Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hospital Visits

Over at RevGalBlogPals, they have a post on making hospital visits as a minister. I have been asked to post the Hospital visitation guide on my blog that was part of my answer to the question about making hospital visits. This was written originally by Rev. Amy Raser for her congregation. We then revised it and used it to teach at the N. A. Conference Licensing School the part on Orientation to Pastoral Care.

General Guidelines for
Hospital and Other Visits

* Always check with family about appropriate times to visit. Try not to go at meal times, but if you do, do not stay long.

* Always keep information the patient tells you confidential. Especially if it is medically oriented.

* Ask the patient/family exactly what information they would like you to tell everyone.

* DO NOT visit when YOU are ill. If you have not been feeling well or have a fever, it is better not to risk passing any illness.

* Try to work around doctors/nurses caring. Move out of the way or out of the room when asked.

* Take note of who is in the room. If your presence is crucial, stay; if not, go.

* Do not assume that everyone wants a prayer. Always ask first and also ask, “What do you want us to pray for/about?”

* Sit down when you go to visit. This will make you and the family more comfortable. The visit should be reflective and caring, not aggressive or overbearing.

* Always knock at doors that are closed and wait for an answer.

* Listen more than you talk.

* Bringing yourself is more important than bringing gifts.

* (for children) Make sure you visit with the child as well as with the parents.

* New privacy rules (HIPAA Act) require you to know the full name of the patient.

* If your visit is with someone of the opposite sex, be extra vigilant about where you meet, i.e. office or public place are most appropriate, and that you either meet with another person or let some 3rd party know (such as your PPR chair) you will be meeting this person.


Gallycat said...

Thanks, Abi! I'm really sorry that I wasn't able to incorporate it more effectively into the post, but there was just SO MUCH good stuff to work with. And this stands alone so well, something you can print off easily!

You are always so thorough in your answers. It is a tremendous pleasure to work with you, and like I said, sometime when I'm passing southward, I will definitely visit!

Purechristianithink said...

And some hospitals are real sticklers about the "full name of patient" thing. I discovered this when I went to visit a hospitalized teenager known to me as "Sue" Doe. But that wasnt' her real name. After guessing Susan, Susanna, and Suzanne, I finally had to step outside and use my cell phone to call her grandmother for the top secret real name: Suzette. Sheesh!