I'm writing an article in health care field. I'm looking for a word that is used for a person who accompanies a patient in hospital. I once saw the specific word for that in an article but I can't remember it. I know that it's not "visitor" or "patient relative". There is a very specific word for it.

  • Auxiliary ? : (North American) A volunteer giving supplementary support to an organization or institution:
    – user66974
    Nov 29 '15 at 7:45
  • 4
    There are patient advocates, caregivers, friends, aides, and a host of other people who accompany patients. Can you be more specific (is it a profession? Etc.) Nov 29 '15 at 8:34
  • I think "escort" would be the normal generic term, in the US.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 29 '15 at 23:42
  • Could you read the comments on Stu's answer and edit the question to include the purpose of the accompanier, please?
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 16 '17 at 8:59
  • If the person is part of the care team (who usually works under the nurse observation), the right term is "companion". If the person is a friend or relative of the patient and is NOT part of the care team, I 'm not sure, maybe "chaperone", as others said.
    – Tohid
    Dec 24 '18 at 14:20

"Chaperone" for all nonpsychiatric services in the US. For psychiatric services, the word is "sitter." The sitter's role is simply to observe that the patient is not trying to harm oneself, may also be used with dementia.

  • Yep, and a chaperone is merely 'a person who accompanies and looks after another person or group of people', in addition to the 'married or older woman, who, for propriety, accompanies a young unmarried woman in public or who attends a party of young unmarried men and women' Sep 15 '17 at 17:53
  • Do you have a citation for this usage of chaperone in the health care field? I can believe that it is a jargon term, but absent evidence of existing usage in the field I'd be very reluctant to apply a term that carries such heavy connotations of accompanying someone to keep them out of trouble to a generic medical visit situation. That is, if I were being admitted to the hospital and someone asked me "and do you have a chaperone with you today?" I'd either be offended (just why do they think I need one?) or downgrade my opinion of the speaker's language skills.
    – 1006a
    Sep 15 '17 at 18:13
  • @1006a The term is definitely used in the UK. You can search for GP practices which offer chaperones. However chaperones are not required: but they can be offered where a patient feels the need for one, or the patient can bring one for themselves. (Chaperones are there to make sure nothing untoward is done by the doctor/nurse, particularly when examining more private areas of the body)
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 15 '17 at 21:09
  • @AndrewLeach That seems different from what the OP is asking about, though, if "visitor" and "relative" are examples.
    – 1006a
    Sep 15 '17 at 21:15
  • In the old days, I believe the term was "candy striper," but that's before my time. In the last couple of years, I've noticed the term "caretaker" become more prevalent, especially with medically complicated patients coming from, say, a skilled nursing facility. But "chaperone" is the most widely accepted, generic term I've heard in US
    – Stu W
    Sep 15 '17 at 22:44

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