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Medical Clearance for Psychiatric Care

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 31, 2022.

What is medical clearance for psychiatric care?

Medical clearance for psychiatric care is a medical exam to make sure that a patient's psychiatric symptoms are not caused by a medical condition. Psychiatric symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations may be caused or made worse by medicine or a physical illness. Healthcare providers will provide any necessary treatment so that the patient may be safely transferred to a psychiatric facility. Talk to the patient's healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about the patient's condition or care.

What tests may be needed to medically clear a patient for psychiatric care?

The healthcare provider will ask if the patient takes medicine or has a history of psychiatric or health conditions. The provider will ask the patient about his or her symptoms and when they began. The patient may need any of the following:

  • A mental exam checks the patient's awareness and memory. The healthcare provider will ask the patient if he or she knows his or her name, his or her location, and the date.
  • A neurological exam checks the patient's vision, sensation, reflexes, and muscle function.
  • An EKG records the patient's heart rhythm to make sure it is safe to transfer him.
  • Blood and urine tests check for infection, test kidney function, or get information about the patient's overall health.
  • An x-ray takes pictures of the patient's chest to check for infection or fluid in the lungs.
  • A CT scan , or CAT scan, is a type of x-ray that uses a computer to take pictures of the patient's head. The scan checks for fluid or a tumor. The patient may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help healthcare providers see the pictures better. Tell the healthcare provider if the patient has ever had a reaction to contrast dye.

Care Agreement

Patients have the right to help plan their care. To help with this plan, patients must learn about their health condition, how it may be treated, and when psychiatric care is needed. Treatment options should be discussed with healthcare providers. Patients and healthcare providers can work together to decide what care may be best. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.