open visitation in critical care units - page 2

by grits

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I would like to respond to all the nurses working night shifts in critical care units. I have been a nurse for 25 years and I am now leaving my area of expertise because of the "open Visitaion" policy. That has been umplemented... Read More


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    My Dad and my MIL are the only two instances I've had with critical care visitation. Mama would go to the hospital and sit in the waiting room all day long for the priviledge of seeing him 5 mins every 2 hours. I spoke with the doc (old friend of mine) and he agreed to a floor transfer as Dad was getting no better.

    My MIL in her 80s was subjected to hoards of visitors to her and to the other patients in the area. It is humiliating to someone of that age to have their private times seen by all.

    I think open within reason is the best policy. As for me, wherever I am, leave the sheets on a chair, bring me pain med on time and otherwise nursing care only.....hub and dtr ONLY visitors.
    zoebaily likes this.
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    Quote from Nurse Julie
    When I started working in a CVICU in Kansas, they told me of the open visiting. Being a "seasoned" (older ) nurse I was appalled. The rules were.......visitors, anytime night or day. The brochure asked loved ones to either stay in patient rooms or out of the unit from 6:45 til 7:30 am and pm. I hate to be the minority in this thread but....what I found was that families were understanding, compliant, respected nurses more when they saw what we actually do, would leave IMMEDIATELY when asked, they were more comfortable when they went home with the patient, we had more opportunities for family teaching, we had better relationships with families than I had experienced anywhere else, and satisfaction scores were through the roof. I did not have ONE negative incident. The families were so appreciative of being back there, they would bend over backwards to comply with our requests, including asking for some "quiet time" for the patient if we felt they needed it. I am now a director over several departments, including CCU. I have opened visitation and my staff remarked how we have less visitors in the unit at one time now that we have opened the unit up. Not every family member can come at the prescribed times, they have jobs, kids etc. I think families are more comfortable leaving the patients when they see the quality, compassionate care the patient receives. Maybe I have been lucky with positive expreriences in the two places I have seen this policy.

    Julie
    I am a CVICU nurse...we have an open visitation policy except from 6a - 9a; 12n - 1p, & 6p - 8:30p. After 11P visitation is every 2 hrs x 15 min & limited to 2 visitors. I think that you either love open visitation or you hate it. I like it. I think that it eases the anxiety of families. We do have the discretion to close visitation for a particular pt or to the unit in general if needed. I have found family members to be understanding of the demands of the pt and the unit.
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    Open door policy allows families see exactly what we do and how damn well we do it. Always pull the curtain for privacy, teach the family the patient is the priority when it comes to your attention. set time lines for care and let the families know what they are. As far as drinks and food, your hospital is at fault, because if I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on specialized equipment I would not allow drinks and food in the room by staff or visitors. I plan may day in the morning with the family at the first visitation and I have never really had a problem. They only want what you want "what is best for the patient"
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    The biggest problem we encounter with open visitation at the "nurses discretion" is the fact that we frequently have complaints filed at least with the Director's Office of various types of discrimination...ie a problem family member is asked to leave, they see other patients with visitors, make a bee line for the Director's Office. Since this is a government facility run by bureaucrats with nothing but CYA in their CSF, there is generally a nastygram (at best; at worst a counseling statement on improving staff communication skills) to follow due to the fact that we are always the ones in the wrong, and the individuals who was/caused the issue is likely to call/write their congressman with complaints...and of course we can't have that in a governmental Utopia. It ain't pretty, but it is what it is...and at least the benefits are good here...and the patients who make it all worthwhile. We provide excellent care despite the administrators and all the new theoretical nursing BS implemented to further someone's career or provide the data for the latest Master's thesis....and don't bother flaming me...I'm educated enough myself to grasp the concepts of current Nursing Theory...I just don't care to drink the Kool Aid...
    zoebaily likes this.
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    with open invitation there must support from the administration of hospital. A proper pamphlet should be given to the families explaining that during periods of direct care the RN may ask that you leave the room for the privacy of the patient and the direct exposure that the person may come in contact with such as, blood, stool, urine and other body fluids and if the persons refuses the nurse should document that minimal care was provided due to the uncooperative family member and therefore visitation has been restricted for that patient. Don't leave it will just follow you, Nursing is only going down hill. We just had a camera installed to watch the nurses station. Smile your on candid f camera


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