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Hospital Etiquette for Patients and Visitors

What should I know when visiting hospital?

There are some very easy ways that you can get involved in keeping our facilities safe, including understanding when you should and shouldn’t visit, ensuring you are following the basic rules of hand hygiene and following respiratory etiquette.

Often our natural defences are weakened when we are not well, or after an operation. It is important to take this into consideration if you are a patient of a facility, or visiting a patient of a facility.

You should always adhere to the directions of the facility and health care workers. It is important we all work together to protect loved ones and the health care workers within our facilities.

Visiting when you are unwell

It is your responsibility to recognise when you think you are getting sick, and consider the impact this might have on the people you come in contact with in our facilities.

Stay at home and do not visit if you are sick or have had any symptoms within the last three days that could include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea/loose bowels, fever (or feeling feverish), an uncontrolled cough or tickle in the throat or a rash.

Hand hygiene

Hand hygiene is the single most important factor in reducing hospital acquired infections.

Hand hygiene is a general term referring to hand washing with soap and water or using a waterless hand rub to cleanse hands. Your healthcare worker should always perform hand hygiene in front of you. If you did not seeyour healthcare worker conduct hand washing, please feel free to remind them.

We provide alcohol based hand rub within our facilities so that you can disinfect your hands on the way into the ward, and also when leaving the ward.

You should also perform hand hygiene after going to the toilet, after blowing your nose, after smoking, after handling/patting animals, before, during and after preparing food and when your hands are visibly dirty.

Respiratory etiquette

We want to reduce the spread of illness within our facilities. Always cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve, and thoughtfully dispose of tissues. If you do have a cough or sneeze, and you are visiting a patient, do not sit on their bed or handle any equipment. Follow all instructions of staff, including wearing surgical masks.

It is always useful to get your yearly flu shot to reduce the chance of respiratory illness.