There are safety steps during a pandemic that you can take. Of course, there are also dangers to visiting a hospital during these times. Hospital-acquired infection is an actual thing and patients are at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 when they visit hospitals.
A good alternative is to explore the available telemedicine options available. This is a great safety step that you can take when it comes to receiving healthcare during a pandemic.
However, there are some unavoidable circumstances that would require that you go to the hospital. It could be to take a test or continue a treatment plan you already started.
To commemorate the world patient safety day, here are 8 safety steps you should absolutely take when you visit the hospital.
1. Wash your hands
During these times all hospitals and healthcare establishments have provisions for hand washing at the entrance of the building. When you get there, wash your hands thoroughly before entering the building. There may also be points for hand washing in the building but don’t forget to wash your hands while leaving too!
2. Wear your nose mask
People may have relaxed on the use of a nose mask these days, but it is essential that you wear one to a hospital. It protects other people by limiting your own release of these respiratory droplets. More importantly, the nose mask protects you from breathing in respiratory droplets from others.
Make sure the mask covers your nose and mouth, and that you wear it throughout your visit to the hospital.
3. Use your hand sanitizer
Everybody is expected to carry their alcohol-based hand sanitizer everywhere they go. If you cannot wash your hands often during your visit to the hospital, use your hand sanitizer.
4. Avoid touching surfaces
Respiratory droplets are released into the atmosphere and fall on surfaces around. The problem is that the virus survives on these surfaces for different periods of time.
Since you never know if a surface has been wiped recently or not, avoid touching surfaces as much as you can. If you can’t wash your hands or use your hand sanitizer.
5. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth
You never know what you have picked up from surfaces you have touched, like doorknobs. Make a conscious effort to avoid touching your nose, mouth, and even your eyes, so you do not inadvertently give yourself the virus.
6. Maintain social distance
This is one of the safety steps during a pandemic that is easy to take. The WHO advises that we keep a distance of at least 1 meter from the next person in gatherings. This will ensure that even if respiratory droplets are released, they will not fall around you.
7. Obey hospital safety instructions
Some hospitals may require that you do not visit some parts of the hospital, like the wards for the elderly. It could also be that the number of people that can stay in a section of the hospital is limited. Follow any instructions the hospital provides, it is to reduce the chances of spreading the virus.
8. Safety first
The most important point is to stay safe. If you notice any of the symptoms, stay at home and call the NCDC numbers in your zone for testing. Let us not be selfish, obey rules, they are not only for you, think of others too. We will get through this.