Visitors' Policy/Visiting Hours - page 2

Our 18-bed medical/surgical ICU unit is having difficulty with our visitors following policy. We are trying revamp our system to best suit the needs of patients, staff and visitors. I'd like input... Read More

  1. by   Janet Barclay
    Hi All,
    This is a touchy subject, with a million different opinions and rationales for each side of the equation. Our policy is, open visitin 24 hrs a day within reason, limited to two at a time, and at the discretion of the nurse. To avoid the 50 phone calls a day, we ask the families to elect a "spokesperson" who will disseminate information to the rest of the family. Believe it or not, this usually works. Visitors are discourages from being in the room around shift report and rounds times, but encourages to be there the rest of the time. This, of course, excludes people with ICP problems.
    We ask that only immediate family visit, but are open if the family wants someone there, or if the patient is alert enough to give consent.
    I should divulge that on my unit, only three out of 21 nurses have two patients and the rest are 1:1, because, of course, that makes a difference.
    We believe that the fmaily is deserving of as much care as the patient, though that sometimes gives us a bum rash .
    Visitors must call in via intercom to make sure that timing is ok, and 99.9% comply with the rules.
    We neither police, nor do we cotrol visitors and that seems to work, for the most part, just fine.
    sorry this was a long one
  2. by   tbearrn
    I work in a 17 bed ICU/CCU with Open Heart Recovery incorporated into it. We have 3-1/2 hours visiting times and 2 1 hour visiting times. This seems to work really well when the nurses enforce it and families stick to it. We have had lots of problems with families who abuse the system. This week, we started a new policy that family members must stick to the visiting hours (except in extreme cases like terminal weaning or a dying pt) and have installed a direct-line "bat phone" from the waiting room to our unit so family members can call at any time to check on their loved ones. We will soon be installing keypads at the front doors of the unit so that people can only access the unit during visiting hours or when otherwise deemed appropriate by the nurse. We also have a family representative for each pt assigned when the pt comes into the unit. That person is the only one that we will release information about the pt's condition to over the phone from an outside line. We instruct all others who call about the pt to contact the family rep. This has cut down tremendously on the time we spend answering calls about pts and directing traffic. Hope this helps.