What are the guidelines for family presence/visiting hours at UAB Hospital?
The UAB Medicine visitor policy restricts patient visitation to protect our patients and staff from widespread infection. To see the current visitor policy, please visit uabmedicine.org/visitor-policy .
Please be aware that access to the hospital will be limited to specific points of entry from 8 pm to 5 am. During those hours, visitors may enter through:
- North Pavilion Emergency Department
- North Pavilion second-floor access from 4th Avenue parking deck
- Women & Infants Center main entrance
- Spain Wallace first-floor entrance on 19th Street
- UAB Hospital-Highlands Emergency Department
All other public entrances will be locked during these hours. After-hours visitors and those staying overnight with patients will be asked to wear identification badges, which can be obtained at the entrances listed above or from Guest Services desks in open waiting rooms.
Staying connected with family, friends, and community is very important to your healing. We encourage you to communicate with your loved ones while you are here and involve them in your care. We are here to help you in any way we can.
If you have access to a smartphone or tablet:
- Use apps such as FaceTime, Zoom, and WhatsApp to “video visit” with loved ones.
- Participate in social activities, book clubs, and church services that are available for streaming through Facebook Live or other services. Many organizations record their events and post them for viewers to watch later.
- If you would like to include your loved ones in conversations with your provider, please speak with a member of your care team for help.
If you do not have access to a smartphone or tablet, speak with a member of your care team or use your in-room phone to make local phone calls by dialing 9 + the phone number, including area code.
We do not restrict or deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, gender, culture, religion, language, disabilities, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. We ensure that all visitors enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with patient preferences.
Your Family’s Role
- Appoint a family representative.
Please choose one person to be our point of contact in the patient’s care who can then communicate information to other family and friends. Our care team may give the representative a passcode to protect the patient’s privacy and security.
- Spend as much time with the patient as possible.
We offer visitation for many areas of the hospital and encourage someone to stay with the patient at all times. Visitation continues to be limited by the number of visitors allowed and in certain areas where it interferes with patient safety or the rights of others. Please ask your care team if there are any restrictions or precautions for visiting your loved one.
- If you are not spending the night, please wrap up all visits by 8 pm.
- If you are staying the night, we offer coffee throughout the night in the North Pavilion 2nd floor atrium.
- If privacy is needed, or if the care team feels that the patient is too sick to have someone with them at all times, you may be asked to leave the room.
- Be there for doctor and nurse visits – and ask questions!
The most important members of the care team are patients and their families. We encourage you to ask questions, become involved, and speak up on behalf of your loved one.
Guidelines for Visiting
We understand this can be an overwhelming and stressful time. The following information may help you feel more comfortable while staying with your loved one.
- Monitors and equipment in the room may alarm frequently. Your care team is trained to know the difference between reminder and emergency alarms. If you hear an alarm, please do not attempt to reset the equipment; instead, please call for the nurse.
- Care providers may need to turn on some lights in the patient’s room during the night. This is for the patient’s safety, as there are many lines and tubes to work around. In the ICU, lights may need to be left on at all times.
- If you or your loved one needs assistance, please use the nurse call button and someone will come help you.
- We use special equipment to move and adjust our patients; please talk to a nurse before moving the patient or their bed.
- The number of visitors at the bedside may be limited at any time for reasons related to patient safety and space restrictions.
- Emergency situations may occur on the unit at any time. If this happens, you may be asked to leave the room so that we can dedicate all of our attention to your loved one.
- We want you to be with your loved one as much as possible. However, if a conflict arises between family members and/or friends that interferes with our ability to provide care, we have the right to ask those involved to leave the unit and return only when the conflict has been resolved.
- A comforting touch or familiar item from home can relax and make your loved one more comfortable. Please ask your care team what items you can bring from home.
Patients need to be around healthy people; even a cold could cause a problem for a patient in the hospital. If you or your children have been sick or around others who have been sick in the past three weeks, please speak with your nurse before visiting the patient. Your care team may ask you not to visit or to wear a mask or special clothing to protect the patient. Examples of illness include fever, rash, flu or cold symptoms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, strep throat, pink eye, and chicken pox or shingles.
Visiting a Patient with Isolation Precautions
You may be asked to wear a gown, gloves, and mask while visiting a patient on isolation precautions. Do NOT wear these items outside of the room, as that spreads germs.
- Clean hands before entering the room and immediately upon exiting the room.
- Please do not bring infants younger than nine months to visit patients on isolation.
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