Hospital Etiquette


Hospital Etiquette

Everyone goes to hospitals! Be it your own treatment or to visit an ailing family member, friend or a colleague admitted for treatment, there are plenty of reasons to visit the hospital. And this only increases the importance of hospital etiquette or rules. Hospital etiquette affects the patient as well as the visitor and the hospital staff. Hence, it is very important for people to follow some rules to know how to behave in a hospital. These etiquette ensure the safety and well-being of the patients by restricting factors like noise, crowd and pollution in the hospital. Proper hygiene and precautions are very essential for the good health of the patient. Hence, it is significant to follow some rules and behave courteously in the hospital; also, cooperation with the hospital staff is essential. In this article, we have mentioned some of the generic do’s and don’ts of hospital visits to acquaint you with the conduct that is expected of you.

Do’s & Don’ts Of Hospital Visit

The Do’s

    • Take permission of the patient before you go for the visit. If they can’t meet you for any reason then politely inquire if another day might be better or would they prefer if you met them at their home. Some patients like the visitors while some don’t, so make sure you ask the patient beforehand.
    • Wash your hands properly and sanitize them before you go close to the patient to shake hands or to give something. Proper hygiene and sanitation is vital for quick recovery of the patient.
    • Keep your phone silent as the loud voice of your phone can disturb your patient as well as the other patients. Not only can this be a reason of irritation for them, the rays can also cause a lot of harm.
    • Remain in the hospital for a short time only as your long stay can make the patient tired. Stay there for not more than half an hour; this would make the patient feel good about your visit and they can also get their complete rest. If you want, you can go to meet again.
    • Do knock before entering the room and also notice signs, instructions and precautions mentioned on the door.
    • Excuse yourself politely when the doctors or the nurses come to examine or talk with the patient; stay there only if you are requested.
    • If possible, inform the Pastoral Care Department about your visit to the patient to make sure that the patient is not taking rest or undergoing some tests or check-ups.
    • If you want to know about the condition of the patient in detail, you can consult the hospital staff or the family member.
    • Wear simple and tidy clothes at the time of visiting the patient.
    • If you are taking flowers with you then make sure that the patient is not allergic to them.

The Don’ts

    • If you have any illness which might be infectious, like a viral fever or cold, then do not visit the patient. You might just make the patient’s health worse by passing your disease on.
    • Don’t take small children in the hospital unless it is very important. Also, make sure that hospital in question permits small children or not. There might be certain hospitals that do not allow children in some wards or departments; do check for that also.
    • Don’t take eatables without asking the family members of the patient or the hospital staff. As it is patients may not like to eat much while hospitalized and moreover, people suffering with severe diseases are kept on special diets.
    • If there is any conflict between you and the patient then don’t visit the patient because it can annoy or disturb them creating a situation of mental stress.
    • Don’t talk or laugh loudly as it may disturb the silence of the hospital and can be problematic for your patient as well as the others.
    • Don’t smoke or drink before going to visit the patient because this can disturb the patient and can cause a difficult situation. If the patient likes to smoke or drink then he/she can start craving for it and that situation might be very tough to handle.
    • Don’t sit on the bed of the patient and also don’t touch the equipment which is there in the room.
    • Don’t talk about the sad and unpleasant news in front of the patient as it may be stressful and traumatic. It can also hinder the pace of recovery.
    • Don’t wear any kind of fragrances including the perfume and deodorant because a strong odor can be nauseous and can make the patient uncomfortable. It can also cause severe headache, vomiting sensation, etc.
    • If the patient is feeling sleepy while you are sitting there then let him/her take rest and quietly move out from there.
    • Do not start any kind of discussion in the hospital and maintain the silence.
    • Don’t ask too many questions from the patient about their disease and avoid giving suggestions about what doctor should do or not. Always remember that the doctor who is examining the patient is experienced and holds a degree.
    • If the patient is sleeping then don’t wake them up without the permission of the nurse and also don’t help the patient get out of the bed; make them sit or give food or water only after consulting the doctor or the nurse.

There are many reasons why it is important to follow certain rules in hospital premises; the chief among them being the well-being of your patient. Of course, decorum of the place and the general discipline are also factors for which these rules are in place. Whatever be the main reason for you, remember to be at your best behaviour in the hospital. That’s what responsible citizens do; don’t they?