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Patient Visitation Rights

Review Our Policies

Are you visiting a patient? Please take a moment to review our visitation policy:

The Purpose of Our Policy

Valley Baptist Medical Center recognizes the importance of involvement of family and friends in the patient care process while also maintaining a safe, sterile and secure environment. This policy considers the best interest of the patient, the patient care process, patient rights and the safety of the patient, the family and friends and the Valley Baptist staff providing care. To assist in the application of this policy, specific guidelines have been established, but each patient will be treated individually, and exceptions will be based on the patient’s clinical needs as well as the professional judgment of Valley Baptist staff.

General Policies

  1. Up to one family member/caretaker, as designated by the patient or the next of kin, will be permitted to stay with the patient throughout the inpatient stay.
  2. The designated family member/caretaker will be identified by badge issued at the time of registration.
  3. Up to two visitors will be permitted during visiting hours. Private rooms allow two additional visitors to the family member/caretaker. Semi-private rooms allow two visitors including the family member/caretaker.
  4. No children under age 12 will be permitted to visit patients unless deemed necessary or appropriate by medical/nursing staff.
  5. All visiting children 16 years old and younger must be supervised, including in the main lobbies.
  6. At the Harlingen facility, visitors are to enter the building through the main lobby entrances of the South Tower or the East Tower. At the Brownsville facility, visitors are to enter the building through the Main Lobby Entrance. After 8 p.m., visitors need to enter through the Emergency Room entrance. Visitor Information Guides are available in both locations.
  7. Visitors who are symptomatic (fever, lethargy, aches, cough, runny nose, vomiting and/or diarrhea) will not be allowed to enter the patient areas.
  8. To prevent spoilage of food and pests in the environment (e.g., ants), coolers and the storage of food items in the patient’s rooms and waiting areas will not be permitted.
  9. Visitors may be asked by a doctor or nurse to leave the room during a procedure and/or examination.
  10. Accompaniment of the patient to a treatment or diagnostic area may be limited by the health care provider.
  11. Security Services may intervene if problems or complaints arise with the visitation program.
  12. A family spokesperson will be identified and information regarding the patient’s medical condition will be communicated to this individual within the HIPAA rules and regulations.

Visiting in the ICUs

  1. Cell phones must be turned off while in the ICU.
  2. In the event of an emergency/procedure, visitors may be asked to step out of the unit.
  3. Two visitors per patient at any one time.

Visiting in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs)

  1. Families with special needs may request a pass from the Shift Coordinator. The pass is for a 15-minute visit during the time the unit is closed to general visitation. This pass may allow family members other than parents and grandparents to visit or may be used to schedule an appointment with the neonatologist or other consulting physician. During these special visitation times, a parent must accompany the guest(s) at the patient’s bedside
  2. Up to two people at a time may visit each patient.
  3. Siblings over 14 years of age are encouraged to visit.
  4. Visitors may be asked to step out for emergency procedures or admissions.
  5. Visitors will be required to complete a three-minute scrub before having contact with a patient.


No visitors will be allowed in the Nursery.

Enforcement and Exceptions to the Policies

  1. Volunteer Services will be responsible for communicating and enforcing the visitation policy in the main lobbies.
  2. Security Services will assist with enforcement through rounding on the main lobbies during non-visiting hours, rounding on nursing units at the end of visiting hours and immediate response to Volunteer Service calls for back-up.
  3. Each visitor will be treated with respect and compassion, and individual circumstances may call for exceptions to the policy (for example, medical services will be provided to an emergent patient who arrives in the emergency room if a child under the age of 12 is present).
    1. Volunteer Services will call the nursing unit first to discuss any circumstance that may warrant an exception to the policy.
    2. Security Services will be notified if the situation requires escalation.
    3. Security Services will work with the House Supervisor and/or the Administrator On-Call to resolve the situation if necessary.