Our 26 bed ICU has open visiting, which I do not agree with, but it is our managers choice. The last night I worked, spent more time trying to track down pillows and blankets for visitors, finding visitors in our clean utility room helping themselves to staff coffee and soda, answering a call light that a visitor had put on by mistake while she lounged in the recliner in the room waiting for the pt to return from OR, answering 5 phone calls after 11:00 at night to find visitors who were camped out in the waiting room, directing visitors to the staff washroom because they did not want to wake up the 15 plus people sleeping in the waiting room, trying to protect my pt who did not have visitors from the family of my pt who did. The would just stick their head around the curtain into the pts room, to "just ask a question".I could go on and on!!We had 4 various families staying overnight. And none of these pts was unstable. Yes they were in the ICU, but no one was on drips, ventilated, etc.
I agree that the one ICU I previously worked in was too strict, 3 visiting periods per day for 10 minutes each, but this open visitation is too much. We have 5-6 people in the rooms at one time, including children. They leave their food in the rooms and get angry when I throw it out, they get angry when asked to leave the room so we can assess the pt, stating they are family and it is oK to stay... totally out if hand!! Plus they do not talk to each other, I find myself having to explain the same things over and over, or else the families are just questioning our competance. At any rate, in this day and age, we are short staffed anough, and I resent having to spend so much time catering to these families instead of trying to give care to the patients.Our doors are not locked, we have a waiting room with a phone and TV, plus a quiet room for families with pts who are more seriously ill.