How To Not Be Obnoxious During Hospital Visitation

Bad Visitor

Unfortunately, my mother’s health over the past month has granted me the opportunity to spend some extended hours in hospital waiting rooms and in hospital room makeshift beds. While I am pleased to report that my mother is doing so much better physically, the incessant beeping from various machines, the uncomfortable accommodations, and the lack of sleep have caused me to reevaluate my own hospital visitation practices and to therefore create the following hospital visitation tips that may help well meaning people from becoming unknowingly obnoxious during their visit.

5 Hospital Visitation Tips

  1. Don’t make the hospital visit about you. Some people are so uncomfortable when they visit, the patient or family feel as if they have to comfort them instead of the other way around.
  2. Pray. Unless absolutely prohibited in some way, pray with the patient. If you can’t because of hospital staff or family, then pray briefly for the patient as you are leaving the hospital. Some people say that the least they can do is pray. Honestly, it’s really the most.
  3. Observe door etiquette. If the door is closed when you arrive, close it when you leave. People who have lived in the country understand that if a gate is closed and you open it to go through, it’s considerate to close it behind you. If it is open when you arrive, leave it that way as you go through. The same is true of the hospital room door. Often, the patient or family has the door open or closed for a reason.
  4. Don’t talk about what you just had to eat. Many hospital patients are not able to consume liquid or solid foods or may be somewhere in between. Some patients may have been fasting in preparing for a procedure. Others are recovering from surgery and the sight, smell, or mention of certain foods make them nauseous. Unless they bring it up, don’t talk about food.
  5. Let sleeping patients lie. Because of constant interruptions, incessant machine noises, and routine checks from the RN, LVN, CNA, PT or (amazingly enough) the MD, It is incredibly hard to sleep in the hospital. Therefore, when visiting someone in the hospital who is asleep and who does not wake up when you enter the room, let them sleep. Instead, pray over them and ask God to help them rest and recover, and then consider leaving them a handwritten note or at least a business card.

Believe it or not, it is good for people to visit others when they are sick and believe it or not, most of them do appreciate your visit. However, using simple etiquette can help your visit be more beneficial than harmful.

If you can think of other tips, please comment below.


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