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Critical care nursing, Family presence during resuscitation



  1. Powers, Kelly A. PhD, RN, CNE
  2. Candela, Lori EdD, RN, FNP-BC, CNE


Background: Despite its shown benefits, family presence during resuscitation (FPDR) is a controversial topic among critical care nurses and is not routinely implemented.


Objectives: The objective of this study was to describe FPDR practices among critical care nurses, as well as the prevalence of FPDR policies and education.


Methods: The study used a descriptive survey design. Data were collected from a convenience sample of critical care nurses obtained at a national level. A 25-item demographic and professional attribute survey was administered to all participants.


Results: There were 124 critical care nurses who participated. Results indicated critical care nurses have vast resuscitative care experience; however, FPDR is not a routine component. In the past year, 23% (n = 29) had never experienced FPDR, and only 17% (n = 21) had experienced it more than 5 times. Furthermore, 48% (n = 59) had never invited FPDR, and 45% (n = 56) had invited it only 1 to 5 times. A lack of FPDR policy was noted, with 73% (n = 91) indicating their facility or unit did not have a policy or they were unsure if one existed. Only 38% (n = 47) had ever received education on FPDR.


Discussion: Despite the shown benefits of FPDR, it is not a routine component of resuscitation in critical care settings. Nurse managers and educators should focus on policy creation and education to help guide nurses at the bedside. The impact of policy and education on critical care nurses' support for and implementation of FPDR requires further study.