Guy LaFleur once said, “When trouble comes, it is your family that supports you” (“Family Quotes,” 2012). When a person becomes seriously ill, our job as nurses is to support that family. Evidence suggests that treating the needs of the family while treating the patient will yield optimum results. The patient will likely respond more positively with family around, and the family will be likewise more satisfied spending time with their family member in trouble. Family needs have been grouped into the five categories of receiving assurance, remaining near the patient, receiving information, being comfortable, and having support available. With evidence-based practice in mind, nursing interventions can be implemented to provide the best care possible.
Receiving assurance involves nurses delivering peace of mind to the family members visiting the patient. Likely, the family will be stressed and worried for their relative, and it is the job of the nurse to ease them whenever possible. Nurses should respond to call lights, monitors beeping, and make sure to do rounding on time. They should be honest with the family when questioned and refrain from providing a false sense of hope or promising things that they cannot deliver (Bailey, Sabbagh, Loiselle, 2010). Nurses are likewise responsible for educating the family of all procedures and medications delivered to the patient in order to let them know that the patient is getting all the care the nurse is able to provide.
Remaining near the patient is something that families desire and something that nurses can deliver. The workload may be increased for the nurse since he or she must address some or all of the patient’s attending relatives, but it is important for the patient and the family to be together. Evidence suggests that patients have lower anxiety, confusion, and agitation, reduced cardiovascular complications, a shorter length of stay in the ICU, a sense of security, and elevated safety and quality...
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