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Family Presence & Visitation Policies

MUSC Health is committed to a patient and family-centered approach to care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among patients, families, and staff. 

Policy & Purpose

MUSC Health welcomes the presence and participation of families, visitors and other partners in care, according to patient preferences, in order to promote a healing environment for the patient. MUSC Health will make every reasonable effort to facilitate access to our hospitals by family and visitors, while ensuring that staff and physicians can safely and compassionately care for patients.

  • At least one adult family member is welcome at the patient's bedside 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to promote communication, meet the cognitive and emotional needs of the patient and family, and to enhance the family caregiver's knowledge and skill. Other visitors are welcome from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.
  • For the safety and security of you and your child, please bring a photo ID to obtain a visitor's badge at any MUSC Health Security or Welcome Desk. All inpatient units are locked for the protection of our patients and families and this badge is required to access the unit.
  • Children over the age of two may visit, with adult supervision, and should be coordinated with the patient's health care team.
  • For the safety of our patients, any visitor showing signs of illness is asked not to visit the Children's Hospital. Signs and symptoms include, but are not limited to, persistent cough, sneezing, rash, fever, chills, weakness, fatigue, vomiting, and dizziness.
  • MUSC Health reserves the right to limit or restrict visitation.

Definitions

Family: The patient chooses who he/she considers to be their family. Most often these individuals are the patient's primary support persons – those who normally provide a patient with significant physical, psychological or emotional support. Examples might be a close family member, domestic or same-sex partner, spouse, sibling or best friend. Patients define who is family, and how they will be involved in their care. In pediatrics, family members are defined by the patient's parents or legal guardians.

Patient's Personal Representative: It is helpful if patients can choose one support person to serve as their "spokesperson" for family presence and visitation. The spokesperson can help relay information to family and friends, manage the patient's visitation preferences and help coordinate "switching'' of visitors when appropriate.

Visitors: Any person who does not play a significant role in the on-going care of the patient.

Child: Any person less than 18 years of age except for emancipated minors.

Patient & Family Centered Care (PFCC): An approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among patients, families, and health care providers. PFCC applies to patients of all ages and can be practiced in any health care setting.

Security and Welcome Desks: These desks are staffed by various MUSC Health staff including; security, house concierges and/or information specialists. They greet patients, family, visitors, staff and volunteers, assist with way-finding, identification and badging, and overall customer service.

Additional Visitation Information

What to Bring When Visiting

  • Before you bring gifts with flowers or food, please check with the patient's nurse to make sure that there are no existing allergy or dietary restrictions.
  • Nothing cheers a child up faster than a bunch of balloons, but please refrain from bringing any balloons containing latex into the hospital. Not only are latex balloons a choking hazard, but many children also experience a strong allergic reaction when exposed to latex products. Mylar balloons are a welcome alternative.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the MUSC Campus and have parked in one of our garages, please bring your parking ticket inside with you. This will help us redirect you to the appropriate garage when you are ready to leave.

Newborn Nursery Visitation

Please follow these guidelines when visiting patients in the nurseries.

  • Parents and grandparents may visit 24 hours a day with the exception of shift changes at 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Siblings may visit from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and must be at least three years of age. Other family and friends may visit from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and must be at least 12 years of age.
  • A parent or guardian must be present when other family and friends are visiting.
  • Only two adult visitors may be at the bedside at a time. During sibling visitation, three total visitors may be at the bedside (two adults, one child, or one adult and two children). Out of respect for other families’ privacy, we also ask that your family and friends stay at your baby’s bedside when visiting.
  • On your first visit, you will be asked to give a 4-digit security code for entry into the nursery. Please give this code only to the baby’s father or one significant other, and the grandparents. The nursery staff cannot be held responsible for information given to others who use your security code. The security code is also needed to get information about your baby over the phone. Only parents will be given information about the baby over the phone. Please let the grandparents and other family members know this so they do not get upset when they are not given information by phone.
  • For your baby’s safety, all of our nurseries are locked. Both 8th floor nurseries have phones at the entrance that connect you to the clerk inside the nursery. Both 5th floor nurseries have call boxes that do the same thing. Give your security code. The clerk will let the nurse know that you are here to visit. Stay on the phone or by the call box until you get the OK, and the doors will be unlocked for you.
  • Hand washing is the single most important act you can do to prevent getting sick and making others sick. We ask that all visitors sign the visitor log then wash their hands thoroughly before visiting the baby. The log book is near the first scrub sink in all nurseries.
  • Wearing artificial fingernails, tips, wraps and fillers can hide germs that can make your baby very sick. If you wear these on your hands, you will be required to wear gloves when touching or handling your baby. Finger rings, bracelets and wrist watches can also carry germs, so please remove these items before washing your hands.
  • Please try to be “fresh as a daisy” when visiting with your baby! Strong smells can be overwhelming and even harmful for your baby (especially smoke on clothing).
  • Only parents and grandparents can hold the baby. Skin-to-skin holding (kangaroo care) is given only by parents. Check with the baby's nurse to see if the baby can kangaroo with you. Siblings may be allowed to hold the baby when the baby is well enough and with parents and nurses around to help.
  • Please do not visit when you are sick! Anyone with a fever, diarrhea, cold or the flu must stay away until they are well. Visitors exposed to chicken pox or other contagious diseases may need to delay visits for up to 21 days.
  • Any visitor who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not be allowed in the unit.
  • Sometimes things may happen that will delay your entry into the nursery. The nurse may have to ask you to leave the bedside for a while or limit the number of visitors coming to see your baby. Please bear with us if this happens. We only have your baby’s best interest at heart, and do this only when we must.
  • Children must be with an adult in any of our nurseries and waiting areas. While in the nursery, the child(ren) must stay at the bedside with a parent and are not allowed to roam around. Visitation may have to be short (10 to 20 minutes) for children who seem restless and need to take a break. It is hard for a young child to be quiet for long periods of time in the nursery. Please think about this when planning the time and length of your visit.

We do not limit the number of visitors your baby can have. We are asking you to do that. Remember that your baby is in this special nursery for a reason. The more people who visit, the greater the risk of infection, over-stimulation and problems with your baby’s routine. Please bring in only those relatives and friends who are most important to you

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NNICU) & Special Care Nurseries (SCN) Visitation

There are additional guidelines to be aware of when you come to the NNICU.

  • For the safety of our patients, any family member or visitor showing signs of illness is asked not to visit the Children's Hospital. Signs and symptoms include, but are not limited to, persistent cough, sneezing, rash, fever, chills, weakness, fatigue, vomiting and dizziness.
  • We welcome families 24 hours a day; however, there is not a place to sleep at the patient's bedside. There is a family "Quiet Room" with sleeping space available, on a first come first serve basis. Please see the Guest Services Representative for additional accommodations.
  • Two adults may be at the bedside at a time due to limited space in the ICU. When siblings are present, they may accompany the adults for a maximum of three people at the bedside at a time.
  • Parents or guardians may provide a list of up to six adults they consider "family." The six people will be "Designated Support Persons" (DSP). They must provide photo identification to be copied and kept at the front desk. The DSP will not receive medical information. Any other visitors will be accompanied by the parents.
  • Everyone entering the NNICU will wash their hands for a “2-minute hand scrub."

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) Visitation

There are additional guidelines to be aware of when you come to the PICU:

  • For the safety of our patients, any family member or visitor showing signs of illness is asked not to visit the Children's Hospital. Signs and symptoms include, but are not limited to, persistent cough, sneezing, rash, fever, chills, weakness, fatigue, vomiting and dizziness.
  • We welcome families 24 hours a day; however, there is not a place to sleep at the patient's bedside. There is a family "Quiet Room" with sleeping space available, on a first come first serve basis. Please see the Guest Services Representative for additional accommodations.
  • Two adults may be at the bedside at a time, due to limited space in the ICU. When siblings are present, they may accompany the adults for a maximum of three people at the bedside at a time.

Pediatric Cardiology Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) Visitation

There are additional guidelines to be aware of when you come to the PCICU:

  • For the safety of our patients, any family member or visitor showing signs of illness is asked not to visit the Children's Hospital. Signs and symptoms include, but are not limited to, persistent cough, sneezing, rash, fever, chills, weakness, fatigue, vomiting and dizziness.
  • We welcome families 24 hours a day; however, there is not a place to sleep at the patient's bedside. There is a family "Quiet Room" with sleeping space available, on a first come first serve basis. Please see the Guest Services Representative for additional accommodations.
  • Two adults may be at the bedside at a time due to limited space in the ICU. When siblings are present, they may accompany the adults for a maximum of three people at the bedside at a time.