Icu Family Needs

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Evidence Based Research
Family needs during ICU
Gysell Viveros
Breckenridege School of Nursing

Having a family member unexpectedly in ICU can be a painful and difficult time. Evidence based practice demonstrates that when a member of their social system is compromised, the entire family is disrupted. The unfamiliar environment leaves family members in severe stress and in a state of shock. Family members also require attention and needs to help cope with the stress of a family member in intensive care unit. These needs are grouped into five categories: receiving assurance, remaining near the patient, receiving information, being comfortable, and having support available. There should be specific nursing interventions that can help the needs of the family members be achieved and help them cope effectively.

As a nurse the first step in helping the family members of an ICU patient, is to offer assurance. Being able to reflect or redefine hope about the patient’s outcome promotes confidence, security and the freedom of doubt. You will not say they are completely out of danger and having a full recovery but assure them that they are going to be well taken care of by a competent medical staff. The family members need to feel that their family member is always being well taken care of. As a nurse there are a few simple interventions you can assure family members that this need is being met. Every time you enter the patient’s room you introduce yourself. You let the family members know what procedures and testing is scheduled for the day. Letting the family members know the medication, its action and purpose and side effects to watch out for will make them feel part of the team and part of their family members care. You will ensure them you will give them the best quality and inform them regularly of the patient’s condition. Encourage the family members to share their perceptions of present and future illness. If...
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