People are by nature social. There is a community feeling to help one another in good and bad times. This also includes visiting a sick person.
When a person is hospitalized, he or she has many visitors, depending on the size of his family and number of social relations he has maintained. People visit a sick person in the hospital spontaneously out of good will. Nobody has to be told to the hospital for visiting a sick neighbour or relative.
But while visiting an ill person in the hospital, it is good to remember some things. The visit should not be a mere formality. It should help the patient and his family in the well being of the patient. The first important thing to keep in mind is the time of going to the hospital. As such, majority of the hospitals have fixed hours for visitors and that should be respected. Apart from this, one should keep in mind that while going to visit a patient, the time should not clash with the time of washing or feeding the patient or working of doctors or nurses within the room where the patient has been put.
If possible one can take some food for the patient or his family members who are attending to him. This by itself becomes a big help because in some cases there may be only 1 or 2 persons to be with the patient, thus bringing food from outside becomes problematic for them. Taking some fruits or toiletries needed by the sick person is also useful.
If one has spare time on his hands, he should also offer to spend some time with the patient in the hospital and help in his care. This gives the caretakers enough time to go out of the hospital for a much needed change and rest. In case of chronically ill people who have been hospitalized for a long time or are hospitalized frequently, care givers also start getting exhausted. If somebody replaces them for few hours, it is a big help for them.
In no way should a visitor, discuss the sickness of the patient with him or his family members. After all, that person is obviously there for treatment of a sickness which has caused pain and distress. If you cannot do anything about it, there is no use of asking many questions pointedly and reminding the person of his pain.
The same thing applies to treatment. Many people start telling about their own ailments and experiences of different types of treatment while visiting a sick individual. It should be remembered that no two persons are exactly alike. In two persons even if the disease is the same, there are multiple factors which determine the treatment and the response to treatment.
So treatment of one cannot be extrapolated to another. Moreover, the person is there due to his confidence in the hospital and its staff in helping him to get better. Many suggestions are bound to confuse the person and affect his compliance with the prescribed treatment.
Some persons while visiting a sick man or woman forget that they are in the hospital. They tend to laugh and talk loudly and even play the radio in high volume. These persons seem to be ignorant of the fact that a sick person needs a quiet atmosphere along with rest for good recovery. Noise is irritating not only for this one but for other sick persons who are also there. I vividly remember a man who was affected due to noise many years ago.
A middle aged man had recovered from a heart attack and was to be discharged. He had many visitors that evening who were laughing and talking loudly as if in a restaurant. Within minutes, this gentleman developed another attack and died before he could be resuscitated.
Keeping these small things in mind, when one goes to visit a patient, the visit will be useful and the patient and his care takers will feel grateful.