Patient Care and ICU Visitors

What do you do if your mother, sister, husband or father lands in an ICU? Do you stay or do you go? There are more than 5 million sufferers admitted to an ICU a year. The ICU is a special unit where sufferers who have severe and deadly illnesses are given patient care by specialized doctors and nursing employees. These sufferers require constant monitoring and support with unique devices and medications to maintain normal bodily processes. The majority of U.S. healthcare centers have restrictions on visitation rights. Close relatives need open visitation rights because it decreases patient anxiety and improves their comfort.

Intensive care patientMost adult intensive care units have some type of limited viewing hours that limit the number of family members who can visit and the time they can stay at the room. Across ICUs there is no standardization in viewing guidelines. Moreover, there may even be different visitation rights guidelines in various ICUs in the same hospital! Close relatives can be limited to 10 minutes of visitation rights every hour or be allowed to visit any time they want. Also, how healthcare center employees implement and understand the same visitation rights guidelines can be dissimilar. This variability is a cause of pressure for nursing employees, families and sufferers. Hospitals are attempting for excellence and are now focused on family-centered patient care. Close relatives play an essential part in the ICU individual’s recovery, so an essential part of family center care is open visitation rights. Patients place a high value on having family members at their room, offering them a sense of security in a highly technological innovation driven atmosphere.

The ICU is a stressful place full of sounds, unknown people and devices. Having a familiar face at the room can decrease individual pressure and duration of stay and help respond to questions in the ICU. Also, it improves individual quality, safety and satisfaction. To see relatives, it improves communication with healthcare employees, allows family members to be involved with patient care and contributes to better understanding of the healthcare world. In addition, families cannot affect the functioning of the ICU. Infection disease precautions may be needed that can restrict visitation rights. If an ICU patient is in a shared room and this can happen, guests may be asked to leave temporarily if immediate lifesaving measures are required or sensitive conversations need to occur with another patient.

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