Hello World! Welcome Friends! At some point we will all probably find ourselves visiting a loved one in the hospital. Although when you’re the visitor you’re arguably the lucky one, taking a trip to the hospital can still be a daunting prospect. From the individual wards rules and regulations to accommodating the patient’s needs and remembering to put them first; there’s a lot to think about before you pull up in the hospital carpark, with flowers and gifts in tow.
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When visiting a loved one in the hospital, it’s important to be sensitive to the patient’s needs. There can be a myriad of reasons for a hospital stay. So, it is best to be as prepared as possible.
Personal injury claims solicitors Slater and Gordon want to make sure that visiting a loved one while they’re in the hospital is as easy as possible and that you know exactly what you should do and prepare for depending on the individual patient. Therefore we want to hear your ultimate tips. Maybe you’ve been a patient yourself so you know first hand exactly what works and what doesn’t. Or maybe you’ve had a loved one in hospital and have picked up some tips that helped make your visits to them as special as possible.
Here are some wonderful hospital etiquette tips:
BEFORE THE VISIT:
1. Call to ask permission. Showing up unannounced would be rude and perhaps a waste of time if the patient is otherwise engaged with a doctor, other friends, or sleeping.
2. Confirm all plans with the hospital. The doctor and the hospital have the final word about whether you can visit. Call the nurses’ station and speak to the person handling the patient’s care to confirm what’s appropriate when visiting. Considerations include:
- What times during the day are best? Most hospitals have set visiting hours and times when certain activities take place daily, such as shift changes. You do not want to waste a trip or be sitting around for a long time.
- Are there any special instructions to keep in mind during the visit?
- Are children allowed and at what age are they permitted? What about bringing the patient’s pet—not your pet, of course! Most hospitals do not allow pets to visit; however, rehab and other facilities often do. It will not hurt to ask.
3. Plan to bring a gift. A few ideas include:
- A hand-made or personalized get well card.
- Silk flowers or a small potted plant that will last longer through recovery, instead of fresh cut flowers
- A book or magazine the patient would enjoy reading
- Balloons if you know the patient will enjoy them and is not allergic to the rubber in most solid color balloons, which is latex. When in doubt, bring Mylar balloons
- Fun puzzle or activity books are usually my first choice of a gift. I head to the children’s department to find an easy activity book the patient will be able to finish with pride, versus becoming frustrated over something more complex.
- Food and drink, prepared favorite foods, chocolates, and other sweet or savory items, but only when you know the patient will be permitted to eat and enjoy them.
- Photos of recent activities the patient may have missed attending. Your phone or electronic devices make this so easy to do.
- An electronic device, such as an iPad, on which the patient can enjoy viewing items on the Internet, playing games, checking email, and downloading music. This would be my best “play toy.”
- Clothing and other room decorations, such as a nicer nightgown than the hospital provides, a cardigan sweater to stay warm, easy slip on and off slippers, or small colorful blanket to brighten up the bed.
- If the room has a DVD player, give or lend the patient a few DVDs to help pass the day. Being in a hospital with nothing to do, day after day, is no fun.
From knowing what gifts you can and can’t take to being aware of how much time you spend by the bedside, preparation and a little research is key to a successful hospital visit that will hopefully leave both you and the patient feeling more upbeat.
Be sure to leave a comment and use #HospitalHelpingHand to get the dialogue started and share your visiting tips.
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Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day/night depending on where you are in the world! Go with God and remember to be kind to one another!