Visitors' Policy/Visiting Hours - page 2

by Zee_RN 2,308 Views | 14 Comments

Our 18-bed medical/surgical ICU unit is having difficulty with our visitors following policy. We are trying revamp our system to best suit the needs of patients, staff and visitors. I'd like input from other units regarding... Read More


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    we have a 12bed unit. we have 2 locked doors and visitors must call back and be buzzed in. 4 posted visiting times, 3 that are 1hr and the last one of the day is 1/2 hr. all the nurses pretty much strictly inforce the visiting times, but of course there are exeptions(terminally weening etc.) visiting info pack and unit phone numbers are supplied to pt's family upon icu admission. they are also told to designate a contact person, which will be the only person to call and "check" on pt. only 2 visitors are allowed back at a time during visiting hours. also in our waiting room, you are unable to turn off the light (making ot hard for people to sleep) . sleeping in waiting room is prohibited. security (offduty dps) rounds the floors and inforces this. all this pretty much works for the most part. but... you do have the occasional complaining family.
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    Hello, I am looking for some help from everyone. I am a nurse manager of a 26 bed ICU and we are routinely going around about the visiting hours. At present time we have 3 - 1/2 hour visiting times. But no one sticks to them. It is mostly due to the nurses being afraid of upper management i.e. my director and the nursing adminstrator. The nurses all come to me and complain about the visiting hours and how the families are running the show. The nurses can not take care of their pts due to caring for the needs of the families. I truly see both sides - nurses side families in the way, not calling before they come in on off visiting hours, asking the nurse to explain things over and over again. Refusing to leave during care of the patient. Demanding to see the patients nurse now no excuses. Then Adminstration side - If that was your family member lying there and you could not do anything for them except call for the nurse, always wanting to be next to them holding their hand and then being told you can only see your spouse, parent or child for a 1/2 hour 3 times a day you would, I believe, get alittle upset. The nurses here have suggested we extend visiting hours to 430 am to 630am for visitors who need to get to work after visiting. 1100 to 1300 for visitors to help with patients lunches or to eat lunch with the patient. 1700 to 1900 for the after work visitors. Suggestions were given to ask families to call between these hours and the nurses will be available if not talking to other family members. Then all other times will be restricted unless your family member is close to death or is going to surgery very soon. I don't know if this will work, that is why I am asking for other suggestions so I can take them to my staff. Thanks
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    to Peg RN YOur unit sounds like one my DAd was in in Cleveland. I felt like I was going to visit a prison inmate instead of my father. We had to wait for security to give out passes at the designated times and could only stay for 20 minutes or so. During that time, no one talked to us. It was awful. We finally had him tranfered to another hospital.
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    Hi All,
    This is a touchy subject, with a million different opinions and rationales for each side of the equation. Our policy is, open visitin 24 hrs a day within reason, limited to two at a time, and at the discretion of the nurse. To avoid the 50 phone calls a day, we ask the families to elect a "spokesperson" who will disseminate information to the rest of the family. Believe it or not, this usually works. Visitors are discourages from being in the room around shift report and rounds times, but encourages to be there the rest of the time. This, of course, excludes people with ICP problems.
    We ask that only immediate family visit, but are open if the family wants someone there, or if the patient is alert enough to give consent.
    I should divulge that on my unit, only three out of 21 nurses have two patients and the rest are 1:1, because, of course, that makes a difference.
    We believe that the fmaily is deserving of as much care as the patient, though that sometimes gives us a bum rash .
    Visitors must call in via intercom to make sure that timing is ok, and 99.9% comply with the rules.
    We neither police, nor do we cotrol visitors and that seems to work, for the most part, just fine.
    sorry this was a long one
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    I work in a 17 bed ICU/CCU with Open Heart Recovery incorporated into it. We have 3-1/2 hours visiting times and 2 1 hour visiting times. This seems to work really well when the nurses enforce it and families stick to it. We have had lots of problems with families who abuse the system. This week, we started a new policy that family members must stick to the visiting hours (except in extreme cases like terminal weaning or a dying pt) and have installed a direct-line "bat phone" from the waiting room to our unit so family members can call at any time to check on their loved ones. We will soon be installing keypads at the front doors of the unit so that people can only access the unit during visiting hours or when otherwise deemed appropriate by the nurse. We also have a family representative for each pt assigned when the pt comes into the unit. That person is the only one that we will release information about the pt's condition to over the phone from an outside line. We instruct all others who call about the pt to contact the family rep. This has cut down tremendously on the time we spend answering calls about pts and directing traffic. Hope this helps.


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