When it comes to visiting patients in a hospital, even the most mannered one of us finds himself/ herself at a loss. It’s another thing to meet an ailing person at his/her house, but completely different to pay a visit in the hospital. Sometimes, even with best intentions at heart, we fail to please the patient. This is because many of us are still lacking the good bed-side manners. In case you want to explore proper etiquette for visiting hospital patients, the do’s and don’ts given here are what you should keep in mind.
Etiquette Tips For Hospital Visits
Wear Proper Clothing
When you are visiting a patient, remember the reason while dressing up as well. Never ever wear flashy or gaudy clothes to the hospital. Rather, you should dress up in comfortable, plain-colored clothes, in colors that are soothing to the eyes. Use minimal or no makeup and no perfumes please!
Follow Visiting Hours
As soon as people hear about a friend or relative being at hospital, they rush to it without realizing that they might be disturbing the patient. Before paying a visit to the hospital, make yourself aware of the official visiting hours. At the same time, always inform either the patient or his/her relatives about your visit.
Bring a Suitable Present
Flowers and books are the usual gifts that people bring for patients. However, you need to be sure that the gift is suitable as well. For instance, it’s improper to gift a book to a person who recently have gone through eye-operation or flowers to a person who is allergic to pollen. While choosing the gift, keep in mind the occasion and likes-dislikes of the patient.
Avoid Taking Eatables
Most of the hospitals provide food for the patients and it’s not suitable to take along any eatables. As it is, generally, the patients are kept on special diet and interfering with that may harm the patient. However, you might ask the doctor if it is okay for you to bring fruits the next time.
Always Be Ready To Help
You are visiting a patient, who has undergone great discomfort in the recent past and might be under great pain right now also. So, be ready for a little discomfort. You should also show your eagerness to be of help. Ask if you could help the patients or his/her family members in any way, but don’t stress too much.
Don’t Talk Or Laugh Loudly
It’s good that you try to take out the gloom from the, otherwise, depressive hospital atmosphere, say by cracking a subtle joke. However, talking and laughing as if you’re in a party is not acceptable. You may even end up disturbing the other patients. You should talk in a low, but audible voice.
Prepare the Conversation
If you’re visiting someone you don't know too well, prepare the topics of conversation beforehand. Weave the conversation around safe topic, like games, entertainment, etc. If you’re visiting a colleague, avoid talking about work as it may stress them. Also, avoid talking about parties or the fun he/she is missing.
Talk About Positive Things
Generally, the hospital environment is full of gloom. Try to lift up the depressing environment by talking about positive things. Instead of ranting on, listen to the patient if they want to describe his/her woes and pains. Act sympathetic and tolerant and try to cheer him/her up.
No “Favorite” Doctor Suggestion
Don’t deter the faith of the patient in his/her doctor. It’s not ethical on your part and neither is it advisable. You entitled to make a suggestion only if the patient specifically expresses his/her wish to change the existing one.
Don’t Stay Too Long
Patients are in hospital because they are ill, so they are prone to get tired easily. Therefore, take the cue and don’t stay long. Five to ten minutes are generally enough. However, if it’s a near relative or close friend, you can stay longer.
No Sitting On Patient’s Bed
Never every on the patient’s bed, while visiting him/her, even if there are no chairs available. Besides cramping the patient, it might also lead to infection and harm him/her.
Avoid Bringing Small Children
Hospital is no place for children. If you have small kids, arrange a babysitter for the time you want to spend at hospital. Avoid taking them to hospital as they are susceptible to germs and might also start acting fussy, thus hampering your visit.