Visiting hours for acutely ill neuro pts.

  1. 0
    We currently have visiting hours in our ICU at 4 times per day for 30 minutes each time.
    The visiting is limited to 5 visitors at a time. We have been grapling with how to improve visiting for families. Most families complain that they are not allowed to stay longer and some even want to stay in room with patient at all times. How do you work with the families regarding visiting and also how do your physicians feel about visiting?
    gbourne@cajunnet.com

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  2. 7 Comments...

  3. 0
    gbourne wrote << How do you work with the families regarding visiting and also how do
    your physicians feel about visiting?>>

    I work in a general ICU.. so we have a bit of everything including neuro.. our visiting ours are 0830-1430 & 1600-2300.. some nurses like the visiting hours.. most don't

    Personally, if it were my loved one..I would want to be there.. and there is research to support the fact that patient stays are shorter when family are allowed more frequent visiting hours.. (of course there is also research that shows that's not true .. go figure!! <grin&gt ..

    The key is nurses who are also managers.. I prepare the family from the beginning about visiting hours.. if I have a patient.. neuro or respiratory or whatever.. for whom having people in the room either interrupts their care or doesn't allow them to rest.. or agitates them.. whatever..then I explain this to the family and put limits for THAT particular patient.. ie One visitor at a time for 5 minutes every 3 hours.. or you may come to the door and look but please dont' enter the room.. it just depends.. However, if I have a patient that I see having the family at the bedside HELPS them rest.. RR decreases.. anxiety decreases (less need for sedation).. or I can dc the use of restraints with the family at the bedside (least restrictive method to keep the patient safe) from what I've seen .. this means the nurse must use her customer service skills which a lot of nurses just plain don't have.. so.. they make the family mad.. the family complains to management.. that nurse gets in trouble.. and she develops the "I want NO visiting hours" attitude. This is the same nurse who would be happy if ALL patients had NO family whatsoever..

    I've treated my families with respect.. have educated them as to the WHYs of having limited hours.. and with only one exception have not had a problem.

    As for the Docs.. well.. same thing.. they'd love your visiting hours.. the families are considered "interruptions".. I had a conversation with a doctor last week about this very thing.. he said they need to do research on how many errors are made because the family interrupts a doctors train of thought.. here's my take on it.. the doctors spend 2-3 minutes at the bedside with the patient.. IF the family catches them.. and I do mean CATCHES them.. then they get another 3 minutes.. MAX.. If the doctors built a habit of COMMUNICATING with the families they wouldn't be hijacked and cornered when they're concentrating.. but.. there I go again.. spitting in the wind.. <grin>

    hope this helps.. I'm curious as to whether the visiting hours around the country are loosening up or tightening up.. i'm in Oklahoma.. where are you??
  4. 0
    I work in a SICU where we have tons of neuro pts. I believe that sometimes the family is the best therapy a pt can have. Also, it helps to have someone there to get info from, just talking to them non-chalantly (sp?). Just recently I got info from a family member that my pt had a huge ETOH hx that we didn't know about, started him on serax and he recovered with less agitation and withdrawl symptoms. Family helps, that is, unless they are hovering over your sick pt...
  5. 0
    Quote from gbourne
    We currently have visiting hours in our ICU at 4 times per day for 30 minutes each time.
    The visiting is limited to 5 visitors at a time. We have been grapling with how to improve visiting for families. Most families complain that they are not allowed to stay longer and some even want to stay in room with patient at all times. How do you work with the families regarding visiting and also how do your physicians feel about visiting?
    gbourne@cajunnet.com
    We are open for 2 visitors at a time all day and night except for 3 hours for shift change AM and PM. We allow more visitors and no restriction on time if the pt is actively dying.
  6. 0
    Quote from xx--RN--xx
    We are open for 2 visitors at a time all day and night except for 3 hours for shift change AM and PM. We allow more visitors and no restriction on time if the pt is actively dying.
    We have an "open unit" policy, still, it is up to the bedside nurse's discretion to limit the visitation. The porblem we are encounting is that everybody has a different "discretion" criteria. Sometimes I'd get report on a patient with high ICP's and vasospasm, with 10 family members in the room watching TV....:smackingf
    As someone mentioned previously, prior education of expectations help prevent friction with family, down the road.
  7. 0
    Speaking as a patient who has been through a 10.5 hour brain surgery, I loved the visiting restrictions. I remember after I finally came to after the surgery, if I had a visitor they seemed to be all over me and expecting me to tell them how I was feeling every 5 minutes. Did I mention I was intubated when I woke and any speech at all hurt bad? Or when I was trying to communicate with a nurse, they'd jump in with their interpretation of what I was asking for. It of course was wrong and made it harder. I got more rest and was better able to try to communicate the care I needed with the people who could provide it when no one was in. I did love seeing my husband. If anything, I wish minors had been allowed back. Even if it was just once for a few minutes. I had a 10 month old son and I had a hard surgery. I would have loved to see him at least once after I woke up instead of having to wait until I got moved. Other than that, It was 15 minutes every so long. I loved it.
  8. 0
    I work in a CCU that has the full gamut... from post op cabgs to craniotomies.... our visiting ours are for half an hour... as follows

    830 1030 1230 1430 1730 2030 and 2230

    I find it hard to get all the care for my patients done when i have families that are needing explanations. I love my patients and my families... but it is hard at times to take 30 mins every 2 hours to speak with family and update.

    i do wish there were 4 hrs between visits rather than 2.(really 1.5 hrs if you look at the 30 mins allowed.)
  9. 0
    My NSICU went to 24/7/365. RNs do limit stimuli at their discretion based on the patient's acquity.


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