PACU RN's- what is your visitor policy? - page 2

by RN34TX

My manager believes that our unit is too strict with visitation and wants us to be more in step with ASPAN standards of visitation. She wants our input and to come to a decision about how to make visitation more open. I'd... Read More


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    1. Does your PACU allow visitors? Yes, our manager has encouraged us to be more open to visitors. It does help both patient and families, in most instances. I try to put myself in their place. Some of our patients have come through the ED as traumas and their families have not seen them at all.
    2. If so, under what circumstances? i.e. peds cases only, special needs, ect. Peds, special needs, delay in getting a bed.
    3. Is the visit just for a quick minute or is it unlimited to stand in there and see everything? Quick visit unless peds or special needs patient. They are allowed to stay the entire PACU stay if they are helping, not hindering.
    4. How many people can be in there per patient at a time? 1 or 2.
    5. How do you handle privacy issues, giving report when a visitor is in the room, etc. or when patients go bad or code in front of visitors, etc. We try to not have visitors for our own patients when we have two patients in our spot. If we have called the waiting room for visitation, we will pull curtains around other patients before the visitor comes back. If there is an emergencey situation going on, we do not call for visitors to come back. Most family members are grateful (it is reassuring for them and our patients) and understand the restrictions and the need for privacy for our patients.
    sadeade likes this.
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    no visitors allowed at PACU..but we allowed one relative those pedia cases ages not exceeding 10 y.old.patients needs rests and monitoring and most of all privacy.we also maintain the sterility of OR/PACU/SICCU to protect our patients
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    1. Does your PACU allow visitors?
    At my old facility, it was 1 person at the bedside for 15 minutes unless it was a child(up to age 18) and then we allowed 1 parent at the bedside at a time. At the trauma center, they do not allow visitors in until the patient is fully awake and then it is 2 people for 5 minutes unless it is children or an older child that had been going through multiple surgeries, i.e. a young person with severe burns

    2. If so, under what circumstances? i.e. peds cases only, special needs, ect.
    See number one[1]

    3. Is the visit just for a quick minute or is it unlimited to stand in there and see everything?
    Again, see number one[1] LOL:chuckle

    4. How many people can be in there per patient at a time?
    Refer to number one[1]

    5. How do you handle privacy issues, giving report when a visitor is in the room, etc. or when patients go bad or code in front of visitors, etc.
    I have had to chase family back to the bedside of their loved one and on rare ocassion, had to ask them to leave. If there is an emergency of some sort, while the nurse whom was responsible for the patient pulled the curtain, the charge nurse would shoo the rest of the visitors out, except in the case of a child. The, we pulled the curtain around the bed as an extra barrier. Report was limited to being given at the desk at my old facility, family having been sent to the floor that the patient was going to, armed with the room and bed number. At the trauma center, there are 2 phones in addition to the ones at the desk that they use. I do not like that set up because if you are stuck using one of the extra phones there is no measure of privacy in giving report. Sometimes you just have to improvise and be as cautious as possible, being mindful of HIPPA.

    I hope that this is helpful information for you.
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    Query: What is the best way to ensure a special-needs adult gets documented as such?

    Summer of '06, I had a very traumatic awakening from general anesthesia after a laproscopic hysterectomy. If my spouse could have been there for me as I was coming out, I would have been far FAR calmer. I know I'll be having more laproscopic surgeries for endometriosis in the future, and both I and my spouse agree I shouldn't come out of anesthesia any more without him there to make me feel safe (I have PTSD issues :/). What's the best way to make that happen without fuss and confusion?
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    We will occasionally allow parents to come in with ped patients after the child is stable. But usually when they are awake enough to be screaming, they are DC'd from our PACU.

    Otherwise, we don't allow visitors.
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    always with peds... and we try not to EVER with same day cases... those waiting to be admitted 1 or 2 visitors at a time for 5 or 10 minutes in the policy....of COURSE it doesnt always work and family CAN interfere so we politely ask them to leave and come back later for another few minutes...not very standardized tho bc w rly sick patients its almost cruel to not let them visit....
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    pre admission testing should include that... make sure you tell everyone that interviews you your wishes and in most cases im sure the exception can be made... we'd much rather have patients calm and secure after surgery as opposed to the alternative, whether or not we are bending rules a bit
    Genkitty likes this.
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    We allow one parent in with kids under 18. They are told they should not switch places. (We have had parades coming through) And we allow one person if the patient is elderly or handicapped. Even this has caused privacy issues. Our administrators are trying to increase our visitors.
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    Being in charge I am always concerned about the privacy of our patients. We all know there are those patients that come out rolling around with their behinds shining or saying things they would never think to say if not for anesthesia. They would be mortified if Preacher Johnnie or Neighbor Sam witnessed this event while coming into see someone else. PACU is not the place for visitation. It is the place for rest. Patient privacy and safety has to outweigh visitors need. Of course there are exceptions to any rule but they should be few and based on patient needs. Families should be kept informed. This as much as anything could reduce their anxiety.
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    In our PACU, visitation is at the nurse's discretion but there are some general guidelines.

    Peds or special needs; up to two family members allowed in as soon as they are awake.

    Other patients, if we don't have a room available we try to get two family members in after an hour. That visit is 5 minutes or more at the nurse's discretion and those family members are instructed to update others in the waiting room. There's just not enough privacy to allow a steady stream of visitors.

    Outpatients get their family as soon as they are moved to phase 2, recliners.


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