Things I do every time I visit a hospital

No one likes visiting hospitals. I am no different. I have even dodged visiting ailing relatives at the hospital as I preferred waiting for them to come back home. Let me clarify, I don’t suffer from OCD. I have, of course, made some exceptions but I successfully managed to keep my hospital visits few until I got pregnant. Thereon, hospital visits just kept on increasing and made me nauseatingly anxious. Especially because they say your immunity is at an all time low during pregnancy. Now my fear was not totally baseless. That was the time when swine flu fear was coarse. Having left with no option, I devised my own set of rules to have a fuss-free visit. These, I follow till date.

Step 1: I always ensure that I don’t walk into a hospital without my hand sanitiser and a set of face and hand tissues. Every time I open a hospital door or knob, I use a tissue to avoid direct contact with the handle. Leave aside hospitals, door handles even at your workplace are a highly infectious zone. Did you know that they are common harbourers of harmful germs as well as bacteria such as E.coli, fungal infections as well as viral ones? You will never know what all the people did before touching that knob or handle – they may have just blown their nose, stepped out of the washroom without washing their hands or may be suffering from some skin infection.

Step 2: I panicked the first time my gynecologist asked me to take a leak before my ultrasound. I am always skeptical of public washrooms. But left with no choice, I planned a strategy. Though I still avoid using hospital washrooms but if I really have to, I carry a toilet seat sanitiser spray. Yes, it does take me longer than most of you, but I step out without the fear of having walked out with UTI or gastroenteritis.

Step 3: If you notice someone sneezing around you, cover your mouth with a clean tissue. I have ended up in situations where people around me thought I was behaving too uptight but I would risk portraying that image than getting struck by viral infections.

Step 4: The gynecology department of most hospitals is already aware of keeping the surroundings clean but once in a while, you may come across some attendants who overlook important details – like replacing the sheet on the examining bed. I always insist before lying down on the bed that the bed tissue be replaced. In fact, I have done it myself once when the attendant felt I was being too finicky.

In the end, not just for your well being, even for the well being of those recovering in the hospital, one must keep their hospital visits limited, especially if you are suffering from an infectious cold. Good luck!