Can a Hospital Stay Make You Sick?

hospital equipmentThere are a variety of different reasons why you may end up having to stay at the hospital. For some people, a hospital stay is required due to illness, injury, or disease. For others, it may be due to a wellness visit or a specific type of treatment, such as chemo. Others stay to keep family members or friends company.

No matter the reason, a hospital visit is meant to make you feel better, not worse. However, with all the injured and sick people that are currently in or traveling through the hospital, it's important to question the sanitation practices of the hospital to ensure that your health is always top of mind. After all, you don't want to go to the hospital and end up acquiring another type of illness or disease while you're there.

Unfortunately, though, that does happen. With contagious diseases such as MRSA and other hospital-acquired infections, it's important to ensure that your hospital stay is as clean and sanitary as possible. The following tips will help ensure you don't get sick while staying at the hospital.

Request your privacy.

While you will experience the public at some time during your stay, you should try to do whatever you can to get your privacy. Some hospitals offer private rooms to their patients. If this is an option at your hospital, be sure to ask for one. Keep in mind that hospitals usually charge more, so you may end up having to pay for this privacy, but if it keeps you from catching another illness or disease, it could be worth it.

If you don't have access to a private room, you can create your own privacy by closing your privacy curtains. This will keep you away from whatever condition your roommate has. However, when it comes to closing the privacy curtains, be sure to use caution. According to Angelica Corporation, most hospital privacy curtains do not get changed often enough, which means that bacteria can sit on these for long periods of time. Try to close the curtain using a pair of rubber gloves, or be sure to wash your hands (or use a disinfectant) immediately after closing to help prevent the spread of disease.

Wash your hands.

You're going to touch more than you realize while at the hospital, which makes it easier for you to catch something. Make sure that you are washing your hands as regularly as possible. If you can't leave your bed, it's a good idea to have a bottle of hand sanitizer nearby. Be sure to use this after you touch anything and especially before you decide to eat any food.

It's also a good idea to ensure that doctors and/or nurses are taking precautions as well. Don't be afraid to ask them to wash their hands before they help you with anything, whether simply taking your temperature or putting in an IV. Most hospital staff will wear rubber gloves when dealing with patients, so be sure you see your doctor or nurse change the pair they're wearing right in front of you.

Try to stay healthy.

Although you're already at the hospital, it's still important to do whatever you can to try and stay healthy. For example, make sure that you are eating right. Even if you don't like the hospital food, try to eat the fruits and vegetables that are available. This will help to boost your immune system, which can keep you from catching another illness or disease while there. You should also try to get as much rest as possible, which can also help you to fight off infections. The more you can try to take care of yourself while in the hospital, the better chance you have of not catching a hospital-acquired illness.

If you have any questions, please ask below!