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>
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??