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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Association between the Presence of Clinical Nurse Specialist and Open Visitation Policy in US Intensive Care Units

  • Author(s): Suba, Sukardi Suba
  • Advisor(s): Carrieri-Kohlman, Virginia
  • et al.

Background: Current evidence shows that an open visitation policy can benefit patients and families during ICU stays. Therefore, an unrestricted visitation policy in ICU has been proposed as part of patient-centered care. Purpose: the purpose of this secondary analysis is to explore the likelihood of an ICU with a CNS having an open visitation policy when compared to an ICU without a CNS. Design: A survey was conducted between 2008 and 2009, describing the ICU visitation practices in more than 600 hospitals across the United States. A limited number of ICUs has open visitation policies in place, and the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) was identified as one of the clinical leadership roles available within the units. Methods: Chi-square analysis was performed, with a p-value of <0.05 considered statistically significant. Results: No significant correlation was found between a CNS being present in the ICU and open visitation policy (OR 0.93, p = 0.83), regardless of hospital geographic regions. Conclusion: Although CNS presence was not associated with open visitation in this study, given the strong evidence to support the benefits to patients and the CNS role as change agent in the hospital system, liberalization of visitation in ICU is an area that could benefit from CNS advocacy.

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