BACCN Twitter Chat #baccnvisit
It was once again a very interactive Twitter chat discussing “open visiting hours within ICU” with both nurses and physiotherapist joining in.
Although overall most Twitterers were in favour of an more open visiting policy, there was some reservations to it which included exceptions for ward rounds, physiotherapy, other medical team visits etc It was felt by somet that there should be some restrictions for overnight visiting to allow the patients better quality rest/sleep time, and I suppose this will allow patients to have some ability to maintain their circadian rhythm and minimize the impact / development of ‘ICU induced delirium’.
A common thread throughout the hour was flexibility. Nurses must work with families and come to a mutual agreement on times to visit the patient. This will ensure that the patient is given privacy when needed and allow the families access at a very emotional and distressing time. Many felt that restricted visiting help families to continue to function outside the critical care environment, and to maintain their a sense of their own well-being.
The above is a point were I feel nurses need to talk more to families / visitors giving a unambiguous and understandable updates of the patient’s condition, installing confidence in the care that the patient is receiving and agreeing what amount of visiting time works for them and their loved one.
Following the Twittter Chat I reflected on how I would feel if I wasn't a Critical Care nurse and someone I loved and cared about was admitted to a Critical Care unit. The Critical Care environment which seems such a ‘normal environment’ to us must seem like another world to relatives who might never have experienced acute healthcare before. To add to this we often use our own unique language and acronyms, and we openly discuss with our colleagues pO2’s CRPs, ABGs etc just to add to the confusion.
There was no absolute opposition to open visiting times and for many a more flexible well managed approach is called for. This takes confidence and the instilling of confidence in the patients care. Visitors should be made to feel empowered, they should be invited to assist with personal patient care, the language used should be at a level which they understand, questions should be freely accepted and answered, and visiting should be discussed and arranged for times which suits everyone involved.
Thank you to everyone who took part in the chat.
To view the storify version, please click here!
Our next Twitter chat will take place on the 5th May between 7-8pm where we'll be discussing Alternative therapies in ICU (pets/music) #baccntherapy. See the website for more details.