Getting admitted into a hospital can be a nerve-wracking experience for the patient. Oftentimes, visitations might be limited and patient may start to resent their stay at the hospital.
There are certain protocols of visitations that you must adhere to. Some of these are even explicitly mentioned to you by the hospital staff when visiting a patient, but others are unwritten rules that we’ll tell you about.
Reading the article below, you will gain an understanding of the dos and don’ts of visiting someone at the hospital.
Therefore, if you have to visit a patient who is hospitalized for some reason, you must follow the safety protocols, not only for the patient’s safety but also for that of your own and others at the hospital.
Although visitations can help the patient with recovery, they can also cause physical, mental, or emotional harm to the patient if you throw caution to the wind in not properly following the safety precautions.
Under such circumstances, you could even introduce germs from the outside into the sterilized hospital environment, endangering the patient’s health and your own.
Health Safety Tips for the Hospital Visitors
Every hospital has its safety protocols for patient visitations. For your convenience, we have included some tips on keeping yourself and the patient safe during your hospital visit.
You can always reach out to a nurse for any further clarifications regarding the safety protocols. The medical staff is trained in patient health and hygiene, so they can guide you well on how to take precautionary measures.
Nurses guide people on hospital protocols as well, along with their other responsibilities. Credentialed in the science of nursing, in degree programs like the master of science in nursing online, they can help you steer clear of protocol violations on your visit.
Moving on, here are some of the health and safety tips that you should abide by on your hospital visit:
Avoid visiting when ill
If you are experiencing any potentially contagious symptoms, avoid going to the hospital altogether. Postpone your visit until you have recovered for the safety of the patient and the hospital staff.
In addition, hospitalized patients are more prone to infections than other patients. Avoid going if you have a cold, are sneezing, have a rash or diarrhea.
Consider calling in at the hospital or send a well-wishing letter or card for the patient’s health. You can also send a mutual friend and deliver your regards and wishes for health through them. Always call the hospital before your visit during a flu season. Hospitals usually limit visitations to spouses and close relatives only.
Ask for permission before planning a visit
Don’t visit until the patient consents to your visit. You should ask them to be candid and whether if you could visit them later at home. Certain patients don’t enjoy being around too many visitors and you should respect their decisions.
Find out the best time to visit. Make sure the patient has consented to your company and ask the immediate family for permission as well. Try not to overwhelm the patient with too many guests. Confirm the facility’s visiting policies, especially those for specialized facilities, like the intensive care unit (ICU), and abide by them.
Wash before your visit
Wash your hands before you go and visit a patient at a hospital. You can use the alcohol-based sanitizer attached to hospital walls before entering the patient’s room.
Also, consult the hospital staff and ask if there are any special instructions for interacting with the patients.
Finally, when done with the visitation, don’t forget to clean your hands after leaving the patient’s room. Simply, wash or sanitize your hands again. There are many sources of infection, and pathogens can survive on surfaces for days. Don’t take any chances in adhering to the cleanliness and sterilization protocols.
Ask if bringing gifts is allowed
Verify with the hospital staff if you could bring balloons or bouquets for the patient. You should take precaution in bringing anything and ask if the patient has any allergies you are not aware of.
Latex rubber, which most solid color balloons are made of, might cause allergic reactions in some people.
Visit only for a short time
Your visitation time depends on your close relation with the patient. But if you’re visiting a work colleague or someone who is not family, make sure you keep it brief. Just stopping by and inquiring the patient about his health can be enough for the patient and their family, and there’s no need to prolong your visit unnecessarily.
A prolonged stay might wear and tire the patient out. Don’t exceed visitations for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Give the patient, doctor, and staff some space
The staff may have to ask you leave when they want to move forward with care and administer medicine. But if they are just monitoring or checking up on the patient, they might leave you to it.
On the other hand, if the doctor visits the patient to examine and speak with them, make sure you’re out of the room to let the patient and doctor discuss the details of how well the recovery is going.
You can stay only if you are a parent, spouse, or a close relative to the patient.
Let the staff know immediately if you feel anything unusual about the patient’s health
You should immediately let the staff know if the patient’s health starts deteriorating in the middle of your interaction. Make sure you tell them what happened or if what you were talking about caused the patient to have a reaction. Leave out no details as that could be instrumental for the staff in pinpointing the cause and administering the right course of action.
When visiting someone at the hospital, you should take extra precautions, so your visit doesn’t bring any ill to the patient or yourself. Visitations help patient with their mood, which can enhance recovery. But make sure that your visit doesn’t cause more harm than good.