Ever had a family member in your own ICU?

  1. Hi gang,
    My father is in my own ICU tonight. I took him into the ER tonight w a r/o PE or r/o MI. It was a PE. It is secondary to knee replacement done one month ago.

    I am not scheduled to work until Thursday. I hope he will be home by then. If he isn't.....I have mixed feeling about even working then. I don't want him to be my patient because I wouldn't be objective. I don't think I would be comfortable working knowing he is down a few doors from my own patients. I think it would drive me nuts.

    Anyone ever been in this position before, and what did you do? What would you do?

    At least everyone in the unit knows he is my father and I know he will get good care. (not that he wouldn't normally).
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Calvin&Hobbes
    I work in a high-acuity cardiac/vascular/thoracic with gen. surg overflow SICU. My husband, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, had a distal pancreatectomy w/ splenectomy at my hospital. I INSISTED that he go to my unit after surgery. I had to push the surgeon, who didn't feel he needed to go to an ICU. But I wanted him there. He was treated with the most tender loving care. He did not experience ANY post-op pain, even with a 16 inch abd. incision. The nurses who cared for him were people I had known for decades and loved like family.

    I don't think I worked while he was in the ICU....I may have worked one or two shifts and was night charge RN. After he was transferred to the floor, I had a 3 night stretch of being night charge nurse. It worked out great. He got discharged at the start of 5 days off for me, or something like that.

    He was admitted to the hospital a couple of months later for a plexus nerve block, a pain control thing, and again received absolutely perfect, pristine, amazing nursing care. Truely, love made visible.

    We have had quite a few family members of staff as patients. We are proud of our care, and have the best intensivist in the world. Having my dear husband in my unit took the weight of vigilance and worry off my shoulders completely for the days he was there......
  4. by   whiskeygirl
    HAHA!!!! I should have looked at the date the OP posted the question. So sorry to bring this thread bttt.


    Well, I think your comfort level says it all.

    Can you bow out for the shifts in conflict? Or offer to float?

    The hospital I used to work at would have asked both parties, patient and nurse, what they would prefer. If I was uncomfortable with caring for my dad, I would tell him. I would be uncomfortable if any "personal" care was involved. HOWEVER, my father being the wonderful patient that he can be (TOTAL SCARCASM!!!!!) I would be more embarassed if he was cared for by coworkers.

    He was admitted to the hospital I worked at, but not to my floor. I was off that day so I sat in his room and ran "interference" for all but 2 hours of his stay. I cut his hissy fits off at the pass when I saw one coming on.

    Bottom line is you may wanna talk with the charge nurse that will likely make assignments for your next shift and get his/her opinion.

    I hope your dad gets better quickly!
    Last edit by whiskeygirl on Jul 24, '07
  5. by   Hoozdo
    [quote=whiskeygirl;2314649
    I hope your dad gets better quickly![/quote]

    That's OK it is an old post Whiskey girl. I am still here and so is my Dad :spin: His hematologist is making him stay on coumadin for 10 months post PE, but he is fine.

    Luckily, he was in my unit on my days off. Oddly enough, I felt I had to spend less time there visiting/watching because I knew he was well cared for. When he got transferred to tele, I practically lived there because the nursing ration was 1:6. He had to share a room with a deaf man that had visitors ALL THE TIME. Oh, the torture!
  6. by   a21chdchic
    I would reccommend to taking any family member as a patient. I went through this as a very young nurse. My patient was both my uncle and Godfather. He was one of my assigned patients. Guess what? The unspeakable happened. He not only coded, but also died. I had to call my father and tell him, and was unable to finish my shift. This was not, to say the very least, my best experience in nursing.
    I don't think it is appropriate for a nurse to be assigned to care for a family member. Although, I do think it is ok for the patient to be on the same unit as you are working.

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