It's virtually impossible for any place to be free of germs - including hospitals and other clinical settings. There are, however, steps patients can take as partners with their caregivers to greatly minimize the presence of germs during a hospital stay.
Patients should know It's OK to Ask:
- Family members, friends and other visitors with colds, respiratory conditions or contagious illnesses to not visit while they are hospitalized;
- Nurses and physicians to wash their hands, or that they wear gloves, before examining you or giving a medication;
- That soiled gowns or bed linens replaced.
In special situations, like isolation, patients are asked to learn about the restrictions that may be in place, why they are in place, and ask questions when it appears the guidelines are not being enforced.