Do you stop and stutter outside hospital doors like a frightened dog at the sight of the vets? Does the idea of wandering through one of those clinical, illness-ridden wards send shivers down your spine? Does staying overnight in an adjustable bed send you into spirals of panic?
Then your fear of hospitals is reaching dangerous levels.
Known as Nosocomephobia, the fear of hospitals, although arguably reasonable, can be more damaging to your health than the ailment you should be treated for. By avoiding hospitals, you’re avoiding treatment. And by avoiding treatment, you’re prolonging illness.
It’s easy to imagine the avoidance of hospitals increasing in recent years, with the onslaught of news headlines decrying superbugs like MRSA, or claiming a need to return to a Victorian-style of cleanliness.
However, the majority of hospitals aren’t breeding grounds for germs and diseases, but clean zones run by helpful professionals.
To put your mind at ease, we’ve gathered together these tips to help beat your fear of these benign medical institutions.
Find out about cleaning plans
Knowing that you’re in a hygienic environment can be enough to put germy jitters to one side, allowing you to relax into your hospital stay.
So, find out the cleaning schedule of the building you’re visiting. First off, look up the pharmaceutical waste routine your hospital carries out, ensuring they hire professional contractors who dispose of waste responsibly.
The same applies to the contractors hired to scrub, disinfect, and maintain the hygiene standards of the rest of the building. Ensure that they clean their premises regularly and thoroughly, and you won’t feel like you’re entering an all you can eat buffet for bacteria.
Speak to the professionals
Who better to put your mind at rest about hospitals than the professionals who work there day in, day out? With just a few quick chats, you’ll feel reassured that the doctors and nurses helping you are fully professional and following all the right rules.
It’s easy to see doctors as stone-faced figures, fustier than a decrepit librarian, and with as warm a bedside manner as a medically trained iceberg.
But by asking them some questions, that fear will ebb away, revealing a warm and personable figure who’ll happily guide you through the process.
Have a personal hygiene plan
If you’re not convinced by your hospital’s hygiene then it’s up to you to create the ideal strategy to stay clean during your stay.
Admittedly that could be harder than it first seems. If you’ve ever been under the weather, you’ll know how difficult it can be to muster the energy to even wash your hands, let alone grab a shower.
So have nurses help you stay at your preferred level of cleanliness and be sure to wash your hands when moving between wards, and you’ll bat away germs like a baseball player in the World