Jump to content

Family questions in the ICU

Nurses   (2,293 Views 11 Comments)
by mattcastens mattcastens (Member) Member

4,317 Profile Views; 255 Posts

Need help friends:

I'm working on a project for families of ICU patients (or future ICU patients) to answer family FAQs.

Could you fellow critical care nurses out there give me some ideas for say 20 of the most common FAQs you get asked?

Thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

583 Posts; 7,916 Profile Views

The one that I was asked quite frequently was:

Can he/she hear us?

Which would lead to a discussion about hearing being the last sense to go and the first to come back, and just the fact that they are talking comforts both the patient and the family.

bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

835 Posts; 9,776 Profile Views

Who is allowed to visit?

What are the visiting hours?

Can they hear me?

How long does he/she have to stay here? When can they leave?

Will they have the same nurse all the time? Why or why not?

I'm afraid of all those machines, would it be best not to visit until they are gone?

How often does the doctor come in?

Who are all these people going in and out of the room?

Why aren't flowers or plants allowed?

Those are some off the top of my head...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

859 Posts; 8,843 Profile Views

Is it okay to touch him/talk to him?

Why is his skin so cold/hot/why does he look so pale/why is he so puffy?

Why do all those numbers (art line, PA, vent pressures, HR) keep changing so fast? Is it bad when the lines on the monitor move?

What does it mean when a piece of equipment alarms?

If you keep giving him morphine/Demerol/Valium/other, won't he get addicted?

Does it hurt him when you suction him?

Why is he so confused?

Can I/other family members/friends visit if they have a cold?

Can he get sick/catch something from the patient in the next bed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

235 Posts; 5,968 Profile Views

What do all of those numbers and lines on the monitor mean?

Why is that monitor/ventilator/IV pump beeping?

Can I touch him?

Will you call me if anything changes?

Is he going to get better?

Who can visit?

Can I stay here in the room with him all the time?

Is he in pain?

Why isn't he waking up?

We recently did a similar project in our unit to adress family concerns and wrote up a brochure that we give to families when the patient is admitted. It has helped to reduce the time we spend answereing these general type of questions. I also do a lecture for our Critical Care Course on dealing with families of patients in ICU. Let me know if I can be of any help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JeannieM
by Guest JeannieM
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

0 Posts; 0 Profile Views

"Is he going to die?"

(Or, the alternative for the terminal patient...) "How long will it be before he dies?"

Those can be some long, painful shifts...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

255 Posts; 4,317 Profile Views

Originally posted by JeannieM

"Is he going to die?"

Heh ... every time I get asked that one, I'm tempted to quote a line from "War of the Roses":

"So I'm not going to die?"

 

"Well ... eventually. But not today."

Tempted, mind you -- I've never actually said it.

These are all great suggestions! Keep 'em coming!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

23 Posts; 2,104 Profile Views

I get asked sooooo many questions it's hard to even remember. I think this project is a great idea! Please let us know what you find. Here's some of the quesions that stick out in my mind.

When is he/her coming off the breathing machine?

What do all those numbers on the monitor mean?

When will the doctor come around?

Will you call me if anything changes?

Why can't I stay in the room with the patient?

Why is the iv pump/ventilator/feeding pump, etc alarming?

Can he/she hear me?

Can I touch him/her?

Why can't he/she talk(ventilator pts.)?

Do you think he/she is in pain? How can you tell?

Why are his/her arms restrained?

Why is he/she sedated?

Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

4,516 Posts; 12,961 Profile Views

We also put out a brochure with frequently asked general questions....which saves the nurse time...then he/she can tackle the more 'individual' ones.

I hate the 20 questions and "Quick nurse... Come here...the lines on the blipping machine have changed." Don't ya'll??

Some visitors get so wrapped up in the monitors...I find it easier to tell reassure them that they are being viewed on monitors outside of the room too, so don't be concerned, they are for me to worry about, so just hold your dear one's hand and forget about the beeping blipping machines....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

2 Followers; 6,635 Posts; 49,096 Profile Views

I see the Questions, man, but where are the Answers?

canoe swings her dreads and offers Matt a toke...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×