Visiting a Patient
Visitor Precautions during COVID-19 Worries
George E. Weems Memorial Hospital has been working hard to keep our patients, staff, and community healthy and safe. In response to the recent COVID-19 (Coronavirus) epidemic, we have taken multiple measures and precautions to minimize the spread of this infection. We are following all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Health, and Florida Hospital Association. Weems is prepared for and capable of providing care for patients with an illness, including the COVID-19 virus.
To prevent the spread of this virus, some of the specific temporary actions we have taken are:
• Restricting visitors in the hospital to one visitor per patient at a time. We will also be limiting visitors in the ER to only 1.
• Restricting visitors to only those over the age of 17.
• Encouraging those over the age of 65 with chronic health conditions to minimize visitations to decrease the risk of possible exposure.
• Screening all visitors for signs and symptoms of infection or exposure to infected persons.
• Requiring all patients with fever or flu-like symptom (cough or shortness of breath) to wear a mask. Following all posted precautions and instructions within the hospital and clinics.
• After 4:30pm, all visitors to the hospital must enter through the ER, as well as on weekends.
All visitors, patients, and vendors will be screened through a questionnaire for visitation. Anyone who has had foreign travel within the last 14 days, been in contact with someone who has traveled, has upper respiratory symptoms, or a fever greater than 100.5 degrees will NOT be allowed to visit.
These restrictions will be going into effect immediately. We will provide updates as conditions change. The best precautions you can take to prevent infections are:
• Frequent handwashing for at least 20 seconds • Covering coughs and sneezes to avoid spreading the virus • Getting a flu shot each year • Stay home if you are sick, including keeping children home if they are sick • Calling your healthcare provider if you develop flu-like symptoms.
We encourage patient visitation.
Weems Memorial is a small rural hospital where family comes first. We welcome patient guests because we realize the essential role they play in a patient’s recovery. We want your family members and guests to visit at times convenient to their schedules.
We have a new Welcoming Policy with no “posted” visiting hours, but some general guidelines are in place. Your sensitivity and cooperation with these guidelines are greatly appreciated.
Although we are confident our team members will provide the very best care for your loved one, should you have any concerns or requests, please ask to speak with the Unit Charge Nurse, who is available every shift. The Weems House Supervisor is available during the day to assist you.
For the comfort of our patients, we ask that all guests observe the following:
- Families and guests are welcome from 7 am to 9 pm daily according to patient/family preference.
- Patients may have an adult support person of his or her choice during the course of stay.
- The number of people welcomed at the bedside at any one time will be determined in collaboration with the patient, family and interdisciplinary care team. In situations where there are shared rooms, this collaboration will include the other patient and his or her family. To ensure safety, considerations will also be given to the physical limitations of the space.
- Please do not visit if you are sick (e.g., sneezing, coughing, fever).
- Children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult other than the patient. Visits by children of any age should always be coordinated with the patient’s primary nurse and the patient/patient’s spokesperson before the visit. For their own safety, please do not leave children unattended.
- We have provided hand sanitizer throughout the hospital to protect you and your loved ones from the spread of infection. Rub your hands with hand sanitizer for at least 15 seconds until dry before entering and when leaving a patient’s room.
- Please keep your cell phones on “vibrate” while visiting.
- While visiting a patient, remain inside that patient’s room. Please do not enter other rooms or work stations in search of team members or physicians.
- Because of space limitations and the patient’s condition, staying with the patient overnight in the room is sometimes not possible. You may be asked to sit in a waiting area and may check on the patient frequently.
- In order to promote patient healing and uninterrupted sleep, we encourage visitors to leave and rest between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
- Patients can choose to approve visitors of their choice to provide the emotional and social support they need or desire.
- Visitation may be delayed or guests may be asked to vacate the entire unit if there is an emergency or a medical procedure in progress.
- If we need to discuss or provide care that requires privacy for the patient, we will visitors to step out of the room.
- Visitation may be limited or prohibited if there is a medical or legal reason.
- Visitors should not touch or adjust medical equipment at any time.
- Physicians and team members will give condition updates, but we are always bound by patient privacy laws. We ask that there be one spokesperson who receives updates and communicates information to other concerned parties. That person’s phone number should be written on the patient white board.
- Visitors who are interfering with patient care or acting disrespectfully will be required to leave.