5 things to do when you visit someone in hospital

You may have at one point in your life visited a friend in hospital or even been admitted and had visitors come to cheer you up.

Hospital visits aren’t always easy, especially if you’re not sure what to do or say.

There are many reasons why it is important for you to follow certain rules in hospital premises – chief among them being the well-being of your patient.

Here are a few tips to guide you the next time you visit a patient in hospital.

1. Call first

It is advisable to call first to make sure visitors are allowed.

The person you want to see may not be well enough to see anyone at the time. Most patients value their privacy and may not want to be seen hooked up to machines and drainage tubes or when they are scantily dressed.

2. Knock first

If the patient’s door is closed, knock and wait for permission to enter. The patient could be asleep or they could be undergoing a medical procedure. Follow any notice signs, instructions and precautions that may be put on the door.

3. Keep your visit brief

When one is admitted in a hospital, they are likely to get a lot of visitors in a single day. Although your visit is well meaning, the patient is likely to tire easily but may be too polite to ask you to leave.

It is also important to observe the hospital’s visiting hours.

4. Don’t ask too many questions


Don’t ask too many questions from the patient about their disease or test results. If the patient wants you to know, he or she will tell you. Otherwise, this can seem too personal and very invasive of the patient’s privacy.

It is equally important not to burden the patient with too much information. If there is any bad news at home or work, do not relay it unless you are sure that it is absolutely necessary and you are the right person to do it since the patient may not well enough to cope with such information.

5. Don’t be a ‘know- it- all’

woman-doctor consulting

As a relative, it can be emotional and stressful to see your loved one in pain or discomfort. It is however important to be to be pleasant, calm and patient whenever you discuss the patient’s issues with the medical staff. You need to realize that the staff will not divulge confidential information and that there are limits to what you can ask to be done.

Avoid trying to tell them what to do or not adhering to their requests. It can make the entire ordeal worse for the patient than it could be if they’re associated with a difficult relative.

Also, don’t touch any medical equipment. This includes tubes, monitors, and the any machines that the patient is using.


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