Nurses Prefer That Families Don't Attend Breast Biopsies

Many feel relatives in the operating room hamper their ability to do their jobs
By Sridhar Nadamuni
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Most perioperative nurses do not support the concept of family presence in the operating room during breast biopsy procedures, so the feasibility of instituting family presence intervention would be complicated by system barriers, according to a report published in the October issue of the AORN Journal.

Linda A. Evans, R.N., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, used a modified Emergency Nurses Association Family Presence and Support Staff Assessment tool, to assess perioperative nurse practitioners' attitudes toward family presence during breast biopsy procedures performed with local anesthesia. She analyzed responses from 338 participants who had a mean experience of 22.95 years and a mean age of 51.54 years.

Evans found that only 19 percent of the perioperative nurses supported the concept of family presence in the operating room during breast biopsy procedures performed with local anesthesia. In addition, 75.7 percent of the nurses said they would not want the option of having a family member around if they were to undergo the procedure themselves. However, 85.8 percent of respondents agreed that providing psychosocial and emotional support to family members is part of their job, and 34.6 percent said their job performance had at some point been hampered by family presence, the report indicates.

"Refinement of the concept should include incorporating suggested interventions by the respondents in this study before future studies are carried out," the author writes. "These interventions include thorough educational initiatives for staff and family members and the availability of an extra nurse to help support the family members who may have untoward effects during the OR experience."

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