Family Suctioning Patient?

  1. I work in a pulmonary progressive unit and was recently notified by my supervisor that a patient's family member can do that patients suctioning. This patient is a long term vent, home vent, ect. I do not think that anyone should touch the vent except the RN, LPN or the RT. Anybody have any thoughts or any advice on what I can do about this?
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    About jack8960

    Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 1


  3. by   renerian
    I have taught lots of famililies how to suction in acute care and home care. Does the person have the ability to go to another health care setting or home? Not sure of the person's discharge planning status. I do the ususal smart nursey thing as far as assessment of their technique and all the good common sense type stuff.

  4. by   christianRN
    I understand where you're coming from, but they do it all the time at home. I document that the family member is doing it correctly (right amt of time, suctioning only on the way out, et .)
  5. by   traumaRUs
    I work in the ER and we have home vent kids and adults all the time. If they want to - we do allow it. Or, we do it, whichever they want.
  6. by   acgemt
    I would personally feel uncomfortable letting a family member do that to their loved one, even if they do know how to do it. Becuase what it all boils down to is that if something were to happen to the patient, even if it was the family member doing the suctioning or whatever, YOU the nurse would still be held responsible/liable.
  7. by   renerian
    I let family member's watch me and tell me what they would do first and how they do it. I demonstrate and supervise it all.

  8. by   suzanne4
    If the family has been caring for this patient at home, and you have observed their technique, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Look at is the other way, you may even learn something from them. They probably know that home vent much better than you do.......Remember that they do not have RT at their home if their is an issue, they usually know every single little thing about the LTV. Be very happy that you have them on your side.

    I wish more families would be that involved with their loved one's shows that they really cared enough to be able to do thpse things for them, if you look at it that way.

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