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Modified Visitor Policy

At the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital/Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Twentynine Palms, we pride ourselves in our customer service. We have accommodated unique requests and make every effort within reason to comply with patient requests. The current COVID-19 pandemic is different. Medical treatment facilities nationwide, both military and civilian, are limiting visitor access to their facilities. Children are not an exception. This policy protects both patients and staff. We empathize with parents and family members who have to juggle childcare to go to an appointment; but we cannot make exceptions (except, please see subpara e. below). We hope that you
understand that this policy is for everyone's overall protection.
Visitation to the Navy hospital will be more limited in response to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19). Effective immediately, all routine visits are being suspended until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, staff and community. Exceptions include:
a. There will be one visitor allowed per adult patient -- we recommend alternate ways for patient visitors to interact, such as phone calls, video-call applications on cell phones, tablets or laptops, and other web-based means.
b. We may adjust for end-of-life situations when family members would want to be at a patient's bedside.
c. Visitors will be screened for signs of illness and travel histories and will have their temperature taken via a thermal thermometer before being
allowed entry. These steps are to ensure the safety of some of the most vulnerable patients and residents as well as employees.
d. Visitors who do not have official medical business or a medical appointment will not be permitted to enter the facility.
e. Pediatric patients are allowed both parents, and caregivers, in the room. Children under age 14 (without a medical appointment) will not be permitted. We do understand the unique challenges our military families face.  If you have a required medical appointment, your spouse is deployed, and you are unable to secure childcare, you will be permitted entry to attend your appointment.  Clinics will reach out to patients in advance of the appointment to offer resources and options.  The safety of all our patients is a top priority. 

Guidelines for Service Animals


Guidelines for Service Animals
This policy is in place to establish and clarify legal obligations and etiquette guidelines when interacting with an individual using a service animal, with a particular emphasis on the healthcare setting. Service animals serve as an adjunct to traditional medical, nursing, and physiological interventions to help facilitate the health and well-being of patients, families and staff. Conceptually, it may be helpful to substitute the term “assistive device” for “service animal” in thinking through the issues.
The definition of service animals are animals individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with a mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. A service animal whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, healthcare facilities must permit the use of a service animal by a person with a disability, including during a public health emergency or disaster.
Service animals are to accompany the individual with a disability in all areas of the Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) where healthcare personnel, visitors, and patients are normally allowed during inpatient services, unless the animal’s presence or behavior creates a fundamental alteration in the nature of a MTF’s services in a particular area or a direct threat to other persons in a particular area. It may be appropriate to exclude a service animal from limited access areas that employ general infection control measures, such as operating rooms and burn units, where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile field environment.
Allergies and fear of animals are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to animal dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility. People with disabilities who use service animals may not be isolated from others, treated less favorably than others, or charged with fees.
Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or if an individual’s disability prevents using these devices. The handler/owner must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. When encountering an individual with a service animal, do not interact with or distract the animal. Staff are not required to provide care or food for a service animal.

Military Health System Policies

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