Equal Visitation Policy
UT Southwestern Medical Center welcomes visitors as evidence of mutual concern for our patients.
1. During regular daytime hours, access to the hospital units is via the visitor elevators. After hours, guest services will call the unit to be visited.
2. Rest and unhindered performance of treatment and patient safety must be given top priority over visiting. Therefore, visitors (including family) are asked to adhere to visitor guidelines.
3. The hospital accommodates the needs of our patients and their guests by having flexible visiting hours. Specialty units and areas might have restricted visitation regulations to accommodate the patient needs. Refer to Specialty Area Departmental Policies and Unit guidelines, especially for Intensive Care Units (ICUs), Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), Transplant units, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and Women’s Services.
4. UT Southwestern University Hospitals prohibits discrimination in visitation based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Patients can designate the visitor(s) of their choice.
5. An adult (other than the patient) must accompany children at all times.
a. Children 12 years old or younger are discouraged from visiting in patient care areas (exception for Women’s Services, where siblings can visit). Children 12 years old or younger are strictly prohibited from visiting in ICUs, the PACU, the Day Surgery Unit (DSU), transplant floors, and the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) unit.
b. Children are not allowed in isolation rooms (exception for Women’s Services).
c. Children can visit in designated areas; however, they must be accompanied by an adult (other than the patient) at all times. Children must leave at the end of visiting hours as determined by the area. Children cannot be left to be cared for by a patient.
6. Special control of visiting privileges might be required for patients in isolation. Visitors are must observe all isolation precautions, such as gloves, masks, and gowns, where required.
7. Visitors with signs and symptoms of illness should not visit patients in the hospital. Patients and visitors should be educated about infection control precautions, and visitors should also observe these precautions.
a. Guidelines will be explained to patients, families, visitors, employees, and all people working in the hospital to assist in their understanding of infection control.
b. All persons are required to practice hand washing and adhere to the standards of infection control.
c. Infection control guidelines do include siblings.
d. Traffic control measures will be maintained.
8. In circumstances where a patient is in critical condition or dying, exceptions to normal visiting policies can be authorized. The charge nurse can give such authorization.
9. Charge nurses can make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
10. To have a consistent and compassionate process for managing patients’ visitors, it is necessary to keep visitors to a minimum at night for the health and safety of our patients. One adult (over age 18) can stay overnight with patients, if desired (exceptions exist for Women’s Services for a child over age 12).
11. Announcement of the end of visiting hours and visitor badging will be unit-specific, as needed.
12. All personnel are responsible for seeing that visitors observe the regulations at all times. Contact the house supervisor for assistance in the presence of conflict or if visitor problems occur.
13. The charge nurse and house supervisor will decide if a visitor requires consideration for transportation.
14. If the house supervisor and charge nurse agree that security is needed, security will be called, and the house supervisor, charge nurse, or patient care nurse will accompany the officer into the room. An event report will be entered for any security issues.