Family Centered Care ICU


Dear Peers-

I know this subject has been discussed before but I was interested in getting some current information on the topic of Family Centered Care esp in the ICU.

I work in an ICU that specializes in CT surgery vasuclar and cardiology fields. We are a university affiliated level 1 trauma center, do VADS, ECMO, MARS, IABP...

We started family centered care in 2008. I have been charged with deveploping a pamplet with sort of how things work in the ICU sort of a "do and don't" list.

We have visitors walking around the unit all the time, interrupting us during report, there will be 6 people in a visitors room at one time, people barging into a patients room with the curtain closed (dude...who are you...) tonight a family member was sitting in our NP/MD room, I went into a patients room and someone was sleeping on the floor, we have a list of names and MD on our assignement board and visitors physically stare at it...No respect...

I was just wondering about everyone's thoughts and experiences on the matter...

Thank you kindly,



1,237 Posts

Specializes in critical care, PACU. Has 2 years experience.

we are a family centered unit and what really helps is just to enforce the rules strictly so that family members cant manipulate the staff

we strictly enforce only one person staying over night, absolutely no family members (unless to watch for falls or translate) during change of shift for about an hour or more based upon nurse discretion, no family loitering in halls or waiting outside of patient rooms

I can definitely understand your frustration, though. Having the family around all the time can be a blessing or a curse


2,438 Posts

1- ONLY two people are allowed at the bedside at a time.

2- NO Cellphones allowed

3-EVERYBODY must leave from 630-730

4-Visitors must stay in patient room or be walking to the door to exit. Roaming around the unit is not allowed.

5-The unit remains locked at all times and they must request access

6-EVERYBODY must leave the unit during unit based procedures (such as a code or a bedside ex-lap).

7--There is no couch/bed/cot in the room

8-From 2200-0630 only one visitor is allowed at the bedside at a time

All of our rules are backed by management and enforced by the charge nurses.

Families are informed of unit policies upon admission and are told that they will adhere to them or lose open visitation privileges.


272 Posts

Specializes in adult ICU.

I'm not sure what this family centered care model is, but your ICU sounds out of control. Where is your manager in all this?

My ICU is reasonably strict and we all enforce the rules. NO sleeping in, USE THE DOORBELL or no admittance, NO standing around in the hallways for patient privacy (we have some open rooms with just a curtain.) We make people leave for every procedure, even as minor as a portable CXR. No, it's not very family friendly, but we really don't have complaints. We are focused on intensive monitoring and care and we cannot do that with 8 people camped out in the room. We all try to do a good job with communicating the expectations and also the patient condition/patient care reasons, so typically people are fine with it.