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Visiting and Supporting Patients

In difficult circumstances, not only the person who has been exposed to a trauma, but the caregivers as well, need all the help and support they can get and will appreciate the presence of friends and family beside them at that critical time period. By being there even for a few minutes, this will bring comfort and support for that person and your help will not be forgotten as suffering a burn injury can be one of the most traumatic experience a person can go through both physically and psychological.

If you are visiting a patient who is still in the hospital, there are certain things to keep in mind including visiting hours, number of visitors allowed and infection control as burn centers have strict guidelines regarding infection control. Visitors may be required to wear a gown, mask, cap and gloves when visiting the patient. The nurse will give you instructions on the protective clothing to decrease the risk of infection.

Look for any signs outside the patient’s door that will tell you if you have to wear these protective garments when entering the patient’s room, it’s important to follow these instructions. You have to wash your hands prior to entering and after leaving the patient. Avoid visiting the patient if you have an active cold or an infection and inform the nurse about it if you do visit.

During the visit, offer a listening ear as it helps the patient to know that you are there to listen and this will make him/her feel at ease. When you speak, use the right approach, sometimes the best gift you can give a patient is an encouraging word rather than an advice. Don’t push patients to talk if they don’t want to as it is a traumatic experience for them remembering what they have gone through. Avoid showing pity, feeling sorry or blaming the patient for what happened as the purpose of you being there is to, encourage, support and guide that person to get through this hard time.


This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.

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