SARS & visiting hours for visitors

  1. I have just started to do some SARS screening in my hospital--the visiting hours are 1330-1500, and 1830-2000. These restrictions were put in place due to SARS precautions, however, the hospital is saying they are going to keep these hours even after the whole "SARS" business/scare is over, because nurses are saying they like it better when they are not tripping over patients family to give treatment. I know sometimes this is true, but I don't think such limited hours is the solution. Perhaps only 1-2 visitors at a time would be ok? What do other nurses think about this? I think patients do better when they have a loved ones support--as long as they are given ample sleep time. I dont have the perfect solution, but i'm not sure that this is it.
    What are your hospital's visiting hours? Do you think patients shouldn't have family at the bedside?
    By the time everyone is screened at the door and let in, they have already wasted a half hour of their visiting time, and are kicked out an hour later with minimal exception.
    I know if my father was in the hospital, (and he will be soon), I would need to see him alot more often, and he stated he doesn't want to go because he would be "too lonely." Sorry for the long thread, this is something that is really bugging me.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Spidey's mom
    I work at a small rural hospital and while I think there are visiting hours posted somewhere :-), we never adhere to them. For the most part, we allow visitors whenever they arrive. Most people are pretty nice about it and don't come in the middle of the night. The only time I really intervene is with a post-partum mom who has been inundated with visitors and needs some rest . . . I ask her if I may post a note on her door to check at the nurse's station before entering. Usually that is met with great relief . .. we nurses get to be the bad guys and the mom gets some rest. It is hard for them to say "no" to family and friends.

    I think that it is a good thing to have family nearby when you are sick. I wouldn't keep people from visiting unless they were causing a problem.
  4. by   fergus51
    I think it depends on the area. I have had more patients complain to me about the visitors than I could count! It's nice to have company, but there needs to be some restrictions so patients can get some rest, especially with patients in four bed rooms. Those who are critically ill and those in private rooms should be able to have visitors whenever they want as far as I am concerned.
  5. by   toronto rn
    Unfortunately visitors have been disallowed in most of the Toronto hospitals since the beginning of the SARS scare. We have only been allowing in a support person for someone in labour, one parent for a child and only one family member if the patient is critical and not expected to live. It is not unusual to see groups of relatives/visitors standing outside and waving to family on the upper floors. I haven't heard how this situation is going to be altered once we get the all clear. I imagine screening will continue and visitor restrictions will lighten up following guideline development.

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