One nurse’s vision that, in addition to quality care, patients need the support and reassurance that only family members can bring them resulted in implementation of an open family visitation policy in the intensive care unit (ICU) at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, St. Louis, Mo.

Recognized as a leader, mentor and compassionate nurse who provides excellent end-of-life care, BJ Hipsky, RN, BSN, headed the campaign to enact an open family visitation policy in the ICU. As a true patient advocate, Hipsky considered the restrictions placed on family members whose loved ones were patients in the ICU as a detriment to both the patients and their families. She cited several reasons for opening the visiting hours:

  • Patients in the ICU are often critical or at the end stages of their lives. Families need to be together at such a...

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