Bringing help and hope to the suffering was a vital part of the ministry of Jesus. When the church is involved in reaching out to suffering humanity, it becomes an extension of the ministry of our Lord.
Dr. Richard Young’s book, “HOW TO MAKE A HOSPITAL VISIT” is a classic. I encourage you to reflect upon Dr. Young’s helpful ways to make a hospital visit.
1. Become acquainted with the circumstances of the case before entering the room.
2. Respect “No Visitors” and “Isolation” signs on the door.
3. Always look to see if the light over the patient’s door is burning.
4. Never touch the patient’s bed.
5. Size up the entire situation immediately upon entering the room.
6. Let the patient take the lead in shaking hands.
7. Take a position in line with the patient’s vision so he or she will not have to move in bed.
8. Do not share your own hospital experience with the patient.
9. Help the patient to relax. Avoid nervous movements.
10. Avoid carrying “emotional germs” from one room to another.
11. Be careful not to reveal negative reactions through the voice, countenance or manner.
12. Do not visit when you are sick.
13. Limit the length of the visit.
14. Do not whisper to the nurse or family in the patient's room or near the room.
15.Leave when the patient’s meal arrives. One might say, “Now that your meal has arrived, would you like for me to say grace before I go?’
I hope you will find these suggestions helpful when you make a hospital visit.
Our Father, We pray for those who are sick. I pray that our hearts will be filled with compassion for those who suffer. Help us to be open to what you desire to do in us and through us as we visit the sick.
In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.