15
Jan
09

what not to SAY at a hospital

Special note: this weekend I have asked my friend Roxie Elliott to post our J1M weekend blog.  Roxie is married to Bill.  They have two married children, and several grandchildren.  Roxie is one of CrossPoint’s prayer warriors.  She is also a gifted Bible teacher.  Both Roxie and Bill are faithful members of CrossPoint and devoted followers of Jesus Christ.  I know you will enjoy her posts.

An essential thread that runs through CrossPoint’s DNA is that we believe every member is a minister.  That means that every CrossPointer is responsible for the mission and ministry of the church.

That is one of the reasons why I posted yesterday’s blog about what not to say at a funeral.  As a result of yesterday’s post, I am following up today with what not to say at a hospital.

Just like funerals, hospital visits can be delicate situations.  People who are in the hospital are there for three basic reasons: 1) they are either sick; 2) they had surgery; 3) or, they are dying. When making hospital visits, there are a few simple things to remember.

Here is a list of things you should NOT say or do when visiting someone in the hospital:

  • “How are you doing” – for goodness sake, they’re in the hospital!
  • “What’s wrong” – if they want you to know what’s wrong they will tell you.
  • “Is there anything I can do for you” – sounds good, yet is an empty question.
  • “You do not look sick” – don’t kid yourself, they’re sick.
  • “You look terrible” – no kidding.
  • “I remember when I was sick” – today you’re not and they are, keep it to yourself.
  • “Did I tell you about the last time I was in the hospital” – you are not the patient.
  • “My dad had that surgery and he…” – they are not your father.
  • “How’s the food” – this is not a resort.
  • “Do you mind if I sit on your bed” – the bed is for the patient, not you.
  • Do NOT enter without knocking on the door.
  • Do NOT stay long.
  • Do NOT use their bathroom.
  • Do NOT enter the room if the doctor is consulting or examining them.

Here is a list of helpful things you SHOULD say or do during a hospital visit:

  • “I am praying for you.”
  • “I came by to check on you because I love you.”
  • “I am bringing you supper the first night you are home from the hospital.”
  • “I brought you a book if you ever want to read.”
  • DO knock on the door and ask if you can come in for a minute.
  • DO offer the other family members to take a break while you sit with the patient.
  • DO bring them a card, flowers or balloons, if they are not in a special unit.
  • DO cut their grass or wash their car while they are in the hospital.
  • DO offer to pray for them.
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