Unrestricted Family Presence Essay

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Benefits of Unrestricted Family Presence
The contemporary literature is saturated with evidence supporting the benefits of unrestricted family presence within the critical care unit. The benefits can be summarized according to the advantages for patient and families. (See Advantages of unrestricted family presence).2,13,18,20,22,23 The most significant advantage highlighted throughout the literature is that unrestricted family presence increases patient and family satisfaction, as it facilitates multiple opportunities for the needs of the patient and family to be met.
Throughout the literature, it is apparent that patients desire greater family presence, and families require open access to their loved one.4,6,10,20,21 Maintaining proximity through open visitation provides opportunities for nursing to assist families to meet their needs for information, reassurance, support and comfort from the healthcare team.5 Families that are more present at the bedside have a better understanding of the patients condition and plan of care, report lower levels of anxiety and apprehension, and develop strong
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For the patient, unrestricted family presence facilitates opportunities for family members to support their loved ones by providing reassurance, and emotional and physical comfort 20,21 Patients report feeling a sense of security when family members are present, as their needs and desires are more likely to be accurately communicated to the healthcare team.20,21 In a qualitative focus group study (n=8) family members attested that they knew the patient more than anyone and were in the best position to provide accurate patient information, make decisions based on the patients needs and desires, and advocate for their loved ones.4 Furthermore, unrestricted family presences provides opportunities for nurses to learn about the patient, gather an in-depth and realistic history, and determine appropriate needs and care requirements, including post-hospitalization
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