Wash your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol based hand rub when you enter and exit the hospital/ward. You are part of your healthcare team, do not be afraid to remind doctors, nurses, family and visitors to clean their hands.
While sneezing/coughing, keep your mouth and nose covered with a tissue, as germs can travel 3 feet or more. Discuss with your doctor/nurse, your allergies, special dietary and vaccination history and requirements. If you are in “isolation”, understand what your isolation means and what you should expect from the hospital staff or visitors. Gloves, gowns and masks are sometimes appropriate, depending on the illness.
Since intravenous catheters and drainage tubes are all entry points for infection, discuss with your doctor when these devices can be safely removed. Pay attention to symptoms that may indicate an infection: unexpected pain, chills, fever, drainage, or increased inflammation of a surgical wound.
Do not sit on the patient’s bed. Do not use the patient toilets – visitor’s toilets are available. Cover your mouth while sneezing or coughing to prevent the spread of infection to others. Check with the nursing station before visiting. The nurse will discuss the required personal protective equipment that must be worn prior to entry into the patient’s room. If you are visiting others in the hospital be sure to visit the patient on additional precautions LAST!
Do not exit the room wearing any protective equipment. Make sure to wash your hands or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer upon entry and exit of the room.