnings or wrongdoing from my part.
LO is a good place to work if you are working on the administrative side (finance, HR, Risk Management). On the other hand, it is the clinical side (nursing, intake, therapy) the one that is the most chaotic. There is no evidence-based treatment (EBT) program for the units.
A major problem is the huge turnover rate on every level (this is a rural area; at some point you will run out of people to hire). There can be a thousand reasons as to why this is high (I know that one of the reasons is “burnout”). Yes, this is a psychiatric hospital so most of the positions are high stress occupations. People must reach a limit; they cannot be working all the time. It is difficult to get a lunch (or eat for that matter), work 16-hour shift and stay over, etc.
Senior management appears not to care as long as work gets done or looks good on paper.
I do not bear ill feelings toward LO because most of it was positive. My background and training are in inpatient units, therefore it is my strongest of beliefs that the reason for my termination was BEYOND stupid. If you are considering working at LO, if you are empathic, authentic and genuine, you can manage stress and you will gain valuable
Pros: there are some very dedicated staff that go above and beyond to make sure that the kids are getting the right treatment. When visitors come in they are always impressed with the pretty wall art and how clean everything is. Kids there get good treatment. The units are well maintained. Cons: The CEO is unfriendly. Therapists, nursing, and dietary are the best departments. The school is ran by a lady who is mad or crying a lot, the classrooms are dirty. Pay is average for area.