A man on the phone with hospital staff advocating for a loved one
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Advocating for a Hospitalized Loved One During COVID-19

May 27 2020
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Hospitals now have stricter visitor policies to protect everyone’s health and safety during COVID-19. If you have a family member hospitalized at this time, staying looped in on their care is now a different experience compared to this process before the pandemic. However, it is important now more than ever to stay in touch.

Use these tips to navigate patient advocacy should a loved one need to be in the hospital.

Have one contact on the medical team

In the hospital, your family member is receiving treatment and care from a whole team of specialists and nurses. Even though your family member may initially interact with multiple medical personnel, you can likely narrow it down to communication with one specialist eventually. This person should be able to provide consistent updates to you and your family. Make sure you understand who is the best individual to provide these updates.

Choose one family member to receive updates

Just like it is easier for you to communicate with one medical professional, it is easier for the hospital to communicate with one family member. This makes the process of receiving medical updates as seamless as possible. The person chosen to receive information about your loved one should be close enough to them to be familiar with their medical history. Whenever they hear from the hospital, they can then reach out and share this information with other family members and friends.

Remind yourself that your loved one is surrounded by caring people

You may be feeling very sad that your loved one is alone in the hospital. You might constantly worry that they are feeling lonely. However, remember that your family member is always in the company of health care specialists who are focused on their care and recovery. Allow this knowledge to provide you, your family members and friends with comfort during this difficult time.

Stay connected with your family member

One way you can help keep your loved one from feeling lonely is by connecting with them virtually. It is still possible to call, text and video chat with your loved one while they recover. They might be spending some extra time throughout the day sleeping or receiving treatment. However, make sure you and your family members make an effort to connect with them at least once a day.

Remember this situation is challenging for everyone

Like you, hospital staff members are also adjusting to stricter visitor policies. They too are used to discussing and providing new information in person. These current limitations on face-to-face interactions have created challenges for everyone involved in a patient’s health. Therefore, remember to always stay patient and remain understanding during these unprecedented times.

Stay updated on what Bon Secours is doing related to COVID-19.


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