Etiquette Tips for Get Well Wishes

Many people are eager to send get well wishes to a friend, co-worker or loved one who needs them. However, there are certain rules of etiquette that should be followed, depending on the condition and your relationship with the person. Whether the condition is mild and temporary or something more serious, get well wishes can boost the spirits of the sick person.

If someone is heading to the hospital for treatments or minor surgery, it's appropriate to send them a message. This can be in the form of a card and can be accompanied by a small gift, such as get well flowers or a balloon bouquet. When sickness or injury happens to someone, they need to know they have support. Often, well wishes can boost someone's sagging spirit. However, there are rules of etiquette for get well wishes that should be followed in order for you to express your concern properly.

Timing: It is good etiquette to send off the get well card or get well flowers as soon as you learn about the illness, hospitalization or injury. Delaying the get well wishes may send the message that you either don't know about the condition or that you aren't very concerned about the person. A simple card sent right away can always be followed up with something else, and it's better to send something soon rather than wait.

Messages: Most people send a commercial card, pre-printed with soft colors, pretty pictures and a poem or verse inside. However, proper etiquette for get well wishes means that you should include a handwritten note inside the card. While it doesn't need to be a lengthy note, something simple and heartfelt will work perfectly. If you can include a little joke, a funny story from the office or a little good news, that's even better, as you will help the recipient smile and still feel connected to the outside world.

No matter what the condition is of the sick person, from a simple outpatient surgery to serious chemotherapy, keep the message upbeat and positive. Avoid stilted language and awkward messages. Simply express your get well wishes, and let them know they are being thought of.

The Condition: It is also important that the message match the condition. If the person is receiving treatment, recovering from an injury or otherwise moving toward a recovery, "Get Well Soon" is a perfect sentiment to send. However, if there are serious or terminal injuries or an incurable illness, be sure to send sentiments along the lines of "Thinking of You."


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