A simple guide to visiting someone in hospital

Visiting a friend or relative in hospital can sometimes be a bit of an awkward situation. Should I or shouldn’t I go? Do I take a get well gift? How long should I stay for? What should I say? These are all things that cross many of our minds, but in reality we probably think way too much into the matter. For some of us, visiting people in hospital is a big no! Whether it be the distinct smell of the building, the queasy feeling at the sight of a needle or even a past experience. These are just some of the reasons that prevent many of us from paying a visit to the hospital.

Whether you’re happy to visit someone in hospital or if you find the situation slightly awkward, we thought we’d put together a simple guide which will hopefully help with some of them tricky questions on our mind.

How long should I stay for?

Is half an hour outstaying my welcome or is that not long enough? Possibly one of the biggest conundrums that we think about when visiting a loved one in hospital. The first port of call would be to check visiting times as not every ward in the hospital will be the same. Perhaps you could consider trying to speak to a member of staff to see what the best times are to visit. Staff members will normally wear promotional branded clothing with the hospital’s branding on. This should make it easier for people to spot employees. Once you checked visiting hours it may be a good idea to try and find out if anyone else is visiting around them at the same time. In case only one or two people are allowed to visit at a time, you may be asked to wait in a common area. If that’s the case, and the wait turns out to be longer than expected, then see if the hospital has implemented some waiting room ideas such as free wifi or charging stations, snacks, etc. This may help make your wait easier. It is prudent to actually wait for your turn to visit the patient. The last thing you want is a crowd of people around the bed or even being turned away by a member of staff.

Should I take a gift?

There might be various patient entertainment systems in place but still getting a gift or two might change the patient’s whole mood. The obvious old-fashioned gifts of flowers or a bunch of grapes don’t seem to be as popular anymore, which doesn’t leave us with a great range of choices. If the person you’re visiting is a new mum, why not think outside the box and get something practical or memorable? A new born will go through endless amounts of nappies, creams and baby wipes so why not pick up a supply of these? Although it may not seem a great amount, they’re things that will be needed once that baby is settled in at home.

What should I say?

If you find yourself spending a day or two in hospital, it could be for endless reasons. Whether you’re visiting someone who’s just had an operation or an embarrassing accident at work, no patient will cope with it in the same. Let’s take someone who’s had an accident at work for example. Although it may not have been their fault, they may find the issue rather embarrassing and are worried how their employer will react. Try and reassure them and maybe recommend they speak to a professional, like someone from Slater & Gordon Lawyers who can give them the advice they need and talk them through the next steps after leaving hospital.

After all, they need to focus on recovering not have the worry of what work will think on top of that.

Unless you really don’t like visiting someone in hospital, it shouldn’t be something we stress over. Hopefully this simple guide will give you the reassurance you need and make visiting someone in hospital that little bit easier.