How to Be a Good Hospital Visitor

When a friend or family member is in the hospital, you should run right over to see them. Right? 
Well, maybe not so fast..there are some simple do's and don'ts you should consider first. 

Mary Bambu has spent a lot of time in the hospital. Her daughter keeps an eye on her mom's visitors. "If they get too loud or out of hand,I just say I think she needs some rest."

Mary Ann's right, you should limit your visits...and if kids are coming, make sure they know the rules: they shouldn't be running up and down the hallways. They should be confined into the room with you and under your eye.

With or without kids, here's a "to do" list for visitors: 

  • Ask before you bring flowers or treats.
  • Many hospital patients are on restricted diets.
  • Once you're there, knock before you enter. It's a common courtesy.
  • Make sure you wash your hands on the way in and on the way out. It can decrease your chances of picking up or passing along a bug.
  • And most importantly stay positive: Your attitude is very important, don't come in with gloom and doom.

On the "don't" list:

  • Avoid heavy perfumes. They can trigger allergies or headaches. 
  • Don't overdo the get well gestures. Too many flowers and balloons can clog up important work space.
  • Stay off the bed, there may be tubes you can't see.
  • And don't pry about the medical details. Privacy laws protect the patient, even from well meaning friends and family.

One last thing, don't assume there will be a place to smoke. More and more hospitals are going smoke-free, indoors and out.

A little consideration and some  planning can make a hospital visit relaxing and enjoyable for the patient and visitor.