Care for families has often been secondary to patient care. However, Ellis and colleagues found evidence that nurses who are able to support family members as well as patients can actively help improve family resilience during the patient’s hospital stay. Ahluwalia and colleagues point out that nurses can help to improve communication with families during family meetings, and Chapman and colleagues found that as family visitation hours were increased, family satisfaction also increased. Integrating care for families into care for the patient can increase stress experienced by nurses, however, and this must be considered during policy and practice changes.

  • Evaluate nurse and family satisfaction with your institution’s current visiting policy.

  • Identify barriers, especially in communication, among the care team and with families.

  • Assess nurse competency in sharing information with families.

  • Develop role-play scenarios that allow family-type interactions in a safe environment to help...

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