visitation in PACU

  1. I am currently working on a visitation policy for our unit. With waiting for rooms to be ready, patients families are frustrated with the wait. I am interested on what others feel about visitation in PACU. Are you for visiting or against this policy? What are other units doing when rooms are not ready? How about the confidentiality of other patients? What works for you?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   meandragonbrett
    We allow our patients to visit for 5-10minutes then we send them back to the waiting room. As far as pt confidentiality, we just pull the curtain, that's all we can do.

    Brett
  4. by   not you again
    At one hosp. I work at we only allow visitors if the pts. stay is extended for some reason like the bed is not available, etc.

    At the other hosp. I work at, they encourage the family to come in as soon as the pt. is coherent.

    Personally, I do not like visitors in the PACU for a lot of reasons. First of all, we are very busy and don't have time to answer all the questions. Secondly, I feel that curtains do not provide adequate pt. confidentiality as they don't block voices giving report, etc. Also we do not like to pull the curtains completely around the bed as they block our ability to see the patient, so invariably you get visitors watching what is going on on the other side of the room.
    I believe that when you are just awakening from anesthesia is when the pt. is most vulnerable to embarassing themselves or exposing themselves, and I don't like that this may be viewed by a non-professional.
    I also do not think that family should see their loved one when they are at their worst, ie. vomiting, pain, restless, etc. The family always thinks that "something is wrong" when they see the pt. this way.
    The family also gets alarmed everytime the alarm sounds, even if it is for movement, etc.

    That's my 2 cents worth. YMMV
  5. by   canoehead
    I am all for limiting visitors- and it is easier to say No Visitors at all than to debate the number allowed and the length of time they can stay. I have worked in a hospital though that moved those stable enough for transfer but waiting down to one end of the room and would allow one person in, or sometimes earlier for children.

    FYI I love visitors, but when they do not allow limits for patient safety and privacy I would gladly kick every one of them out. I beleive we are responsible, so we need to be able to make and enforce the rules needed to give our best care.
  6. by   Nurse K-Bear
    I am not a PACU nurse, but I work in a large city hospital as a LPN on the surgical floor. My hospital does not allow families in pacu. They have some nice surgical waiting areas down the hall from the OR area. The family can go with the patient to the holding area and then that is it. The MD/DO/NP etc then meet the family after the case in the waiting area to discuss the status. Families are also able to wait in the patients room if it is ready. Most of the time it is unless it was a fast early morning case and the other patients discharge was held up. Hope this is helpful.
  7. by   sharann
    We only let parents in (2 parents) if the kid is under 18. They may enter after the RN caring for the child says its ok. We make sure they are stable, comfortable, and clean (as possible). We have trouble at times with people sneaking in. They are shown the door.
  8. by   cathy ann
    Use your best judgement but as a rule there are no visitors in pacu but call the family frequently and reassure them that there aren't problems that prevents the patient from going to his room. I often work at night when my pacu patient is the only patient there and I let family in if the patient desires it.
  9. by   Friesw/that
    our pacu(large inner city hospital) allows visitors for peds patients only(according to policy), but if you have an icu patient, or work nights, it is your call. i allow visitors when it's in the best interest of the patients, or it's late at night and the family has to leave to drive a long distance. sometimes family is not helpful, or even disruptive, and that's when you ask them to exit stage left. all prisoners have visitors(they are called security guards)...
  10. by   DanRn
    hi

    our facility (adult only) does approx 60 cases a day/ 500 bed hospital.

    we must update the family at the 2 hour mark.

    visitors (2) are allowed in for five minutes if the patient has been in pacu for 2 hours, and at the nurses discretion.

    this seems to work out well. my manager will time the visits herself if she is at the desk.

    it is amazing how visitors' eyes start to wonder around after about 5 minutes. - checking all the other pts out.

    we can make variations at our will - especially if it was a long case and family is from out of town.

    we try to be family friendly, but we must remember that is not our only focus.

    good luck

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