#270 – Guidelines for Hospital Visits

auntie stress hospital
Image courtesy of Pam Roth
  1. The hospital is not a playground. Running in the hallways could be dangerous - for yourself or a patient. A mid-hall collision could result in a stab, a spill of who knows what type of fluid or a fall.
  2. Often, there's a sign restricting how many visitors a patient can have at any one time. In case there is an emergency, staff members need room to maneuver - stat! Too many visitors can overwhelm the patient you are visiting and disturb the patients in the other beds.
  3. If friends and family members are visiting, see if you can stagger your visits.
  4. Respect that other patients in the room may be feeling poorly; conduct yourself accordingly.
  5. Please teach your children to be quiet in the hallways.
  6. Children can be tiring or in their exuberance, accidentally cause more injury. Please check with the patient before bringing them.
  7. "Inside voices" for adults, too!
  8. Strong perfume or cologne is nauseating, particularly when mixed with hospital smells. Medications may also impact one's ability to tolerate different scents. Many hospitals now have a policy requesting that you refrain from wearing it.
  9. Initially, shorter visits are better than longer ones. Check with the patient.
  10. Don't tell "horror stories" about other people's deaths or infections.
  11. If someone is awaiting surgery, keep the talk light and upbeat. Do what you can to mitigate the stress.
  12. If you're comfortable doing-so, offer to bring soap and water to the bedside to help the patient wash up. It seems that this service is often overlooked.
  13. "Do you need anything from home?"
  14. One's attention span isn't great post-surgery. War and peace - out! Light reading and magazines - in!
  15. A visit during meal times may be welcomed. Check first.
  16. Fresh, nourishing food is always welcome. Check to see if a craving arises.
  17. One of the best things my husband brought me was a "great" cup of coffee. Can you guess from where it came?
  18. A new tube of lip balm makes a great, inexpensive gift.
  19. A caring touch goes a long way in such a sterile environment.
  20. Pay attention to the energy level of the patient. If you notice that they're tiring or struggling to manage the pain, consider shortening your visit.
  21. Sometimes, you may need to advocate on behalf of the patient. Again, check with the patient.

2 Replies to “#270 – Guidelines for Hospital Visits”

  1. Our hospitals are turning back the clock and restricting visiting times, with only two visitors to a bed at any one time. We are discouraged from bringing gifts of flowers and food.

    1. Was it getting out of hand? That’s too bad re. the food. Here, I swear the hospital food is designed to get you well, quickly, so that you can get home and eat properly. 🙂

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