Sibling visitation in PACU - what do you do?

  1. Hi All -

    I work in a pediatric hospital so I'm mostly interested in other peds nurses answers but willing to hear from anyone! In my facility we allow two visitors (usually mom and dad) to be with their child in the recovery room once the patient is starting to wake up and is doing ok. Up until recently we would allow siblings back to see the patient as well. We now are enforcing a policy where children under the age of 16 are not allowed into the PACU period.

    I'm curious what the visitation policy at your PACU is, how you handle siblings and what do you do when a single parents brings along a small child when they're unable to find a sitter?


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    About rstrainRN

    Joined: Nov '09; Posts: 10; Likes: 7


  3. by   lpnstudentin2010
    When my sister had surgery when I was younger, I was not allowed in to the PACU what happened was I just sat coloring near the desk/liason nurses in the family waiting room and they kept and eye on me while my mom stayed with my sister.
  4. by   GHGoonette
    The PACU where I work is very small-we only have 4 bays serving 4 theaters, and no space for extended stay/step down. We don't encourage visitors at all, as we find that the immediate post-op period is very stressful for parents or spouses. Most patients aren't even aware of their stay in recovery anyway.
    In larger PACU's with step down areas it is feasible, even advisable, to bring family members in, but never children.
  5. by   azhiker96
    We allow siblings in if they aren't a nuisance. Today I had a 7yr F post lap appy who asked if her brother could see her. He was 9yr, very well behaved, and she adores him. It was one of the best interventions I did for her. She even wanted to share her popsicle with him so I gave him his own. She was much more relaxed and happy with him at her bedside.
  6. by   PaKuRN
    Visitation in the PACU had been a sore spot for the PACU's I have worked in. The guidelines are parents only when child is awake, airway out. We absoultly do not want children or infants, who knows what, if any immunizations are up to date, and what they may carry into the room. Ok, I said guidelines, not craved in stone, so we may have parents and grandma, but we do want only 2 at bedside at a time, it is better for all. The young child rule of 16 and older is strictly followed. We still have issues with adult patient and visitors. But thats another post. The best way to achieve this is to have a short information pamphlet with the PACU visitation policy. If mommy brings the baby sibling she can not see patient in room, she needs to have a friend with her to help her out. I think it has to be address before the procedure, but in the perfect world it should be told to parent in the MD office before case is book. In emergent cases, we can find someone to watch baby for 5 mins outside door, but who wants that responsiblity, maybe pastoral care?? Of course you need a policy on everything these days and since you are in a pediatric hospital I would think a policy is already in place, bump it up the chain of commend.

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