VA Maryland Health Care System
Family members, friends, and other individuals are welcome to visit with Veterans for emotional support during the course of their stay, unless not medically or therapeutically advisable. All visitors are asked to adhere to the following guidelines when visiting a Veteran patient at any VA Maryland Health Care System facility:
- During normal business hours, check in with the Information Desk for assistance and directions. After normal business hours, proceed to the unit where the Veteran is staying. Visitors will be required to show identification.
- Upon arriving at the unit, check in at the Nurse’s Station before proceeding to the Veteran’s room.
- In Behavioral Health Units, sign in and have your belongings checked by staff prior to beginning the visitation.
- In respect for Veteran privacy and to maintain a healing environment, the preferred number of visitors in a room is two (2) per Veteran.
- Wash your hands prior to and after visiting the Veteran.
- Knock and ask permission to enter the room. Respect the privacy of other Veterans in the room and keep noise level at a minimum.
- Do not visit if you have flu symptoms, a cold, or symptoms of an infectious disease.
- Children under 14 years of age must be accompanied and supervised at all times by an adult (other than the Veteran).
- Be aware that very young infants may be at risk when exposed to hospital-based illnesses.
- Check with the nurse before bringing food or drink to the Veteran.
- Do not give the Veteran any medications, vitamins or supplements.
- Do not stop, start or adjust the settings of any equipment. Please notify the nurse if you have any concerns.
- Check with the nurse before assisting the Veteran to move.
- In case of an emergency (fire, tornado, etc.), remain in the Veteran’s room with the door closed until instructed to relocate by the nursing staff. Never use an elevator during this type of emergency.
- Respect the privacy of other Veterans in multi-patient rooms, especially when visiting at night. You are welcome to remain in the Lounge Areas to wait and rest and to check on the Veteran as necessary.
- For additional information about visiting a particular Veteran, please contact a member of the Veteran’s healthcare team.
VA General Visitation Policy
The medical center respects the patient's right to make decisions about his or her care, treatment and services, and to involve the patient's family in care, treatment, and services decisions to the extent permitted by the patient or surrogate decision-maker. "Family" is defined as a group of two or more persons united by blood, or adoptive, martial, domestic partnership, or other legal ties. The family may also be a person or persons not legally related to the individual (such as significant other, friend or caregiver) whom the individual considers to be family. A family member may be the surrogate decision-maker, as defined in VHA Handbook 1004.02, if authorized to make care decisions for the individual, should he or she lose decision-making capacity or choose to delegate decision making to another. The medical center allows a family member, friend or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of stay. The medical center allows for the presence of a support individual of the patient's choice, unless the individual's presence infringes on other's rights or safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. The individual may or may not be the patient's surrogate decision-maker or legally authorized representative. The hospital prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.