ICU visiting hours

Nurses General Nursing


I would like to hear from everyone about their opinons about how visiting hours in the ICU should be handled. The hospital where I work has fairly open visiting all day long in the ICU except for a couple of hours centered around shift change. Families don't always adhere to that and I hear lots of negative comments from the nurses. So, what's your view?


124 Posts

Our visiting hours are open all day. We don't make anyone leave unless there is a real crisis or a fire drill. I don't mind the family being there at all.



0 Posts

Our visiting hours for ICU is one to two family members 15 minutes every hour. Visiting hrs is 1-8pm

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

Howdy yall

from deep in the heat of texas

Whatever, it should meet the needs of the patient and the family. Thats who we are there for anyway


89 Posts

when I worked on an adult ITU they had more or less open visiting the usual 2 people at a bed side rule but tried to have a quiet hr about lunchtime (which ment no drs etc unless absolutly required)

I now work on NICU and it's 2 visitors per baby (wich can still be pretty choca) we are fairly strict on our quiet 2hrs (no drs unless absolutly ness) and try to keep minimal light and noise at night too, parents have total access 24/7 and are only asked to leave for reasons of confidentiality and when we need the space in an emergency other visitors are restricted to 1400-2000 (as they can only come in with a parent and parents need time with there babies and Mums need a rest). But I believe that at times rules are ment to be bent (very sick baby, rels traveled long way to see baby, very sick mum).


111 Posts

Specializes in inpatient hospice house.

When I worked in PICU and NICU our hours were all day and night except when doing rounds or report. They were unable to come in for that due to patient confidentiality. If we were doing rounds on their child they were allowed to wait outside until you got to their child and than we'd call them in for the rounds and they could be there but would have to leave when you were done and ready to go on to the next paiteint. At that time was the best time for them to ask any questions because all medical staff including nurses, doctors, therapists, nutrionist and medical social workers involved in the patients case had to be there for rounds on that particular child. It was a very good system.


35 Posts

At our hospital the ICU has a very limited time for visiting and the nurses love it. In CCU/MICU our new manager instituted a very liberal visitation policy. We're only closed from 0600-0800 and 1800-2000. A lot of the nurses complained when families abused it and started camping out in the rooms, so now we no longer let them sleep in the rooms either, and if we as the nurses feel it's in the best interest of the patient we can always ask the families to leave for awhile so the pt can get some sleep.


209 Posts

Limited visiting hours would be nice, we could always choose to bend the rules

Qwiigley, CRNA

564 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Anesthetist.

We changed our vivisting hours in our PICU to be more family centered. We allow 24/7 access to preety much anyone the parents say can go in to the pt room. Try to limit to 2 people and keep kids under 13 out unless siblings. But, give families an inch they take 10 miles. Parents lie to us about kids being sibs, bring in toddlers and allow them to run all over this unit (20 very sick beds/kids), 4-8 people in the room at a time, eating McDonalds in the room (while child is npo, yet) and parnets sleeping at the bedside. Watch codes, trying to wake up and move a 300 lb man away from the bedside while his kid is coding is unbelievable. We encourage parents to stay right outside the door during codes. It helps with the greiving process. They see really what these kids have to go thru... and usually tell us to stop when we have been telling them for weeks to please allow their kid to be a no code. (certain cases)

It really has gotten out of hand. The nurses have no support from management if they do try to enforce any rules.


167 Posts

Our actual hours are 15 min, every other hour. This is almost never enforced. From what I've seen, some families for some pts can be very therapeutic, but some families for other pts can be very disturbing. Bottom line: Whatever is best for the pt. Some spouses stay 27/7 and it works out ok, but I do not hesitate to ask problematic families to leave because my priority is taking care of their loved one.

Specializes in ICU, nutrition.

Our visiting hours are great; at 9a, 1p, 5p, and 9p for 30 min. Most of the nurses are pretty good about enforcing it, although we make some exceptions for dying patients, family member who just came in from out of town, etc. It works pretty well for us and there have not been too many people who have complained as far as I know.


84 Posts

Well, I have one question/ comment: If it were your husband/ child or parent in the ICU, how long do you think you'd like to be locked out? We have had very open visiting hours for more than 15 years. The families really appreciate it. What are we trying to hide by locking them out? Obvoiusly, there are times when you do not want them around, like when you are cleaning up the patient, and may during large dressing changes. But I encourage them to help turn and participate in baths and things like that. Make it help you too!!

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