Guidelines for Visitors

visitorVisitors can be “good medicine” for patients. Family members and friends are welcome to visit; however, patient care is our primary concern and we ask that you follow specific visiting hours and regulations established for each unit to maintain the quality of care.

  • All visitors must provide a valid form of picture identification at the reception desk in the main lobby.
  • All visitors going to patients' rooms must be at least 13 years of age. In certain situations, a patient may leave the floor to visit children in the Level 1 waiting areas or children may have a limited visit in the patient's room. If you wish to make such arrangements please talk with your nurse.
  • No more than two visitors should be in the patient's room at one time. Visitors to semi-private rooms should be considerate of both patients.
  • People with colds, sore throats or any contagious diseases should not visit patients.
  • Visits should be kept short and to maintain a quiet environment, visitors should avoid creating unnecessary noise.
  • Visitors may be asked to leave the room when the doctor or nurse needs to see the patient. Liberal visiting arrangements may be made for families or friends of surgical patients on the day of surgery.
  • Visitors should ask before giving gifts of food or beverages since many patients have special or restricted diets.
  • Plants and flowers are not permitted in the critical care units.
  • In order to protect confidential patient information and the rights and privacy of hospital staff, patient and visitor use of recording devices such as cameras (including cell phone cameras), video recorders, audio recorders or any other type of equipment used to capture or record images and/or sound is prohibited on The George Washington University Hospital premises with the exception of the Women’s Services Unit and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (please see the Child Birth packet for specifics). Please respect the privacy of others and speak to the GW Hospital Patient Advocate at 202-715-4195 if you have any concerns.

Hospital Visiting Hours

The visiting hours for general, medical and surgical units are from 8:00 a.m. – 10 p.m.
ICU visiting hours are from 8:30 a.m. – 6:45 p.m. and 7:45 – 10 p.m.
Please note that specific units may have different visiting hours. If you need additional information, please check with the nurse on the unit. 

Condition Reports

Any personal information about a patient’s diagnosis and treatment must come from the patient’s physician, and this information is available only to designated members of the patient’s family or those designated by the patient.

Waiting Areas

There are designated lounge areas for visitors on each patient floor. Specific waiting areas have been designated for families and friends of patients in the critical care units, the Emergency Department and surgery ont he first floor.

Out-of-Town Visitors

Accommodations for out-of-town visitors are available at nearby hotels. The hospital has preferred rates with several area hotels. View a list of area hotels >

Smoke-Free Environment

Because of the hospital’s interest in good health, and in accordance with local laws, The George Washington University Hospital is a smoke-free environment. For this reason, smoking is prohibited in the hospital, outside our entrances and on our property.


Located on the Lobby Level, the cafeteria is open 7 days a week for service as follows:


Breakfast 6:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Lunch 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Afternoon Service  2  – 4 p.m.
Dinner 4 – 7 p.m.
Evening Service 7 – 11 p.m.


Breakfast 7 – 9:30 a.m.
Lunch 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Afternoon Service  2 – 4 p.m.
Dinner 4 – 7 p.m.
Evening Service 7 – 11 p.m.

Starbucks Coffee

Located in the cafeteria. 24-hour service from 7 a.m. Sunday through 8 p.m. Friday. Re-opens Saturday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.


Vending machines are located in the cafeteria, Emergency Room waiting area and visitors’ lounges on the third, fourth and fifth floors.