Q Open visitation by patients’ family members and significant others seems to be widely accepted. But family presence during complex and lifesaving procedures remains very controversial. What are best practices and how can I bring about change in my unit?

A Angela P. Clark, rn, phd, acns-bc, and Cathie E. Guzzetta, rn, phd, reply:

We believe that you are correct about the acceptance of these 2 unique interventions—open visitation and family presence during resuscitation and invasive procedures (FPDR). Surprisingly, these interventions share significant commonalities with respect to research findings and best practices for maintaining the family unit.

Tracing the history of hospital care over multiple decades is fascinating. In the book The Care of Strangers: The Rise of America’s Hospital System, it is evident that family members went from being care providers in the home to outsiders...

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