Can visitors be 'forced' to wear PPE? - page 2

by Ashley, PICU RN

5,419 Views | 24 Comments

We recently had a patient with an influenza requiring droplet isolation. Visitors (the parents) flatly refused to wear a face mask in the room, despite frequent education. The parent did sanitize their hands before... Read More


  1. 1
    My former supervisor would not allow families to visit in the resident:s room if they refused PPE
    jalyc RN likes this.
  2. 0
    Yes you can force for certain instances, the instance that comes to mind is neutropenic patients, I make them put on a mask when they are sick and wash their hands before entering the room. We have signs outside the door that says a patient must check in with the nurse before entering. You would probably want to check with your infection control office at the hospital. I wouldn't wear a mask if I were visiting family with the flu, I never get the flu w/ vaccinations and like others said you need to be within 4 feet and touching your face.
  3. 0
    Our visitors are not required to wear ppe.
  4. 0
    We don't make them wear anything in the room. We do encourage good hand hygiene and wearing a mask outside the room.

    As for forcing the issue? Good luck with that.
  5. 1
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    ​Visiting is a privelege, not a right. If you don't abide by the rules, the privelege is revoked and if you refuse to leave, the nice men in the grey uniforms will help you find the exit.
    I agree but the situation becomes sticky when it is parents and a minor child.
    llg likes this.
  6. 2
    With the parents of a minor child ... you might be on firmer footing saying something like, "If you refuse to follow the isolation guidelines, then you must stay in your child's room to protect the other patients and visitors." (No cafeteria -- they can bring their own food and drink.) That may be a compromise they can live with as it gives them a choice.
    jalyc RN and hiddencatRN like this.
  7. 0
    I kind of feel like everyone in the hospital is an invitee, and if they're not going to follow instructions that are designed to keep patients, employees etc. safe, they could be considered no longer welcome and asked to leave. Almost no visitor follows our contact precautions, even c. diff., even after being educated. But if every employee who comes into their room doesn't follow the rules, why should they be compelled to?
  8. 0
    If it is C-diff, I suggest it strongly. For other droplet precautions, depending on the reason, I may say it could be to their benefit to at least wear a mask. For other types of isolation (contact), if they don't want to wear it, I ask them to sanitize their hands when they leave and refrain from visiting anyone else/ using common areas, with the rationale explained. Most often people are agreeable to compromises with the provision of a reasonable explanation.

    For airborne precautions, I'm a little more of a stickler, but that has much to do with controlling who goes into the room and how often the negative pressure is disturbed.
  9. 2
    Quote from Ashley, PICU RN
    With the JC expected to come to our unit any day, this raised the question on our unit- Can visitors be forced to wear PPE when visiting patients with infectious disease?
    It's funny you should use the example of TJC. Apparently our hospital got "dinged" (whatever that means) by the state health dept. because there were people visiting their family member (the pt.) who was on contact isolation and the visitors were't wearing a gown while in the room. This maybe a bit of overkill on the part of the state, but it is more than enough justification for making the family members wear the PPE.
    jalyc RN and Vespertinas like this.
  10. 1
    If you don't garb up you don't get to visit....doesn't matter who you are.
    jalyc RN likes this.


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