Guidelines for Visitors and Families

Guidelines for Visitors and Families

Patients in a hospital are in a unique situation. They are away from the comforts of home. It may be hard to sleep or concentrate. A patient's state of mind is almost always improved by seeing friends or family members.

In a hospital, patient care comes first and visitors must be mindful not to impede the care of loved ones or their neighbors. Below are some things to remember when visiting a hospital.

Respect Other Patients in a Hospital

  • Use polite language and keep voices at a conversational level.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Do not use phones, video games, radios, or anything that could wake up a sleeping patient.
  • Do not bring in candles, incense, diffusers, room spray, or anything that could produce smells or smoke.
  • Stay out of the way of hospital personnel.
  • Follow visiting hour rules. Intensive care unit and other specialty areas may have different hours.

If the Patient You're Visiting is Sharing a Room with Another Patient

  • Keep voices low.
  • If the other patient is sleeping, please respect their recovery. Whisper or take conversations outside of the room.
  • Keep the television at a quiet volume.
  • Do not discuss medical conditions or other private matters.
  • Do not touch equipment or move curtains unless directed by a nurse.
  • Keep groups small; schedule different times of the day if a large group of people would like to visit. Two to four people should be the maximum number of people visiting at once.

Help to Keep Patients Safe

  • If you feel sick, have a cough or fever, please do not visit the hospital.
  • To prevent the spread of germs, wash hands or use hand sanitizer when entering and when leaving the room. Hand sanitizer dispensers are located in every patient's room and in the hospital corridors.
  • Ask a nurse to help move a patient if they are uncomfortable or need help.
  • Do not bring food to a patient without first checking with a nurse.
  • Never give a patient medications (over-the-counter or otherwise). If you have a question about medications, please ask a nurse.
  • Do not leave valuables with patients.
  • Don't rearrange furniture or move or adjust equipment.

Visiting a patient can be an important part of their recovery. Please help keep it a satisfying experience for all patients at the hospital. Refer to a nurse for any other questions or concerns.