Visiting a sick friend or relative is a very thoughtful thing to do. There are some etiquette points to keep in mind to make your visit beneficial for the sick.
• Respect the hospital’s visiting hours.
• Don’t sit on the edge of the mattress unless the patient requests you to do so. If a chair is available, use it; if not, just stand. Standing is probably good so you don’t stay long.
• Don’t diagnose the patient. Don’t ply him with too many questions. "Why are you so pale? Where did all the blood go? I can hardly feel your pulse. Why,your forehead is as hot as an oven! Are you sure your case is not a terminal one?"
Why not leave that job alone to the doctors? After all he’s well paid to do exactly that.
• Don’t discuss unpleasant matters with the patient, such as seriousness of his disease or your many problems. He has enough of his own. And although you may be a veteran alumnus of the operating table, don’t give him an "organ recital" just now.
• Don’t converse with the doctors and nurses in low whispers and throw appropriate side glances at the patient every now and then. Such suspicious behavior will not contribute will not contribute very much toward his recovery.
• Don’t take the whole gang with you when you go visiting. The patient may benefit more from a few hours of restful sleep than from all the boisterous conversations.
• Don’t play loud music even if you’re a fan or rock or screamo, the patient may prefer some soft soothing music.
• Even if you may ba able to afford it, don’t bring a whole cartful of groceries since the patient may not have the appetite to eat too much at this time. Perhaps some attractive fruits in season oran adequate amount of his favorite treat will do, as long as his diet permits the intake.
• Flowers are nice to bring if you can. Placed in a vase, this will brighten an otherwise drab sickroom. Don’t give him very big wreaths, though, which are suggestive of a funeral.
• If your patient is with other sick people in the same ward, greet the other occupants too with a "hello" or a simple smile and friendly nod, especially those who don’t have any visitor.
• If you plan to bring reading materials, newspapers may not be the best reading matter for the patient nor do tabloids which specialize in sensationalizing the lurid and gory portrayal of crime and scandal. These may not give the desirable mental set to a sick person. Devotional literature may be helpful to him at this time.
• When you hold a religious service by the patient’s bedside, keep it short. Never give the impression that you’re administering the last rites for him. The reading of a few scriptural passages with a brief prayer on his behalf will boost his morale than a long religious ceremony.
• And finally, unless the patient is intensely interested about it, don’t tell him his hospital bill yet. Let him recuperate some more before giving him this shock treatment.