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No visiting hours?

Nurses   (17,086 Views 83 Comments)

NursesRmofun is a ASN, RN and specializes in Registered Nurse.

13,291 Visitors; 1,239 Posts

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Julius Seizure specializes in Pediatric Critical Care.

1 Follower; 24,338 Visitors; 2,243 Posts

The trouble sometimes is that in older facilities, the rooms are not designed for visitors.

Some of the older ICUs in my hospital don't have rooms, just curtains between the beds. The patient will then get transferred out to the older part of the hospital that has semi private rooms with barely enough room to stick a recliner in.

When my son was in a newly built PICU a couple of years ago, I was amazed about how thoughtful the design was to integrate visitors. The couch folded out into a small bed for me. There was a parent lounge where I could have a snack from the mini-kitchen staffed by volunteers or make a phone call. In peds, they encouraged me to stay and made that stay so pleasant in an environment that was built to accommodate visitors.

This is definitely something that is very different in pediatrics. Visitors and parents and family are just part of the package when you work in pediatrics.....so the expectations are different. Part of being a nurse - especially in peds, I think - is learning to manage the questions and chattiness of the family without it getting in the way of the patients care.

I do love working in newer PICUs that have planned for being "family centered" and provided enough room for family to stay without making it impossible for the nurse to get around the room as they need to.

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NursesRmofun is a ASN, RN and specializes in Registered Nurse.

13,291 Visitors; 1,239 Posts

I work on a Med/Surg floor. We have open hours. No restrictions. There isn't even a rule on who can spend the night or how many. I've had patients' rooms that I couldn't get around in because so many family members were sleeping on the floor. When I've brought it up to the management, the reply has been "we don't want to upset the family". yeah, but you want me to do the job you hired me for, yes? I can't do it with 10 family members in the room, when the patient's husband has left her 3 year old and she can't get out of bed to run after it (if she could, she'd be home, yes?).

What irritates me the most about is the family members who feel the need to tell me, in detail, exactly what they don't like about the care their loved one received last month at a different hospital OR the family members who press the call light continually to tell me THEY need a soda, a snack, a pillow, another blanket, to know what channel such-and-such show is on (I'm working, I don't have time to find tv shows, let alone watch them). How about the patient on a PCA, clearly marked "For PATIENT use only", that the family has been told repeatedly not to touch, and they've managed to OD her/him. Then, they're mad because I narcaned their mom/sister/daughter/son/father/brother and now the patient is in pain? I have family members who come and go all night (I'm a night shift worker), waking the patient continually.

I think you just hit a nerve! I long for the past when we could say "Please leave, visiting hours are over" or at least, "Only one person may spend the night"

These are the kind of things I'd dread happening! I don't know how in the world you survive it! From what I read, I think that facilities can still put some limits on visits...even if it isn't the same as it was before...maybe some "happy" medium.

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NursesRmofun is a ASN, RN and specializes in Registered Nurse.

13,291 Visitors; 1,239 Posts

I work labor and delivery (and postpartum). I wish we had (flexible) visiting hours! Our moms are exhausted and need to rest but every friend and family member "needs" to come see the baby. I try to suggest that they have most of their visitors come at the same time so it's not a parade of people all day. Breastfeeding is delayed because visitors are in the room. There is SO MUCH patient education to do with new parents and it's hard to fit it in there with visitors coming and going and trying to balance letting the pt sleep. I'm happy to do education with family in the room (so that the baby's grandparents aren't giving dated advice) but it's hard when friends are there. I also want to respect that they're there to visit and be social, not be talked at by a nurse. We only allow one support person to spend the night because there really isn't enough room for more than that. I had to make the father of a baby sleep in the waiting room because the pt's mother was controlling (and a super jerk) and manipulated her daughter into saying she'd prefer the one person to be her mom. Terrible.

It's got to be difficult.

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NursesRmofun is a ASN, RN and specializes in Registered Nurse.

13,291 Visitors; 1,239 Posts

The trouble sometimes is that in older facilities, the rooms are not designed for visitors.

Some of the older ICUs in my hospital don't have rooms, just curtains between the beds. The patient will then get transferred out to the older part of the hospital that has semi private rooms with barely enough room to stick a recliner in.

When my son was in a newly built PICU a couple of years ago, I was amazed about how thoughtful the design was to integrate visitors. The couch folded out into a small bed for me. There was a parent lounge where I could have a snack from the mini-kitchen staffed by volunteers or make a phone call. In peds, they encouraged me to stay and made that stay so pleasant in an environment that was built to accommodate visitors.

I did see the local hospital's rooms and they seem fine for a couple visitors...not really for several...and not big enough for a staff person to negotiate a family-full room for much concerning patient care. I am sure it would be difficult with a room full. I'd probably ask more than 1-2 if they'd mind taking a break.

Nice that the PICU was comfortable for you though! That break room sounds great. I know Peds. nurses are happy to have a parent around!

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icuRNmaggie has 24 years experience and specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU.

25,092 Visitors; 1,970 Posts

The ICU is not the place to hold a family outing. Space is limited. I allow two visitors at a time and one family member who is well behaved to stay overnight in the recliner. I discuss this when I do the admission. Most families are helpful and genuinely concerned but it is the ones like this that leaving a lasting impression:

https://allnurses.com/nursing-humor-share/the-patients-quot-994806.html

This current thread about "the patient's guests" explains just how inappropriate and even dangerous it can be to allow unstructured and unlimited open visitation.

Edited by icuRNmaggie

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annie.rn has 21 years experience.

12,404 Visitors; 546 Posts

We have a pet visiting policy, too.

Whaaaa? Now THAT I could get used to. Probably wouldn't get much work done though b/c I'd be too busy meeting and greeting the pets.

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922 Visitors; 30 Posts

I'm posting this while laying in an uncomfortable sleeper chair for the 3rd night in a row at my husband's bedside. I think it's a good thing to have an overnight visitor as long as the visitor allows you to care for the patient and you don't need to do things for the visitor. As a family member, I would hate to leave my loved one to fend for themselves. As a former patient, I have been scared when I'm in pain and not sure if I'm ever going to be okay. As a nurse, I just think visitors need to be respectful and allow privacy when it's required.

I had a patient once who was embarrassed because she had soiled the bed, it happens. I sent her son out of the room because I figure if you are not going to help or you don't see their naked bottom on a regular basis, you don't get to see their naked bottom in the hospital. The son had the audacity to poke his head around the curtain and watch us, complaining about how we were humiliating her. It made me so angry that he couldn't respect his mother's modesty for just a moment by stepping out.

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Jensmom7 has 36 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Hospice.

11,205 Visitors; 1,907 Posts

This thread almost makes me wish for the good old days when our unit secretary would announce overhead, "Visiting hours are over in ten minutes. Please say goodbye to your loved ones, gather up your belongings and make your way to the elevators at either end of the hall."

And no one objected!

No. One.

And they said goodbye to us as they left.

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

1 Follower; 42,103 Visitors; 4,873 Posts

The last thing a post-op patient needs is a relative sitting at the bedside chowing down on a bucket of KFC while complaining that the patient is going to puke and they never, ever puke. The smell is horrid.

We don't restrict visitors, but we do restrict food. ;) Not if the pt wants their family to bring food (so long as it is in line with dysphagia diets, if applicable), but we don't allow visitors to eat their own food in the pt's room. The official reason is infection control, but it has its benefits such as situations like this. Also, when an A&O pt is NPO, I think it's cruel to eat in front of them.

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hiphopRN has 3+ years experience and specializes in Psychiatric Nursing.

2,493 Visitors; 33 Posts

Our psych hospital has extremely limited visiting hours. 7p-8p M-F, 2p-4p Sa-Su and holidays. In certain cases we allow additional visits outside of visiting hours, but only in special cases. We also only allow outside food during the visit, we cannot store or allow the patients to keep outside food with them in the hospital.

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1,321 Visitors; 19 Posts

I have worked at places that have no limits and guests/family members are allowed to spend the night. I have been to places with things like "quiet time" for 2 hours during change of shift and I think they're fabulous. You can easily and safely give report without being interrupted by call lights, family members, rounding doctors, etc I do think it fosters a safer transition of care. It's also easier to do things like bedside reporting because you don't have to worry the NACs will come bother you about someone you haven't even received report on or a family member asking for linens. The few places that do "quiet time" or something similar, add additional staff or stagger change of shift to make it happen. (It's always really bothered me when everyone changes shift at 7, no one knows what happened an hour ago with a patient sometimes. . . and management is gone for the day, so the people you normally would ask for help are gone.)

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