What Is a General Hospital?

general hospital

General hospital is a television series about a fictional, American hospital. It is a daytime drama that has been running for over 60 years, making it one of the longest-running scripted dramas in history. The show stars Genie Francis, Finola Hughes, Kirsten Storms, Kelly Monaco, Rebecca Herbst, Kirsten Kane, David Lewis, Laura Wright, Donnell Turner, and more. The show is known for its trailblazing storylines that highlight health and social issues, often ahead of their time, including HIV/AIDS awareness, tolerance and understanding for the LGBTQIA community, mental health advocacy, and civil rights.

A general hospital is a health care facility that admits patients with all types of medical and surgical conditions who need short-term, acute care. It has an organized medical staff, a professional staff of other health providers (such as nurses, technicians and dietitians), and basic diagnostic equipment. The hospital may be a large, academic health facility or small, community-based entity.

In the United States, there are many kinds of general hospitals, ranging from large, academic health facilities to smaller, community-based entities. Each has a legal governing body, which establishes policy, appoints the medical and nursing staff, and exercises control over expenditures to ensure financial integrity.

General hospitals evolved from the old asylums of the nineteenth century, which were designed to house and treat psychiatric patients with long-stay stays. The hospital structure and culture encouraged categorization of illnesses, physical treatment approaches, and reliance on medical and nursing staff.

Today, most of the country’s larger general hospitals have a psychiatric unit. Some of these units are large, full-service psychiatric hospitals that provide the full spectrum of care to those with mental illness. Other psychiatric units are part of a general hospital, and they may serve more specialized populations or provide less extensive services.

Historically, psychiatric services were not given the priority of other medical specialties when it came to budget allocations. This resulted in a low allocation of funds for psychiatry, especially in the early days of general hospital psychiatry.

During the 1970s, the need for expansion on Hospital Hill became obvious. The original hospital building, with its narrow wings, high ceilings and tightly grouped support columns, proved to be impractical. It was razed in the spring of 1991.