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 their policies.
- Do you have set visiting hours? Are they enforced by staff?
- Are visitors required to call into the unit before entering?
- Are visitors able to freely enter and exit the unit at will (i.e., do they have to be "buzzed" in; are your doors locked)?
- Do you have a waiting room staffed with a volunteer or staff member to answer questions or direct visitors?
- Are there any specials amenities in the waiting room that make it more pleasant for visitors?
Our visitors tend to stream in and out of our unit (which has 2 unlocked entrances) and have walked into sterile procedures, codes and hygiene-times without notice. Staff have practically given up trying to enforce (encourage?) visitors to adhere to policy (4 visiting times per day, 1/2 hour each; 2 people per room; call before entering; no children under 14). There are always special circumstances, of course, where we encourage family members to be at the bedside, such as when we are terminally weaning a patient. Your input is greatly appreciated!