Here are 4 tips when visiting friends at the hospital:
1). You can get sick or you'll get the patient sick. The flu and staph infection are hospital friendly - using hand sanitizer before entering and leaving should be a law. Children and elderly people should avoid visiting friends at the hospital - there's no better place to become sick.
2). Knock on the door and wait. Do not walk right in your friend's room. Patients wear hospital gowns and could be receiving a bath or using the restroom. You want to respect their privacy - let them tell you when to enter the room.
3). Don't stay longer than 10-15 minutes. Your friend is sick and needs rest. A couple of years ago someone griped to me about a church friend who stayed nearly 3 hours talking away. The patient said it was nice he stopped by, but he needed rest and it was exhausting listening to him. The purpose of your visit is to show you care. Your friend probably isn't going to remember what you said, rather that you stopped by.
4). If the doctor comes in, you need to leave. Your friend shouldn't have to ask you to step into the hall to respect her privacy - you should take the initiative. Remember, you're the unexpected visitor - privacy and rest are priorities for patients and you want to respect them.
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