The flu season began October 1 and runs through May. As a visitor to our facilities, you play an important part in preserving the health and safety of patients.
The following precautions can protect our patients, as well as visitors, from the spread of infection.
Clean your hands before and after visiting
Scientists of America showed in their persuasive essay outline that cleaning hands and doing well with hygiene can positively influence on the health
The soap, water and hand sanitizer in the patient rooms are for everyone. Wash or sanitize your hands when entering and leaving the room of the person you are visiting to avoid bringing in and carrying out germs. Insist any healthcare provider do the same before caring for your loved one. Do not sit on patient beds or handle their equipment.
Check with nurses before you bring in food, send flowers or bring children
While flowers, young visitors and home-baked dishes spread cheer, they may not be allowed, so check with the nurse first. Cut flowers but not potted plants may be allowed in intensive care units. If you change the water in a vase of flowers, make sure to wash your hands afterwards. No children under the age of 12 can visit in the Intensive Care Unit. Children elsewhere in the hospital should not disturb the other patients. Bringing food is risky because the patient may be on a special diet or the food could spoil and make the patient sick. Half eaten food cannot be returned to the refrigerator and must be discarded.
Practice Cough Etiquette
Do not cough or sneeze into your hands. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue. Discard tissue in the trash immediately after use. Wash your hands or use an alcohol hand sanitizer.
Isolation Precautions: Read & follow any instructions posted outside the door
- Contact Precautions: you must wear gloves and a gown when entering the room.
- Droplet or Airborne Precautions: you must wear a mask when entering the room.
If the patient you visit has a sign on the door you are required to obey it. Please talk to the nurses if you need assistance. Although you may have been around this person or live with this person, we must protect the other hospital patients and visitors. You can ask the nurse for any educational materials that may be available.
Stay at home if you are sick
Do not visit the hospital if you are sick or have had any ill symptoms within the last three days including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, rash or uncontrolled cough.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has partnered with Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) to provide Telestroke services at Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital.
The Wake Forest Baptist Telestroke Network serves in approximately 24 counties in western North Carolina and southern Virginia. Its goal is to assist community hospitals in their efforts to prevent death and reduce disability caused by strokes. By collaborating with the Telestroke Network, ARHS now has access to 24/7 acute stroke experts via two-way real time video consultation. Thanks to this network, emergency room physicians are able to receive on demand consultation to help diagnose strokes, develop care plans and take action if necessary.
What the patient can expect
The majority of stroke patients enter the hospital through the emergency department where they are treated by a team of skilled nurses and physicians. Thanks to Telestroke technology, a robot known as RP-Lite® has joined the care team. The technologically advanced robot allows stroke expert physicians, located in the Wake Forest Baptist Stroke Center, to have remote access via two-way live video and audio capability with patients and the medical team at Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital. In addition, the stroke experts at Wake Forest Baptist have access to the patient’s medical records and diagnostic test results.
“The RP-Lite allows the Wake Forest Baptist stroke physicians to interact directly with patients, family members and hospital staff just as if they are standing at the bedside,” said Debbie Shook, Stroke Coordinator at ARHS. “Think of stroke as a brain attack – it is an emergency and every minute counts. Traditionally, the hospital would have to call in a neurologist to evaluate the patient which took time. Now, thanks to Telestroke, stroke patients can receive treatment much faster.”
Warning signs and symptoms of stroke include:
- Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, usually on one side of the body.
- Difficulty speaking or understanding language.
- Decreased or blurred vision in one or both eyes.
- Sudden, severe headaches.
- Unexplained loss of balance or dizziness.
If you or someone around you notice one or more of these warning signs, seek immediate medical attention – Call 911.
Watauga Medical Center has earned and maintained The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for certification as a Primary Stroke Center since 2011.
To learn more about The Stroke Center or Appalachian Regional Healthcare System visit www.apphrs.org.