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Guidelines for Ministry

For most patients and their families, going to the hospital, even for a short time, is a crisis time in their lives. Listed below are some general rules and guidelines to keep in mind when visiting those who are hospitalized. They may appear, at first glance, obvious and patently elementary. The thoughtful visitor will not disregard them.

  • Do not enter any room when the door is closed without knocking.
  • Check with the nursing station and watch for "No Visiting" or "Isolation" signs.
  • Avoid sitting on the bed, and be careful not even to jar the bed.
  • Be alert not to disturb any apparatus or equipment about the bed.
  • Introduce yourself clearly and distinctly.
  • Let the patient or family member take the lead in shaking hands.
  • Sit or stand in the patient's line of vision.
  • Speak in moderate tones, neither too softly nor too loudly.
  • Avoid telling case histories of people you have known with a similar condition, especially if the consequences were poor.
  • Do not whisper or speak about the patient in low tones to other persons in the room, even if the patient is asleep or unconscious.
  • Assess the situation and be prepared to leave the room when a hospital staff person enters.
  • Leave the room, usually, when the patient's meal is delivered.
  • Do not bring the patient meals or snacks without permission from the hospital staff.
  • Try not to show shock or repulsion at unsightly wounds, deformities, emaciation, odors, tubes and wires, etc.
  • Watch for signs of the patient's tiring or being in pain and leave promptly when you observe them.
  • Do not overload the patient with outside problems.
  • If the patient already has visitors, return another time. Hospital policy calls for visitation by only two visitors at one time.
  • Help the patient relax by being relaxed yourself.
  • Be natural; be yourself. Avoid playing the roles of diagnostician, therapist, advisor, prophesier.
  • Be cheerful and assuring, but not phony. Follow at the patient's or family's pace when discussing the illness and prognosis.
  • Respect the patient or family's own religious views. Coercion is not appropriate.
  • Above all, accept the patient's or family's feelings, whatever they may be. Allow the patient to express any emotion. You should not attempt to dissuade or explain feelings or to solve problems.
  • Keep your visits brief. It is better to make several short visits than one long visit. Most callers stay too long.
  • It is best not to visit a surgical patient until the second day post-operative.
  • Do not visit when you are sick or have been exposed to communicable diseases.
  • Let the family know when you will be coming so they can tell the nurses.
  • Because of other duties, refrain from asking staff to participate in your bedside ministry.
  • It is inappropriate to raise your voice with staff.

Some of these rules may appear rather trivial, but remember, the patient and family has gone through a crisis. Emotions and feelings are much closer to the surface. For the patient and family, pain and discomfort make one more sensitive and more easily annoyed and irritated. Losing one's clothes and privacy makes a patient more aware of and concerned about what goes on in the room. When a person is ill, small matters may become major.

Contact Information


Driscoll Children's Hospital
Pastoral Services

3533 S. Alameda Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78411

(361) 694-5491

For TTY Deaf Messaging Connect to TTY Interpretation by dialing
(800) 735-2989

Patients & Families

News

Driscoll's Teddy Bear Hospital is a chance for patients to be the doctors

April 08, 2014
WHAT: Patients will be the doctors tomorrow during a Teddy Bear Hospital organized by the Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital. The event allows children to become more familiar with the medical equipment and procedures involved in their treatment. They'll choose their teddy bear, give it a...
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April is Child Safety Month

April 01, 2014
Driscoll Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program team
CORPUS CHRISTI - Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age one through 12 years old. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash data, in 2010 almost an average of two children were killed and 325 were injured each day. This fatality rate could be reduced...
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Driscoll patients go to Spurs game courtesy of generous donors

March 28, 2014
WHAT: Five Driscoll Children's Hospital patients and their parents or guardians will gather at the hospital's lobby and depart for San Antonio to see a Spurs game as part of a live auction package purchased at this year's Fiesta de los Niños. Steve and Jessica Johnson of JSJ Services, Inc. have purchased this item...
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Driscoll patients to be treated to Child Life Month celebration

March 10, 2014
March is Child Life Month
CORPUS CHRISTI - The Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital will celebrate Child Life Month with a superhero-themed party for in-house patients tomorrow. The sixth annual event is designed to make hospitalization a little more pleasant for children by providing a distraction from their illness and an opportunity...
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12th annual Radiothon will broadcast live from Driscoll Children's Hospital

March 05, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - On Friday, March 7, K-99 (KRYS 99.1 FM) will team up with Driscoll Children's Hospital for the 12th annual Radiothon. The one-day event will be broadcasted live from the main lobby at Driscoll Children's Hospital beginning at 6 a.m. Listeners can tune in to hear patients, parents, physicians and staff share inspirational...
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