Our hospital's current visitor information

Our visitation policies are meant to support a healing and nurturing environment for our patients. We know how important family is to the well-being of our patients, and we will try to accommodate our patients' individual needs.

Visitors must be at least 12 years old unless approved by the nurses' station. If you are visiting someone in the emergency room, you must be at least 18 years old and, unless there is a special reason why you need to stay with your loved one while waiting, it is recommended that visitors remain in their vehicles otherwise.

Regardless of why you are visiting, you may enter the hospital through one of three entrances at the following times:

  • Emergency room — 24 hours a day
  • Main building — 5:30am to 8:00pm
  • South tower — 5:30am to 8:00pm

Please do not bring bags or purses into the facility if possible. Weapons of any kind are not permitted. All persons are subject to search, and administration reserves the right to seize any unauthorized weapons or property.

Visiting hours

Visiting hours for the hospital at large are 9:00am to 9:00pm, daily. Our maternity ward allows daily visitation from 10:00am to 8:30pm, but new fathers may visit at any time. For patients in our surgical-trauma intensive care unit (STICU), visitation is open at the following times:

  • 9:00am to 11:00am
  • 1:00pm to 4:00pm
  • 8:00pm to 10:00pm

At certain times or in certain situations, staff may need to limit visiting hours for a patient. The reasons may include:

  • Behavior presenting a direct threat to the patient, hospital staff or others in the immediate environment
  • Court order limiting or restraining contact
  • Current condition of the patient
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Extraordinary protections because of a pandemic or infectious disease breakout
  • Health and safety of the patient's family
  • Needs for a sterile environment
  • Patient's risk of infection by the visitor
  • Substance abuse treatment protocols requiring restricted visitation
  • Visitor's risk of infection by the patient
  • Wishes for privacy or uninterrupted rest time

At Grand Strand Medical Center, smoking is prohibited on all hospital property, including the use of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, etc.

Visiting guidelines

At this time, only two visitors are allowed for each adult patient, but visitors may switch out throughout the hospital stay. While you are at the hospital, we ask that you follow these guidelines when visiting:

  • Do not linger in the hallways or at the nurses' station to protect patient privacy and decrease noise for other patients.
  • Do not visit a patient if you have a cold or a cough.
  • If a room curtain is closed, do not enter.
  • If there are precaution signs posted on a patient's door, please see the nurses' station for guidance on entering.
  • Keep noise and conversations in the room and hallways at a library level.
  • Limit your visit to 15 minutes or less and only two visitors at a time.
  • Live plants, cut flowers and latex balloons are not permitted in the ICU. Non-latex balloons are allowed.
  • Please do not bring food or drinks into the patient's room. We also cannot store anything in the hospital refrigerators due to infection control regulations.
  • Refrain from photographing and video recording.
  • Use the chairs provided in the patient room or stand.
  • Wear shirts and shoes.
  • Wash or sanitize hands when entering and exiting the patient's room.

Patient safety

We use a patient-specific passcode for security. We request you to have this number available when calling about your loved one.

The patient, if able, should designate one family member or friend as a care partner who will be involved in their care plan and decision making. This person may also serve as the designated spokesperson to effectively communicate among extended family members about the patient's status. This will help reduce the volume of calls that can prevent the nursing staff from caring for your loved one. This designated person should not give out the patient passcode, in order to protect the patient's privacy.

When calling about a patient, please call the hospital main number at (843) 692-1000, provide the patient's name and ask to be connected to the nurses' station.

COVID-19 policies

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to make certain adjustments to visitor policies. Primarily, all visitors must wear a mask at all times, even in private patient rooms. We also ask that you remain with the patient once you are inside of their room.

Additionally, to maintain the health and safety of our patients, staff and you, our visitors, we have enacted the following policies:

  • Only one negative-screened visitor may stay overnight with each adult patient. Overnight visitors may not switch out after 8:00pm.
  • Only one visitor is allowed for positive COVID-19 patients or patients waiting for COVID-19 test results.
  • Visitors are not allowed to wear gloves in public areas.
  • Visitors are not allowed to congregate in common areas and must practice social distancing.

For your own safety, if you have a pre-existing health condition or are otherwise considered to be high-risk for COVID-19, we would strongly discourage you from visiting at this time. Instead, we recommend and encourage virtual communication through video chatting apps.

Facts and the latest updates about COVID-19 vaccination

We support vaccination initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about where and when you can get a COVID-19 vaccine, please visit vaccines.gov or call (800) 232-0233.

See the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) resource page for extensive information and the latest recommendations regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

Why get vaccinated?

Immunization helps save millions of lives every year. Whereas most medicines treat or cure diseases, vaccines can help prevent them by working with your body's natural defenses to build protection. When you receive a vaccine, your immune system responds.

Vaccines prevent more than 20 life-threatening diseases, and help people of all ages live longer, healthier lives. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that globally, immunization currently prevents between two and three million deaths every year from diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza and measles.

COVID-19 vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask and staying at least six feet away from others, may help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, vaccination, while following the CDC's recommendations for protecting yourself and others, will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

We appreciate that you have chosen our hospital, and want to do everything we can to make sure you are satisfied with your experience. During your time with us, please let your healthcare team know how they can best serve you.

Circumstances may allow for specific exceptions to any visitation restrictions described on this webpage. Those circumstances include religious visitation as well as a designated support person for a patient with a disability to provide assistance with communication or other necessary components of the patient's treatment. All persons entering under an exception remain subject to appropriate infection control protocols.