Dealing with ICU visitors - page 3

I need to know if others out there have the same difficulties with patients family members/visitors in the ICU. In my facility visiting hours are more strict than they are on the floors.... Read More

  1. by   dissle
    2 til 8pm, visiting, that is it. 2 visitors at a time, and next of kin only. Any other visitors are allowed if the nOK gives permission, again, this is restricted.

    This is a given and is not questioned in my dept.
    Relatives are told of this rule and why we have this rule.

    There are of course exceptions to this as already stated.

    It works well, it has done for years. We have never had to call security, we have never had an issue..may be somethig to do with the polite English, but we all know what we are doing and we all do it.
  2. by   dissle
    To be fair, it gives them "permission" to not be there exhausting themselves 24 hours a day.
    Also, we get quite close to our families, and build up a trusting relationship, they see their relative is bieng cared for with respect and with dignity, then very often feel comfortable leaving thier loved one in our care. We are quite proud of this reputation.
    Having spent time talking with families, we can kinda work out with them what level of visiting they feel comfortable with.
    We are a small unit (13 beds) and as long as they are kept well informed and we communicate effectively with them, they dont usually make an issue of visiting.
    When we have a child in, the parents stay, no questions asked....but then we transfer them ASAP to a specialist centre.
  3. by   Mommy_of_3_in_AL..RN
    We have oopen visits, with certain "rules", that are never followed. Supposed to be open from 0830 to 1800, but we ALWAYS have familys rolling in at all hours, while were are trying to give/get report, and trying to hoard the docs while they are trying to take care of the patients. However, that doesnt usually bother me as much as those that, never fail, call everyday at 0700, right in the middle of shift change, and insisnt on talking to the nurse from the night shift, the day shift, and any docs that may be there. And, kid you not, want us to take the phone into the (comatose, vented) patients room so that they can "talk" to them...iwant to scream sometimes!! dont usually mind having family there, as long as my room isnt crowded, i can get to what i need to do,and you arent agitating my patient that is already in 4 point leather restraints (yes, i am dealing with this now..meth OD plus a little of everything else)..And do not,and i repeat DO NOT come track me down in the other patients room down the hall to ask me if i took your loved ones temp last hour or if i will take it NOW..i am about to code this other patient. Your afebrile daughter can wait one darn minute...oh yeah, and not to mention said mother UNLOCKED her daughters LOCKED restraints, cause she wanted to move around in bed...WHAT??? yeah...and with all that kicking and fighting she almost knocked ALL of us nurses and a few security guards out! (yes, the previous nurse was an idiot for leaving the key in the room and letting mom know where it was..that is being handled) Seriously people...seriously (yes, i work in MICU, but lately it seems like the catch all unit for all the psych/OD patients.....)
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from mommy_of_3_in_al..rn
    we have oopen visits, with certain "rules", that are never followed. supposed to be open from 0830 to 1800, but we always have familys rolling in at all hours, while were are trying to give/get report, and trying to hoard the docs while they are trying to take care of the patients. however, that doesnt usually bother me as much as those that, never fail, call everyday at 0700, right in the middle of shift change, and insisnt on talking to the nurse from the night shift, the day shift, and any docs that may be there. and, kid you not, want us to take the phone into the (comatose, vented) patients room so that they can "talk" to them...iwant to scream sometimes!! dont usually mind having family there, as long as my room isnt crowded, i can get to what i need to do,and you arent agitating my patient that is already in 4 point leather restraints (yes, i am dealing with this now..meth od plus a little of everything else)..and do not,and i repeat do not come track me down in the other patients room down the hall to ask me if i took your loved ones temp last hour or if i will take it now..i am about to code this other patient. your afebrile daughter can wait one darn minute...oh yeah, and not to mention said mother unlocked her daughters locked restraints, cause she wanted to move around in bed...what??? yeah...and with all that kicking and fighting she almost knocked all of us nurses and a few security guards out! (yes, the previous nurse was an idiot for leaving the key in the room and letting mom know where it was..that is being handled) seriously people...seriously (yes, i work in micu, but lately it seems like the catch all unit for all the psych/od patients.....)
    we have family that insist upon calling at change of shift. i don't even come to the phone; i just ask the secretary to ask them to call back in an hour or two. if they don't get any information at 0700, they'll stop calling at 0700.
  5. by   Mommy_of_3_in_AL..RN
    we usually do the same..but usually they call back in about 10 minutes...something about an "hour or s" just isnt comprehendable to some people!!
  6. by   morte
    Quote from Mommy_of_3_in_AL..RN
    we usually do the same..but usually they call back in about 10 minutes...something about an "hour or s" just isnt comprehendable to some people!!
    then it keeps being an hour, from the LAST time that they called.....this comes under the heading "we teach persons how to treat us"
  7. by   I_LOVE_TRAUMA
    We set up appt. with our family members. It is our policy to tell them that we will call them every morning at 0600 and every evening at 1800, and we do, not matter what, we let the family pick one person to be the call person. When we explain this to them we remind them how if people are calling all of the time, then it takes away from our time with the patient ( an the second patient if we have one), we also let them know that we will call them when there is any kind of condition change right away. Since implementing this policy we rarely ever get a call from family, except for the occassional frantic mom who had a bad feeling, and this is okay with us. When we call them we make sure to note any changes and the plan for the day, this helps to alleviate a lot of fears.
  8. by   colddeadpeople
    10 minutes every hour only invites trouble. Every hour, you're asking for it. Every 4 hours makes it more manageable. But even then, and you are correct, it must be backed up by management with some "help" to enforce it.
    We all lose credibility when we aren't backed up.
  9. by   organichombre
    Our visiting hours were 1030a till 9pm and we let people come and go pretty easy and tried to keep only 2 or 3 in at a time. We didn't let little ones in because of both the trauma of seeing all the stuff and the risk for catching something. It seemed to work pretty well but now the institution has went to 24/7 visitation with no age limitations. Of course they still say it's up to the "nurse's discretion" but we all know what that means...no back up when someone reports that they could not visit! We'll see how it goes and since we just moved into a new unit we can put up with some rules!
  10. by   IheartICUnursing
    My ICU has totally open visitation, 24/7. We do not really have any set rules as far as how many can be in the room at a time or who can visit. But it is still at our discretion to limit visitors if we feel that they are keeping us from providing adequate/ safe care or we see that the patient is becoming distressed.
    I have not yet incountered a situation where I have had to ask family to leave or limit visitation (except once in a code situation when a family member refused to leave the bedside!)... but from what I have hear, management almost always backs up the nurse on these issues.
    Even the design of our unit is very family friendly, with all private rooms with lots of space, usually room for several people to sit comfortably in the room at a time.
    Most of the time we don't encounter many issues and our patient and family satisfaction scores are extremely high, but we do occasionally get those difficult families as well- seeming upset that they need to move out of the way so that you can get access to the pumps, the foley, the pt... or they think seem to think the bedside table is for them, and don't think its fair if we need to use the table for a procedure or something because they are too busy eating on it!! ughh, I could go on and on lol.
    I feel like with these families it is so important to set limits with them as soon as they arrive on the unit. If one nurse lets them do whatever they want, then that is what they will expect for the rest of their time there!
  11. by   divaRN*
    we are in the process of becoming a locked unit and it cant happen fast enough!! families have been out of control lately, calling the CEO, president, DON etc. because they dont like our visiting policy. I end up spending too much time arguing with families than taking care of the patient. And one thing i CANNOT stand is them trying to wake up a patient who is sedated after I have explained 100 times the medication is keeping them asleep. I do tell them they can talk to their loved on and let them know they are there and I encourage this but to yell at the patient and tell them to wake up is ridiculous. I just imagine being that patient in bed, intubated, restrained and sedated having my family members yell at me to wake up. Right now our visiting policy is 2 at a time during the day, no one at night unless pt is actively dying and no one under 12. They are also asked to call before entering unit to make sure it is okay to come visit. But nope they sneak in and get mad when we tell them to wait outside or they try to hide behind the curtain in the room. Yes i can see you and yes i can count and see there are 5 family members in here and not 2. Then they start raiding a comfort cart ment for another patient. Yes i see you stuffing the sandwiches and soda in your bag. (sorry for the vent families have been extra difficult lately)
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    my hospital has announced plans to go to 24 hour visiting. i'm looking for another job . . . .
  13. by   mmutk
    Quote from ruby vee
    my hospital has announced plans to go to 24 hour visiting. i'm looking for another job . . . .

    you might as well stay everyone is going to this soon. on our last jacho visit we were cited for having visiting hours! now we are open 22 hours of the day.

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