Hospital visitor tips and rules

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Tips for visiting in the hospital

Rest is important to patients in the hospitals -- but so are brief and supportive visits by friends and family.

Here are some tips to help your visit be everything your patient needs and wants.

  • Before you come to the hospital, ask the unit nurse if your patient's unit has visiting restrictions.
  • Phone ahead to ask the patient if he or she feels up to visitors, then say what time you plan to arrive.
  • Before entering the hospital room, knock and ask permission to enter the room. The patient may be in the midst of a personal conversation or treatment requiring privacy.
  • Do not sit on the patient's bed unless he or she invites you to do so, and never sit on an unoccupied hospital bed.
  • Keep the conversation positive and supportive. If you're upbeat, you'll help the patient to be upbeat about his or her course of treatment.
  • Focus on the patient's thoughts, feelings and concerns, not your own.
  • If a doctor or nurse comes into the room while you're visiting, excuse yourself and step out of the room to allow the patient the privacy to ask personal questions.
  • Keep your visit brief, no more than 30 minutes - unless the patient wants you to stay longer.
  • If your patient isn't receiving visitors, consider sending a cheery card instead.
  • Before sending flowers, ask the unit nurse if your patient may receive them. Patients with respiratory problems often should not have flowers in their room.
  • Stay home if you have a cold or flu. Even the most minor illness can risk the health of a hospital patients.
  • Remember: For the better health of our patients, visitors and employees Via Christi Hospitals are tobacco-free, inside and out. Please refrain from smoking anywhere on our grounds, including on sidewalks and curbs or in parking areas. 
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