The 2017-18 flu season began October 1 and runs through May, and acccording to The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina has already seen its first two deaths as a result of flu. As a visitor to our facilities, you play an important part in preserving the health and safety of patients.

The following precautions can protect our patients, as well as visitors, from the spread of infection. 


Clean your hands before and after visiting

The soap, water and hand sanitizer in the patient rooms are for everyone. Wash or sanitize your hands when entering and leaving the room of the person you are visiting to avoid bringing in and carrying out germs. Insist any healthcare provider do the same before caring for your loved one. Do not sit on patient beds or handle their equipment.


Check with nurses before you bring in food, send flowers or bring children

While flowers, young visitors and home-baked dishes spread cheer, they may not be allowed, so check with the nurse first. Cut flowers but not potted plants may be allowed in intensive care units. If you change the water in a vase of flowers, make sure to wash your hands afterwards. No children under the age of 12 can visit in the Intensive Care Unit. Children elsewhere in the hospital should not disturb the other patients. Bringing food is risky because the patient may be on a special diet or the food could spoil and make the patient sick. Half eaten food cannot be returned to the refrigerator and must be discarded.


Practice Cough Etiquette

Do not cough or sneeze into your hands. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue. Discard tissue in the trash immediately after use. Wash your hands or use an alcohol hand sanitizer.


Isolation Precautions: Read & follow any instructions posted outside the door

  • Contact Precautions: you must wear gloves and a gown when entering the room.
  • Droplet or Airborne Precautions: you must wear a mask when entering the room.

If the patient you visit has a sign on the door you are required to obey it. Please talk to the nurses if you need assistance. Although you may have been around this person or live with this person, we must protect the other hospital patients and visitors. You can ask the nurse for any educational materials that may be available.


Stay at home if you are sick

Do not visit the hospital if you are sick or have had any ill symptoms within the last three days including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, rash or uncontrolled cough.

licensure logo fall 2017 green print jpg1The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit health care ratings organization, today released new Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades. The Safety Grade assigns letter grades of A, B, C, D and F to hospitals nationwide based on their performance in preventing medical errors, infections and other harms. Watauga Medical Center was one of 832 awarded an “A” for its commitment to keeping patients safe and meeting the highest safety standards in the U.S.

Diabetes November 1200


Click to enlarge this infographic

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of Americans are unaware that they have prediabetes or diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US. If unmanaged, it can cause life-altering symptoms such as blindness, limb amputations, and kidney failure.

The good news is that you CAN take steps to prevent T2 or manage your diabetes with healthy lifestyle changes.

Click here to take the quiz and find out if you are at risk.  

December 14, 2017
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Watauga Medical Center Auditorium


The 45th Annual Grover C. Robbins, Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament was held at Elk River Club on Monday, September 11, 2017. The event raised more than $36,500 to benefit the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center. Sandi Cassidy, Director of Oncology Services, stated, “I cannot express the depth of my gratitude to everyone involved and for all the work that goes into making this incredible event so very special. Please accept my thanks to each and every one involved in making the 2017 Grover Robbins Golf Tournament a huge success.”