PACU RN's- what is your visitor policy?

  1. 0 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 like to know how different PACU's handle visitor issues:

    1. Does your PACU allow visitors?
    2. If so, under what circumstances? i.e. peds cases only, special needs, ect.
    3. Is the visit just for a quick minute or is it unlimited to stand in there and see everything?
    4. How many people can be in there per patient at a time?
    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.

    Any input by PACU (former or current) nurses would be greatly appreciated.
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  3. Visit  RN34TX profile page

    About RN34TX

    RN34TX has '17' year(s) of experience. From 'Texas'; 44 Years Old; Joined May '04; Posts: 1,424; Likes: 349.

    29 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  PANurseRN1 profile page
    2
    I work in day surgery, but I can tell you how our PACU works. If it's a peds. pt., they allow a parent to come back. If there is only one pt. in PACU and a family member wants to go back, they usually accommodate that. Otherwise, no family.

    I think there's a time and place for everything. That time and place does not, IMO, include family members all over the place in PACU. People are just coming out of anesthesia--nauseated, vomiting, in pain, etc. There's no privacy whatsoever. I would not want a bunch of strangers gaping at me if I were fresh post-op.
    GHGoonette and Anneka like this.
  5. Visit  nursenatalie profile page
    0
    We allow no visitors in PACU. There are no walls between beds, only curtains, and the report between anesthesia and nurse is verbal so I think it would be difficult to maintain patient privacy(you tell the md to lower his voice.) Patients dont need visitation at this time they need to be monitored. Peds are the exception, and only exception to this rule. If a patient is stable enough for visitors then they should be going to the floor. Family gets to talk to surgeon while pt in PACU, and gets update from nurse after 30 minutes so they get their reassurance.
  6. Visit  mustanggirl profile page
    0
    1. does your pacu allow visitors? yes
    2. if so, under what circumstances? i.e. peds cases only, special needs, ect. peds cases, pt's with special needs. we do allow family on occassion if we are holding a patient for extended period of time because we are waiting for a room to open up.
    3. is the visit just for a quick minute or is it unlimited to stand in there and see everything? for peds and some special needs, the visit is usually unlimited, but our peds patients are usually only done in a special area in the back of the room behind a dividing wall. for patients we are holding it is just for a quick minute.
    4. how many people can be in there per patient at a time?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.
    as above we have peds patients in a special area, when the patient goes bad, we usually talk the parents through it if possible, sometimes you end up spending just as much time reassuring parents.
  7. Visit  RN34TX profile page
    0
    Quote from nursenatalie
    We allow no visitors in PACU. There are no walls between beds, only curtains, and the report between anesthesia and nurse is verbal so I think it would be difficult to maintain patient privacy(you tell the md to lower his voice.) Patients dont need visitation at this time they need to be monitored. Peds are the exception, and only exception to this rule. If a patient is stable enough for visitors then they should be going to the floor. Family gets to talk to surgeon while pt in PACU, and gets update from nurse after 30 minutes so they get their reassurance.
    Thank you all for your replies.
    Our PACU is designed like yours with curtains only and I agree with your statements. I'm very concerned about the Pandora's box opening if we change or visitation policy so I'm looking for input from other PACU staff.

    Currently, peds and special needs cases are the only exception unless a patient gets stuck in here for a period of time due to no beds, ICU overflow, etc.

    My personal opinion is that we are too liberal with our visitors as it is now and certainly don't need to loosen it even more. It's asking for trouble.
    Thanks again for your comments and keep them coming if anyone else can share their PACU policies.
  8. Visit  PANurseRN1 profile page
    1
    Families in PACU, families at the bedside during codes...what next? Shall we offer families to option of scrubbing in to observe during surgery?

    I guess I'm showing my age. I'm all for family involvement, but I think it's getting taken to the extreme in some cases.
    PACURN1818 likes this.
  9. Visit  Mayotski profile page
    0
    1. Does your PACU allow visitors? No. I'm very strict in implementing this unit policy. Relatives are sometimes pain the ass. (kidding)

    2. If so, under what circumstances? i.e. peds cases only, special needs, ect. Pediatric and psych patients are exemptions to the rule. But only one relative is allowed inside and they should be at the beside of the patient at all times.

    3. Is the visit just for a quick minute or is it unlimited to stand in there and see everything? If we need to talk to the relatives we let them get near their patient but for seconds only.

    4. How many people can be in there per patient at a time? One.

    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. It's difficult considering that the patients are near to the nurses station. We just try to lower our voices.
    Last edit by Mayotski on Dec 25, '06
  10. Visit  cowpoke_rn profile page
    1
    Yes we allow visits. Policy is to limit the visit to 1 fam member to only 2-3 min. However with my experience the family either greatly appreciates the opportunity or tries to take advantage of it and manipulate the staff to let the mother, brother, cousin, and the preacher in....lol. A parent is allowed to stay at the bedside with peds cases. But, like many other facilities, we only have curtains aswell (and I have noticed several prying eyes) if you know what I mean especially when we are holding ICU/TICU overflow and the family doesn't want to leave the bedside.
    GHGoonette likes this.
  11. Visit  Hopecascade profile page
    0
    We just had our policy changed. Thank goodness we will all know the guidelines. I came from a PACU with strict guidelines. Only 1 parent with a child or special needs no exceptions. Here families( 2) members no kids under 16 come, in for 15 min. or less (depends on the nurses discretion) after 2 hrs. in the PACU. We have a delay in obtaining beds for our patients and also get ICU and TICU overflow. Our slots are tight with just curtains in between and there is not much privacy. All families are seen by the surgeon post-op. The parent must have a matching id band on to visit with the child. When I first started here at this busy Trauma center each nurse had a different idea of visitation. It was confusing for all. I have had to ask families to leave, the try to overstay, the patient is trying to sleep or get pain relief and sometimes they are not considerate and think it is question and answer time and prevent the patient from resting by talking and talking.... I actually liked the stricter visitation but with the delay in bed availability the patients and the families need to see each other.
  12. Visit  Marie_LPN, RN profile page
    0
    One parent/person with a special needs child or adult.
  13. Visit  maggie77 profile page
    1
    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.
  14. Visit  otan11 profile page
    0
    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
  15. Visit  nowplayingEDRN profile page
    0
    1. Does your PACU allow visitors?
    [FONT="Arial Black"]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.
    [FONT="Arial Black"]See number one[1]

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

    4. How many people can be in there per patient at a time?
    [FONT="Arial Black"]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.
    [FONT="Arial Black"]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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