What are Care Partners?
- May be family members or close friends, age 18 or older, who are designated by the patient as the primary source of physical, psychological, emotional and/or spiritual support.
- Are patient advocates who are treated as active members of the healthcare team.
- May be provided with patient information and may act as the family spokesperson, with permission from the patient.
- May visit or stay with the patient around the clock. Overnight stays are limited to one Care Partner.
- May learn skills to provide care at home.
How can Care Partners help?
As a Care Partner, you can:
- Provide emotional and spiritual support and give the reassuring touch of a hand, an encouraging smile, or a soothing presence.
- Help with patient care (personal care, feeding/ food selection, walking, etc.)
- Accompany and support the patient during select testing and procedures.
- Ask questions, write down the answers and share any concerns about the patient's health with the patient's nurse or other members of the healthcare team.
- Help minimize the number of visitors at the bedside at any given time so the patient can rest.
- Be respectful of other patients and their visitors.
- Respect the privacy and confidentiality of all patients.
- Help create a quiet environment by speaking in a soft tone and keeping cell phones on vibrate and the television volume on "low."
- Bring any concerns to a member of the health care team.
Other things Care Partners should know
As a Care Partner, you are expected to:
- Check in at the visitors' station upon arrival.
- Wear your Care Partner I.D. badge so it is visible.
- Wash your hands before entering and after leaving the patient's room or bedside.
- Comply with all hospital policies and follow any infection prevention guidelines, including isolation precautions, when appropriate
- Not come to the hospital if you are sick or not feeling well.
- Alert the healthcare team of changes in the patient's condition
- Consult with the nurse before giving the patient food or fluids, including water.
- Secure your own and the patient's personal belongings
- Refrain from handling patient care equipment, instruments or devices
- Inform family members and friends about visiting guidelines to help protect the patient's privacy and ensure adequate rest for the patient and Care Partner.
- Alert the healthcare team if you become aware of any environmental emergency while you are on the patient care unit.
Care Partner badge and security code
- Care Partners receive an identification (ID) badge to be worn at all times on the hospital campus. The badge identifies the Care Partner as an important member of the healthcare team.
- A security code, written on the back of the badge, makes it possible for Care Partners to receive patient information by phone, with the patient's permission. Please do not share the code. We count on Care Partners to share information about the patient with family and friends.
Care Partners in specialty units at Yale-New Haven Hospital
Specialty units might have additional guidelines to ensure the best and safest possible patient care. Speak to a member of the healthcare team to find out if there are special guidelines on your unit.
Taking care of the Care Partner
We recognize that having a loved one in the hospital is difficult. While extremely rewarding, being a Care Partner can be stressful. The staff at Yale-New Haven Hospital encourages you to take care of yourself while you're here with your loved one.
- Schedule breaks and get plenty of rest.
- If possible, switch with another family member or friend so that you can go home for a shower, change of clothes and a nap.
- Don't forget to eat regular meals. Information about cafeteria hours and locations can be found in the inpatient guide.
- Please let us know about any concerns. Our staff is ready to guide you in your role as a Care Partner so please don't hesitate to seek our advice.
Patient-to-Patient shared room etiquette*
A clean, quiet and restful shared room environment is very important for healing and recovery. Here are some suggestions to help maintain a shared room environment that promotes healing and recovery.
- Use frequent hand washing to stop the spread of germs.
- Keep the bathroom neat and clean for the next person. Have visitors use public restroom facilities.
- Keep noise levels low.
- Speak softly.
- If you have a cell phone in the room, put it on vibrate or silent.
- If you listen to music, use headphones.
- Between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. use headphones when watching TV.
- Dim room lighting by 9 p.m.
- Do not discuss with others the condition, illness or treatment of the patient(s) with whom you share the room or any conversations which you might have overheard.
- Limit the number of visitors at any one time and encourage your visitors to help maintain a restful healing environment.
- Wear clothing which is appropriate to maintain privacy for both you and others.
- Keep your belongings secure and on your side of the room.
- Use only those items which belong to you or are assigned for your use during your hospital stay.
Be respectful of requests made by hospital staff related to the maintenance of a healing environment.
- Keep pathways free of clutter to allow access to each patient and to avoid tripping hazards.
- Be sure that any visiting children are wellsupervised and use quiet voices.
* These suggestions have been prepared by the YNHH Patient and Family Advisory Council, a group of patients and family members who embrace the concepts of patient and family centered care, and strive to be a voice for patients and their family members. This Council works in collaboration with the leadership of Yale-New Haven Hospital to promote quality care for all. For information about the PFAC, call 203.688-3299.