You rushed to the hospital after hearing your aunt had been hospitalised, only to be told that you need to wait your turn to see her. Worried and impatient, you wonder why visitor restrictions are necessary.
To a worried next-of-kin, the strict visiting times and quota limits may seem troublesome but they
are in place to protect patients and visitors. As patients tire easily, a peaceful environment will allow them to get adequate rest and not be disturbed by too many visitors.
For visitors, it is to safeguard them from contracting any infections from those who are ill. As a precaution, no more than two to four people are allowed at any one time in most wards. Visitor quotas also help to reduce disruption to the medical and nursing teams providing care.
To prevent patients from getting more ill, anyone who feels unwell should avoid visiting the hospital. For a patient with weakened immunity, contracting just a minor cough or cold may complicate or even worsen his or her condition.
"We have rules to maintain a high hygiene standard for the safety of our patients, staff and also visitors.
We appeal to visitors to play their part in minimising the spread of infection," explains Dr Ng Tong Yong, Director of infection prevention and control at Sengkang General Hospital.
"Besides not visiting a patient when you are ill, please also observe hand hygiene when in the ward.
Check with our trained nurses if you are unsure about what you can bring or do when visiting."
Keeping visitors safe
In addition to ensuring the wellbeing of the patient, visitor safety is also essential. An automated visitor registration system helps to track the flow of visitors in and out of the wards. This enables contact tracing in the event of an epidemic.
In some cases, when patients have or are suspected of having a contagious illness, the hospital will isolate them and take special precautions to prevent the spread of infection.
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