FIVE family members in a crowded ICU rm all night long! - page 3

by ŽNurse 5,000 Views | 22 Comments

Last night I took care of a very young adult patient who is basically donor material now because of a rather unfortunate combination of cocaine and a heart condition. The family was approached in ER about the big "D" word... Read More


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    Although I may not have as much experience as many of the nurses on this site...I do have experience as a mother of a PICU pt and close friend of an ICU pt...As a nurse myself I agree having 5 family members in the room is extremely tough and potentially dangerous..I truly agree with the 2 family members at a time and if things are heading south open the flood gates...No family members should ever be restricted to 30 min time slots a few times a day...It strikes me that maybe the family members seeing you so busy and stressed with this pt may have helped them realize the gravity of the situation for the their loved one...You did a good thing, they were lucky to have you as their nurse!
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    In my unit we are trying to change visiting hours to our own unique policy since we are a neuro ICU and stimulation can cause so many problems. However it would be open except from 07-0830, and 19-2030, the hours would be 10a-10p. 2 family members at a time. NO overnight sleeping at the bedside. Exceptions will be made to the overnight at the bedside for dying, critical patients, and family acting to help keep the pt calm, or minor pt.

    I do not believe that there needs to be 24 hour visitation in a ICU. Patients need their rest, not to feel like they should be entertaining family. However there are the family who has shaken our vented and nonresponsive pt as well. Family about to duke it out at bedside. Family isn't rational when they get no sleep. We had a pt mom recently write our manager a letter telling her how awful we were to her. Guess what she wrote a second letter telling our manager she wasn't in her right frame of mind due to anxiety and stress when she wrote the letter. She apologized for everything she had written. This family told the day nurses that when they hit the call light we were to respond "STAT". She went crazy on me at the desk that night over the charge nurse stating that it was nice that someone gave her a chair to relax in. Good lord I was her punching bag that day because of her lack of sleep.

    In our GOL cases, the GOL cooridnators encourage family to come and say goodbye after the pt has been declared brain dead, and then the family usually goes home. I have never had a GOL pt that has had a visitor at all or even stay overnight. However not to say that I wouldn't allow it if that happened.

    Your charge should have helped you and not told you not to look stressed in front of the family.
    lindarn likes this.
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    Quote from heartnurseinva
    i feel your pain planeflyer...i would definitely bring your concern up in your next staff meeting. that is absolutely ridiculous and should not have be allowed. it is one thing if your patient was stable. or, if the family had come to some agreement on code status or heroic measures...that was not the case, and as far as i am concerned, they prevented you from doing your job proficiently.

    i am sorry...i am one of those nurses who do not sugar coat anything. i tell the family exactly how i see it. giving a family false hopes is never a good thing. i do think it is necessary for the family to see how unstable their loved one is and how much care i am delivering to the patient. however, not if it is preventing me from doing my job.

    i work in a cvicu and we have limited visiting hours.. 4x/day, 30 mins in length. if the patient is unstable or if we are in a middle of a procedure--during the visiting time--they family does not come back and can not make the visiting time up.

    i remember when i was a new nurse and felt that my charge nurse made all the decisions, including the care of my patient. i soon developed a backbone and questioned anyone who wanted to tell me how to do my job.
    there would have been nothing wrong if you decided to ask your family to leave or to limit the numbers.
    you have the final say...it is your license.
    i have to agree with you in every sense of the word. i don't sugar coat and i don't play the pc game. you tend to get that way when people are shooting at you when you are simply trying to do your job. my marines didn't have time for me to tell them lies about their condition, and i knew if they wanted a chance to get right with whoever they needed to get right with, they needed to know what was going on right then. it's a habit i have kept through out my career and my patients seemed to appreciate it as much as the marines did. in the units, we always would ask the families to nominate a single person to be the spokesman for the group, that would be the person we would update, and they in turn would keep the family abreast of what was going on. and there was always a 2 person limit period. no exceptions and no one could over rule it. if a crisis came up then they made short visits, 2 at a time. or, if we needed the room, visiting would be halted until we finished. this was a critical care unit in a hospital not a hotel. people have to understand and respect that, if they can't do that, it's too bad.


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