What is your take on multiple family members in room when they have roommate?

  1. 1
    My patient had a roommate who had multiple family members in the room, on the other side of the curtain. And actually a group of them came in around 1 a.m. The families' loved one (pt) had gone through a procedure that evening, true, but not major surgery.

    I asked that pt's nurse about it, and she said 'oh they will go around 2", that she didnt want to say anything because that can spark antagonism (or something to that effect), and that since they were from another culture we needed to be sensitive to that.

    I said, well I am trying to be sensitive to my pt...She got an attitude to me after that.

    Later she told me "it looks like they are both sleeping, the family members are being quiet" i said true, but they are still in and out (to the bathroom,ect). she said I was free to say something as I "worked in that space too"

    I am all for family centered care, but where do you draw the line?
    lindarn likes this.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 65 Comments...

  3. 5
    What is your facility's policy on visitors? If you have a limit of two people or whatever, or it's over at a certain time, you could definitely have enforced that. During the daytime, when people are generally awake, is one thing, but at 1 a.m.???
    dudette10, Jessy_RN, lindarn, and 2 others like this.
  4. 2
    I cannot imagine how horrible it would be to be that person in the other bed, not getting the rest I need (maybe moreso because of illness!) because someone's family is there in the middle of the night. ugh! One person, who worked weird hours and only had this time available or something maybe, but what the heck?

    I'm terrified of the hospital as a patient and if I went in, I would want my husband with me, but I cant imagine why they thought it was ok for the whole family to hang out in a dual occupancy room in the middle of the night.
    lindarn and hollyberry678 like this.
  5. 9
    I find entire families camped out in the room to be an incredible PITA. You have to work around them, ask them to leave, they generally just get in the way.

    As to their being there in the middle of the night infringing on another patient's ability to rest - GAH!
  6. 6
    Regardess of culture, all patient's rights should be respected, especially if they are stuck sharing a room. I would have probably allowed a single person to pop in for maybe 5 minutes to check in with the patient, and then would have told them all to come back in the morning.
    MAISY, RN-ER, Jessy_RN, nrsang97, and 3 others like this.
  7. 2
    I respectfully ask them to leave. That's too many visitors at that hour. When I worked midnights I would even ask spouses to leave after visiting hours were over. If it is a private room though, it is a whole different ballgame. I generally don't care unless the family was being noisy. At which point I'd shut the door and they'd get the message.
    lindarn and nuangel1 like this.
  8. 4
    I had one 2 weeks ago where the pt by the window was demented, and was having a good time taking her colostomy bag off and fingerpainting herself with the bag contents, like 4x per shift (and window bed's family didn't want Nana to on any "heavy" drugs, not even Namenda or Aricept, much less a xanax, I love tv commercial "pharmacists"). Bed by the door had the "cast of thousands" thing going, and they're complaining about the smell and about the woman's conversations with non existant people, and I'm practically having to crawl over the bed and bedside tables to get to the fingerpainter. We were full, and while the window bed absolutely needed to be a private room, we didn't have any options at that point. I told the bed by the door the situation, and I apologized, but door bed showed her displeasure by ringing the call bell every 5 minutes all day. Finally, I told them there could be only 4 visitors at a time because the 10 (10!) that were in the room were making it impossible for me to care for the patient by the window. They pitched a fit and finally the charge nurse called security on them because they were all out in the hallway screaming. Oh, and door bed's diagnosis? "Near syncope"
    MAISY, RN-ER, lindarn, sammy75, and 1 other like this.
  9. 3
    Praise be to private rooms!!!! I used to work in a hospital that had double rooms in a community with a large amish population--we tried best we could to put the amish patients in a room with out a roommate, but when census grew we had no choice but to double up. At night we would insist that visitors had to leave around 9ish, they were more than welcome to camp out in the lobby if need be. But even during the day it was a challenge as you can easily pack 20 amish into half of a hospital room!!!

    The thing i dont get about double rooms is how do you handle Hippa??? What like a thin curtain is going to maintain your privacy?? I was a CNA at this hospital so I didnt really think of the Hippa thing at that time, but now I dont know how you could do it. Oh and once we had a pt code in a double room, talk about traumtic for the roommate?? He was post op and insisted he get out of the room and go sit in the hall..Yes cant say it again, Praise be to private rooms!!
    mh356, GeminiTwinRN, and lindarn like this.
  10. 5
    I too have a real issue with too many visitors, this goes double for a semi-private room. I understand the original post and her side of this story. I really don't care about what the other patient had done or what their cultural beliefs are. The fact is that there is another person in that room, it is 1 am, and that is not the time to visit! Yes you do have to speak up and be a patient advocate for your patient, and her/his right to obtain some rest. Next time politely remind them of this, and suggest they stay in a waiting room, this will allow both patients to rest and recover. Unfortunately, if they cop an attitude with you, I have found that if you call your supervisor they will not support your stand, and you'll look like an idiot! That has happened to me, when I let family know that visiting hours were over, and they could NOT stay in a semi-private room. This family really didn't care about the other patient, or that patients right to sleep, right to privacy etc. The supe did nothing to support me, nor my patient. It can be very frustrating, yet it seems that management will do anything to maintain cordial relations with even the most difficult patients/families. Even going so far as violating other patients RIGHTS.
  11. 5
    Quote from Suesquatch
    I find entire families camped out in the room to be an incredible PITA. You have to work around them, ask them to leave, they generally just get in the way.

    As to their being there in the middle of the night infringing on another patient's ability to rest - GAH!
    :yeahthat: This is one of my biggest pet peeves....
    MAISY, RN-ER, GeminiTwinRN, lindarn, and 2 others like this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top