Helping Your Patient Heal
At Strong Memorial Hospital we understand that you’re more than a visitor in your loved one’s life. In addition to excellent medical care, a healthy recovery needs friendship, support, understanding, encouragement and reassurance. By bringing these to your loved one, you play an important role in their healing process.
We also understand that individuals may find that having a loved one in the hospital is a stressful, unsettling time. Our goal is to help you feel comfortable and well-informed. By taking a few moments to familiarize yourself with a patient’s routine in the hospital you can play an important role in soothing your loved one’s concerns and bring a sense calm into the room—essential contributions to healing and recovery.
A Patient’s Routine in the Hospital
Every patient has a unique visit and treatment program specific to his/her condition. However, just like you have a daily routine at home, there is also a predictable rhythm to hospital activities. Even though a hospital is a place of rest and recovery it’s a very busy place. Knowing what to expect will help you decide the best possible time for your visit.
Listed here are some routine activities that create the typical ebb and flow of hospital activity from the patient’s perspective:
The Health Care Team
In addition to the regular daily activities, a patient receives care from a number of different providers on their health care team. The exact time these team members interact with a patient may vary depending on schedules. Sometimes coordinating everyone’s needs and agendas can be complicated.
There are two things you can do even if you can’t make it to the hospital or live out of town. Learn how you can take advantage of the free services available for you to communicate with your loved one. Or you can order gifts and flowers from our gift shop.
Checking vital signs. Most activities are scheduled during the day so a patient can rest at night. Checking vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, pulse and respiratory rate) is an exception. From admission to discharge, most patients have their vital signs checked regularly round-the-clock.
Lab technicians. Lab technicians will take blood samples very early. This is because the first question on a health care provider’s mind is what were the vitals and the labs today? The team uses the vital signs and lab results from the blood sample to make or adjust their plans for a patient.
Meals. Mealtime is a popular time for patients and their friends and family. You can order a guest meal and eat with your family member or friend. Meal times are staggered but usually occur around the expected times—morning, afternoon and evening. Contact your patient’s unit nurse to get a more precise time of when your friend or family member will be served.
Personal care. Sometime during the first half of the day personal care assistance will be provided for those who need it. This includes assistance with activities such as brushing teeth and hair, face washing, showering and using the bathroom.
Medications. Nurses administer medications to each patient based on the schedule prescribed by the doctor. This schedule doesn’t necessarily correspond to any other activities.
Housekeeping. Housekeeping will come into a patient’s room once or twice a day to empty garbage, clean the bathrooms, wipe down sinks and generally keep everything sparkling and orderly. They have to follow many rules to ensure everything is cleaned according to strict standards.