Total Disregard for Visiting Hours - page 4

by DYLANB 9,310 Views | 80 Comments

Just curious to hear about other nurses experiences with the total disregard patient families have for visiting hours and hosptial policies. I have been a nurse now for 3 years and have split time between ICU and CVICU. Patient... Read More


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    Twenty years ago, a registry nurse, in the middle of the night, under the influence, emptied a bag of antibiotics into my mother's IV, wide open, over about 3 minutes (no pumps then). No family was with her. The next morning the hospital administration was in her room asking if we had retained an attorney yet. We did not sue, after verifying the nurse lost her license.

    Because of that experience, NO ONE in my family ever spends the night in a hospital, alone. Ever. We try to be respectful. We make sure only one of us is there overnight. We leave the room if asked by a practitioner, and the patient is comfortable with it. We're not there to prevent errors, or be difficult, we're there as advocates. Its really hard to advocate effectively for yourself when you are on narcotic pain meds, for example.

    Obnoxious people, whether they are visitors, patients or practitioners are frustrating regardless of the context. So certainly some of the examples of visitors' behavior in this thread are over the line. But I respectfully disagree with the attitude that people should just stay out of the way when their loved one is hospitalized so that your job is easier. Like most things, generalizations are unwise.
    RNJill, sharpeimom, AKreader, and 7 others like this.
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    Sad but true...forget appropriate medical or nursing CARE, it is the blankets and turkey sammiches that change P-G scores. Sort of like buying or rating a car on its color, rather than safety or mileage.
    Tina, RN, wooh, and gonzo1 like this.
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    It is called press ganey. Press ganey rules the hospital world and takes precedence over all else. When my diabetic patient demands a second helping of chocolate cake I make an elaborate note that patient was educated in "all things diabetic" and still stated "give me my damn cake", I might even just call the doc and let him know. But in the end the patient gets the cake and we take the beating.
    wooh, SwansonRN, and TJ'sMOM like this.
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    Well get ready for open visitation if you don't have it already, because that is what it's coming to. Accrediting bodies like DNV and Joint commission are starting to try to regulate that critical care units have open visitation because the patient deserves the right to a family member to advocate for them 24/7. It's up to the hospitals and unit to set forth guidelines to keep the camp outs, picnics, and other crazy stuff out of the patient's room. Do you really want to eat in Grandma's C-diff and MRSA infested room? Do you really think it's a great idea to bring the 2 month old in and lay on her grandpa, who is sick and has contracted who knows what infections? Come on people! We need to educate our families to make smart decisions, and provide them with simple guidelines. I am in the common sense business here.
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    I don't have a problem with family members being with their loved ones 24 hours if they want, as long as they sort of stay in the wings when the nurses are performing their work (meaning they are not interrupting the nurse or CA, does not mean they have to leave the room). This has been the case where I work and it has not been an issue. I personally know the importance of that. When my mom was in the ICU years ago, I was clueless to the fact that she was close to dying. Had I known that I would have stayed with her through the end. I would never deny a family member this opportunity if I can help it. My patient's family members have been very understanding when I need room or privacy to work with the patient. It's mostly all about how you come across too.
    Last edit by Paco-RN on Sep 20, '12
    Susie2310, *4!#6, and tewdles like this.
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    In some very understaffed med/surg wards, it's not safe (much less, comfortable) for a patient to be on her own. I spent weeks in two different hospitals in Boston, I was fine on my own, though I had no physicial limitiations other than temporary ones as a result of surgery. On the other hand, over the course of a few year, my parents spent weeks in hospitals in Miami, and they would have been in trouble on their own, especially my legally blind mother. When my mother was in the hospital, my father would spend the night each night. He was unbtruive and nothing but helpful, relieving the staff from tasks such as helping with feeding, filling the water pitcher, etc.

    In poorer countries, it is expected that a family member will stay with a patient, and feed him, change the sheets, etc. There are no nurse's aids. In some parts of the U.S., hospitals have evolved in that direction.

    Considering that we spend double per capita on healthcare of most of the rest of the industrialized world, it's sad that some of our hospitals are evolving toward those of poor Caribbean nations.
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    I'm a new nurse and I am finding visitors and family a difficult thing to navigate. I haven't had any horrible experiences, but it does stress me out when I go into the room and I can feel 10 pairs of eyes on me watching every move I make. I try to be accommodate especially if the situation calls for it...but it is annoying/unsafe when I physically can't have direct access to the patient. The other day I had a large family with the sickest patient I've ever had, coming in groups of 5. My patient ended up coding and thank goodness my preceptor was there to politely, but firmly invite the family to leave as she is running with the code cart. Yikes! I need to grow some cajones.
    simonemesina likes this.
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    I am happy to accommodate parents at the bedside 24/7 and will bring blankets and water and get them involved in their baby's care as much as possible. However, what I truly can't stand is siblings running around, going into other bed spaces, screaming, digging in the trash, laying on the floor, nearly tripping nurses and visitors... ugh! If your kids can't behave to the point where they are making the environment unsafe for both the nurses and themselves (oh my god, think of all the germs), they should not be there. We have a FREE sibling playroom available, so not being able to to get a babysitter is no excuse.
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    Quote from sarakjp
    Yikes! I need to grow some cajones.
    You need to grow some drawers?? Change 'a' to 'o' ... Don't worry, I know what you meant, LOL!
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    We have visiting hours pretty much all day. They are from 09-2100 but I have seen family members stroll on in right at 0600...an family members stay way later than 2100. We do not let children under 18 stay with a parent because that is a liability...sorry to them but it is.

    I personally hate having a bunch of family members in the room watching me like a hawk. It makes me uncomfortable.

    Maybe one day I will have the initiative of kicking family members out. I took care of a Hispanic patient (family oriented) and the room was PACKED...not to mention there were some very young children in there and I almost ran over one with my COW because 1. They were hiding behind the curtain and 2. I didn't even know small children were there because they weren't there an hour ago when I was in the same room. The family was also huddled around the patient so it made it difficult to do things...just very annoying imo.


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