Oh my goodness I am a rebel and rulebreaker, it is my nature! LOL!
I had a lady who had a CVA post CABG, she had been tubed for days, and making very slow progress. She was finally extubated but soooo depressed. Her dtr came to visit and said if only she could see her grandson, he is the light of her life. We had a very strick rule of no kids under 16 in our open CT ICU, but it was a weekend, she was next to 3 empty beds, and closest to the door. We had a B-buster charge nurse on too, you know, totally into the power of being in charge, I knew she would say no, so I told the dtr, wait til she shes the charge nurse step away from the nurses station, I'll pull the curtain, and hurry up in behind the curtain with the boy, he was seven, and soooo cute! Well, he came behind the curtain, and you should have seen that woman's face light right up. She smiled a HUGE smile, that made it all worth it. Well, I never considered the kids little feet would be visble below the curtain hem, but the charge nurse saw it, pulled back the curtain, and said Linda, I needd to see you please. She insisted my actions were totally inappropriate. I asked why. She said, she was so sick. I said, but she's not tubed, has only peripheral IV, and she looks good now, maybe only a tad pale. She looked at the two of them then, and she said, well, I have to say, she looks great right now. I guess you were right.
When I did peds, I also frequently, and very carefully, allowed children to be held when they had chest wall lines in, a big no-no, but how long can a child go w/o a hug?? Or a parent?
I also allowed a family to come to the bedside of a dying pt, they wanted their father to be a no code, but the doc would not write the order, so I told them the minute his BP started to fall, I'd call them. I did, they came in and formed a circle around the bed, when the doc came, he was so intimidated by that manuever, he had no idea what to do, so we let the poor man die with dignity (he had been defib'd 37 times the day before and had no rhythm under the pacer) The docs never knew that the family was not there already.
If I could have smuggled in animals I would have!