ALL ESSENTIAL CAREGIVERS AND VISITORS SHOULD BE VACCINATED

Essential Caregivers and Visitor Guidance

Sault Area Hospital (SAH) respects and values friends and families of patients as integral partners in providing excellent patient care.  We recognize family members and loved ones are important to the healing and overall well-being of our patients.  As such, the presence of visitors continues to be a priority to support patients coming for care at SAH.

Our Compassionate Person-Centered Care philosophy differentiates between Visitors and Essential Caregivers.  We recognize that Visitors and Essential Caregivers are a great resource and comfort to our patients’ which improve quality of life and their experience in care.

We’ve put together the following Essential Caregiver – Visitor Guidance to help you understand when you can visit SAH, your responsibilities as a essential caregiver – visitor, and important safety tips to follow while in the hospital.

    • Visiting hours will be between 8:30 am – 8:30 pm daily (Exceptions may be made in rare circumstances.)
    • There will be no visitors allowed on outbreak units. From time to time, further visiting restrictions may be required, with little notice (such as in a case of a patient’s change in condition). We will endeavor to meet visitor needs during these times.
    • All visitors must adhere to the personal protective equipment guidelines directed by staff.
    • Families will need to coordinate visits to ensure only the allowed number of visitors are present at the patient’s bedside.
    • Visitors (including children) who demonstrate disruptive behavior will be limited in their ability to visit.
    • Visitors’ eating and drinking in the patient rooms is not allowed.
    • GUIDANCE FOR OUTPATIENT CLINICS AND DAY SURGERY VISITS: Space in our waiting rooms is prioritized for patients. If space permits, we will support the presence of Essential Caregivers/Visitors in the waiting room. Essential Caregivers/Visitors may be asked to wait outside if the waiting room reaches maximum capacity.

NO VISITORS

Exceptions may be made if the person provides support for the following:

  • a vulnerable patient (under the age of 18, cognitive impairment, significant developmental and/or intellectual disability, unable to effectively communicate)
  • a patient at the end of life

NO VISITORS

Exceptions may be made if the person provides support for the following:

  • a vulnerable patient (under the age of 18, cognitive impairment, significant developmental and/or intellectual disability, unable to effectively communicate)
  • a patient at the end of life

 

  • Two (2) Essential Caregivers/Visitors at the bedside at any given time
  • There is no limit to the total number of Essential Caregivers/Visitors a patient may have, but only two (2) can visit at a time during visiting hours

The maximum number of persons (Essential Caregivers/Visitors) per individual at one time is based on room space; exceptions can be made; please contact your loved one’s care team to discuss your family’s needs.  

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Labour & Delivery:

  • Triage: One (1) person until admitted to labour
  • Labour: Two (2) support persons (same) during labour and delivery
  • Post-partum: One (1) support persons at a time from the Two (2) support persons during labour and delivery

No other visitors allowed in the program.

All support people must adhere to the personal protective equipment guidelines directed by staff

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Paediatrics and NICU:

  • Paediatrics: Two (2) parents + one (1) designated support person; two (2) individuals only at a time. Only one parent to stay overnight.
  • NICU: Two (2) parents.
    • Grandparents may also visit one (1) at a time with one of the parents. Two (2) individual only at a time in the NICU.

No other visitors are allowed in the program

All support people must adhere to the personal protective equipment guidelines directed by staff.

  • One (1) Visitor at the bedside at any given time. Additionally, an Essential Caregiver may be present.  
  • There is no limit to the total number of Essential Caregivers/Visitors a patient may have.
  • Each outpatient may bring one (1) support person (Essential Caregiver/Visitor).

Essential Caregivers at SAH

An Essential Caregiver is an essential individual chosen by the patient or their Substitute Decision Maker to support them during the hospital stay.  The Essential Caregiver comes to the hospital to assist with daily care of the patient providing comfort, social and cultural interaction, emotional and physical support, as well as speaking on behalf of the patient when they cannot speak.

The Essential Caregiver may be allowed access to the hospital in periods of heightened restriction, when casual visitors may be prohibited.

All Essential Caregivers must be on-boarded through the SAH Essential Caregiver program before they are considered an Essential Caregiver at SAH.  Please, speak with the Leadership Team on your loved one’s unit to discuss if identifying an individual as an Essential Caregiver would be appropriate as part of the patient’s care plan.

Visitor at SAH

A Visitor is a guest or family of the patient who have not been identified by the patient as the Essential Caregiver and may or may not be the Substitute Decision Maker (SDM). 

Essential Caregivers and Visitors Expectations

Should be fully vaccinated (14-days post-second dose)

  • Be without illness symptoms; individuals with symptoms will not be permitted to visit
  • Follow instructions given by staff; failure to follow instructions may result in a visitor being asked to leave the hospital
  • Families will need to coordinate visits to ensure only the allowed number of visitors are present at the patient’s bedside
  • Wear masks at all times while in the hospital and must wash their hands when entering and leaving a patient’s room
    • Please note that visitors who are exempt from wearing a mask will not be permitted for in-person visits. SAH will accommodate virtual visits in these circumstances. These visitors are asked to contact the appropriate department/area to arrange these virtual visits.

NOTE: The list of reasons for support for a vulnerable patient (e.g. cognitive impairment, significant developmental and/or intellectual disability, unable to effectively communicate, mobility issues) is not an exhaustive list; considerations beyond this list should be discussed with the Care Team.

Self-Screening

Please do not visit the hospital if you or your children have any of the following: new or worsening cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, severe headaches, unexplained muscle aches, unexplained extreme fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, or rashes.