Overnight Visting

  1. Hi;
    Our policy was if the patient was really sick, if there was a communication issue. If it was someone very young, etc. We had several times when it was abused we got tougher on the subject. One pt managed to get our director at the time to agree to having her homeless bf stay for 2 weeks. The room was a pigsty, they just literally dumped stuff everywhere. The drunken bipolar gf, we in the end had to have escorted out when she threatened to kill him. The couple having sex in the room (according to the roomate) and wandering around in her skivies, so the male staff were too embarrassed to go in. On and on. Now we have a brand new floor, plasma TV"s etc, many rooms remote from the station and tonight I hear, anyone can stay overnight if they want too. I have several concerns with this. I wondered if any of you have this policy and how it pans out. Security wise. I mean, we know nothing about vistors, lock the hospital down at night for security reasons, but anyone can stay if they want? Maybe it the aforementioned problems I encountered. My thinking I guess its still a hospital, not a hotel. Just curious as to your experiences and thoughts.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   GardenDove
    It's the way things are where I work. Pt's like it. It has it's draw backs, but all in all I think that it's okay to include the pt's family and friends for emotional support.
  4. by   GardenDove
    In other words, it mostly should be up to the pt...

    People are scared and feel lonely when they are in the hospital. Why shouldn't they have those they love best at their side?
  5. by   PANurseRN1
    If the visitors cause more work for the staff, or if the pt has a roommate, sorry...when visiting hours are over they should leave.
  6. by   jennyfyre
    I'm a unit coordinator on a peds/gyn surgical unit. We're also med-surg overflow at times. All of our peds patients can have a parent stay. Our other patients can have a loved one stay if they are in a private room, or if they do not have a roommate. If they get a roommate overnight, the family member knows they could get "kicked to the lounge". Usually people are considerate of our policies. One time we did have a mom check her 15 yr old son out AMA because we would not let his 14 yr old girlfriend spend the night with him.
  7. by   ElvishDNP
    Our policy (postpartum/GYN/highrisk OB) is 1 visitor can stay overnight, be it friend, mother, husband, whoever. Reg visiting hrs are 11a-8p, however because babies are born at all hours, this gets bent a lot.

    I tell patients that I personally don't have a problem with however many people are in the room at any time of the night as long as:
    1) mom and baby are getting the rest they need (and this is isn't the same for everyone)
    2) mom and baby are safe and healthy; and
    3) visitors are not disrupting other people's rest.

    Most everybody understands and agrees with this. I've rarely had a problem.
  8. by   RunningWithScissors
    My hospital lets patients have visitors spend the night, even in semi-private rooms. It's a real pain to have to trip over the visitors lying on the fold-a-bed in order to get to your patient.

    They even let visitors stay in empty rooms if they ask, we put "hotel" on the board so patients don't get admitted to them. I'm not sure if they have to pay for this.

    BTW, when there's an ice storm or you're snowed in and can't leave, us nurses aren't allowed to use the rooms to sleep in, like they let let visitors do. Nice people to work for, huh?
  9. by   oktravelnurse
    Our hospital wanted family members to stay with the patients (neuro). This was only allowed in private rooms, however most of the rooms were private. We absolutely hated this policy. We found that family members tried to speak for the patients. They were demanding and rude at times. They also took up a lot of our time. This was extremely hard because we usually had 10+ patients to care for. The staff wanted to have more control and thought it should be left up to the nurse. The manager encouraged family to stay. In some cases it was a good idea especially if the patient was afraid. Most of the time it caused problems.

    All I can say to Runningwithscissors is the hospital she worked for really sounds terrible. I can't imagine letting family stay in vacant rooms and not allowing the nurses the same treatment when snowed in. I wonder what they expect the nurses to do? I don't think I could work for a hospital that has such little regard for its employees.
  10. by   SCRN1
    If they are there to truly assist with the patient or stay for comfort of the patient, I don't really mind. But when they start calling for me to act like a waitress for themselves, it gets aggravating. I will offer them a pillow and blanket if I think they're going to be staying overnight and don't have a problem with that. But when they start TELLING me to get them drinks, snacks, etc., I tell them what we have on the floor is reserved for patients and let them know where the canteen is. One other thing that irks me is when a crowd of visitors come in and don't leave after they announce visiting hours are over. If they're quiet and the patient is in a private room with the door shut, that's one thing. But if they are loud, hanging out in the halls being loud, the patient is trying to sleep, etc., I get so frustrated because we can't tell them to leave. Oh oh oh, or if the patient is NPO or another special diet and the visitors come in with bags full of fast food and have a picnic in the room in front of the patient, I just think that's plain rude!

    Recently, we had one elderly lady whose daughter stayed with her each night. This daughter would sit in the hall reading a book for several hours around the wee hours of the morning. When it's quiet like that, she can hear every word going on in the nurses station. We had to be very careful what was being said amongst ourselves about patients so she wouldn't hear. She never sat twice in the same spot either. One night, she was sitting right in front of the nurses station. Talk about hard to keep things private!

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