Although care of the family has long been a focus of nursing, there has been an increased emphasis in recent years to provide opportunities for families to be an integral part of the hospitalization experience. This has been difficult for many nurses who perceive themselves as competent to care for a patient in “medical crisis” but feel unqualified to provide family care. This article will address issues related to implementing a family-centered philosophy of care in a critical care unit. Implementation strategies that will be discussed include: formulating a staff-led family support group and family committee, instituting a family visitation contract within open visitation parameters, and developing clinicians with expertise in family care. Tools such as a performance plan for a Clinical Nurse II specializing in family care and the family visitation contract will be shared

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.