I am ADN/RN enrolled in the RN-to-BSN practicum at the University of South Alabama in Mobile Alabama. For my current assignment, I have been instructed to collaborate on-line with a nursing colleague in another region, about an issue within my practicum area. The area I have chosen is critical care in a seven bed ICU at a nearby rural hospital. In this particular hospital, the ICU has been a closed unit with visiting hours every two hours, beginning at 10:00 am and ending at 8:00 pm, for a duration of fifteen minutes each visit. About two weeks ago, the Director of Nursing has implemented an open door visiting policy for the ICU. According to the new policy, visitors will be allowed to come and go as they please with no restrictions of time per visit. This particular unit is a general ICU that cares for a wide variety of illnesses including patients on ventilators. The staff nurses are very upset with the change in policy and argue that confidentiality will be compromised and rest patterns will be disrupted. My questions for another critical care nurse:
1. What type of visiting policy do you have in the unit that you work?
2. Have you ever worked in a unit that has an open visitation policy, an if so, how well did it work?
3. Were rest patterns disrupted?
4. Was confidentiality compromised?
5. Do you prefer a closed or open ICU?