Guidelines for Primary Supports and Visitors
University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics supports a patient and family-centered approach to
care. This means that you can help us plan your care. As part of planning your care we will ask
you to tell us which people closest to you can provide you with support during your stay. Most
patients and families need help and support. Needs may vary from person to person.
We have defined two types of people that may be with you during your stay. Primary Support
Persons are the 1 or 2 people you are closest to. Visitors are guests of you and your family.
Who are Primary Support Persons?
People who provide you with the support you need
Your support persons may include
o Best friends
o A partner
Who are Visitors?
They are guests of you or your family.
They may only visit at certain times during the day.
How Do I Designate Who my Primary Support Persons Are?
Your primary nurse will review the Primary Support and Visitor Guidelines with you.
At any time during your hospital stay, you may tell us who your primary support people
are. Most often, this will include a small number of people.
You are free to change your primary support persons at any time.
We will make sure you have quiet time for rest and privacy. We will help you balance
your need for support and your need for rest.
When are visiting hours?
Primary Supports Visitors
Most often can come at any time
based on the wishes of patients
8 am to 9 pm, except in special
Must be at least 18 years old. An adult must be present with all
visitors under 16 years old.
Due to space limits, in most cases
only one support person is allowed
to spend the night in a patient’s
Anyone who visits after 9 pm must
wear a badge and be approved by the
staff on the unit caring for the
Items of value should not be brought to the hospital. Only bring items that are needed,
like glasses or hearing aids. The hospital is not responsible for lost or misplaced items.
If the people who come to see you need a place to spend the night, they can call the
Housing Coordinator at 263-0315 for help in finding a local hotel.
Visitors under the age of 18 are NOT allowed to spend the night.
If you are in isolation your visitors MUST wear Personal Protective Equipment.
How are Badges Obtained?
Our goal is to provide a safe environment. One way to ensure this is to give after hour badges to
those people who have been granted permission to stay after 9 pm. Primary support persons and
visitors must obtain an ID badge in order to stay after hours.
o To get an ID badge, primary support persons must receive a card from the unit
staff. The card is then taken to the Security Office found near the Main Entrance
of the hospital. This must be done before 9 pm.
o The badge will be valid for one week. It may be used until the date printed on the
o Visitors who have been given permission to visit after hours must also go to the
Security Office found near the Main Entrance of the hospital to obtain a badge.
This must be done before 9 pm.
o These badges are valid only for one night.
Who Should Not Visit?
There are times when people should not visit you in the hospital.
If the visitor or primary support has been exposed to an infection or illness
o Active tuberculosis
o Acute respiratory illness
o Pertussis (whooping cough)
o Certain skin infections
People who have been exposed to these illnesses should check with their doctor to see if they can
get or spread the illness. If so, they should not come to visit for three weeks from the time they
were exposed. For any health condition where the safety of visiting is uncertain, they should
check with their doctor or your nurse.
If you decide that you do not want people to visit at a certain time
If you no longer wish to visit with a certain person
For the Psychiatric Unit:
Primary supports should talk with the nursing staff as early in the day as possible if they
would like to spend the night. If the primary nurse decides that this will be allowed, one
adult primary support may spend the night in the patient’s room.
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #7211.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©3/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6608.