Have you ever wondered about the meaning of all those signs that you see at the doorway when you come to visit a friend or family member in the hospital? Believe it or not, they are put up to protect you, the person you are visiting, the staff providing care and other patients.  A tall order that we all must take the time to pay attention to.

What do these signs mean?

The signs let us know that we need to pay extra attention to preventing germs from spreading.

Why are they different colors?

The signs may be different colors, green, blue or orange, but the basic idea is the same for each color:

  • Wash Your Hands – Sounds like your mom talking to you doesn’t it? It is really important though! Our hands touch everything and germs just love to hitch a ride on hands. Good hand washing is the #1 way of preventing the spread of germs. Wash your hands before you go into the room to protect your friend or loved one from germs that you may have picked up on the way to the room and wash on the way out to remove any that you may have come in contact with while visiting.
  • Wear Gowns – Yes, we all know they are hot-but they are designed to protect you. You will notice that we wear them as well. These are to provide a barrier. So that you don’t get any “ucky” germs on your clothing.
  • Wear Gloves – Like the gowns they get hot too and they too are to protect you. Sounds crazy but gloves aren’t 100% in protecting your hands and that’s why we say to wash your hands when you take gloves off. Flush those germs down the drain!It’s our pleasure and also our obligation to take care of our patients and their loved ones that is why we want you to pay attention to the signs. Think of it like this, we are like a mom reminding you to wear your mittens when you are going out to play in the snow-or reminding you to take off your muddy shoes before walking across the carpet! If you aren’t sure – please ask a member of the clinical team and they will be happy to answer your questions.