20-40-60 Etiquette: Rx for hospital visit
YOU ASK! WE ANSWER! YOU DECIDE!
QUESTION: Is there such a thing as Hospital Etiquette? My friend recently broke several ribs and was in the hospital for several days. I wanted to go to visit, but was not sure if I should take flowers? Candy? How do you find out the visiting hours?
And should I have gone at all? My mother used to tell me that hospitals were for the sick and visitors should stay home?
CALLIE’S ANSWER: Hospital Etiquette, pick up the phone and call your friend. Tell her you would like to come visit and ask her when is the best time to come. If she does not want visitors, send flowers! If you have ever been in the hospital for more than a day, it gets boring.
Flowers are always wonderful and candy or any food is good as well. We all know hospital food is gross. Every person has a different opinion and each situation is different. Do what you want to do, or what you think is best!
LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: Your mother has a point, but that viewpoint doesn’t always apply. In this case, you wanted to do something to show your friend you cared, and a visit in the hospital would have been a nice way to do that, assuming your friend’s immune system wasn’t weak and that you weren’t sick yourself.
The next time, I’d call the hospital or the family members to find out about visiting hours and if the patient were accepting visitors and go accordingly. Any gesture like flowers, candy or even books and magazines for the patient to read while cooped up also shows your concern for your friend and can cheer up a drab hospital room, although presents are not required.
Remember, you’re there to support your friend, and let her be your guide — if she’s tired, keep your visit short, and if a conversation is what she wants, then enjoy the time spent. Many times a smile and a visit from a caring friend are all that’s needed to brighten a patient’s day.
HELEN’S ANSWER: When my husband was in the hospital recently for a lengthy back operation, three family members dropped by to see if I needed anything and five friends just appeared, in shifts, to sit in the waiting room with me. I didn’t know they were coming, two of them brought lunch, and the other three spent a couple of hours and went on their way. It meant so much to me that someone cared enough to give up their busy lives and just sit around because they knew that I would be anxious and nervous.
When a person is in the hospital, cards, small flower bouquets and candy are always appropriate and the gifts can left at the front desk if visiting is discouraged because the patient is resting or doesn’t feel so good. It is probably best to call the room or the nurses’ station and ask if visitors are welcome. Sometimes a sign posted on the hospital room door will give you a clue as to visitors. If it says “No Visitors”, act accordingly.
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