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  1. Kozub, Elizabeth MS, RN, CCNS, CCRN, CNRN
  2. Scheler, Stephanie BSN, RN, CCRN
  3. Necoechea, Gloria BSN, RN, CCRN
  4. O'Byrne, Noeleen MS, BA, RN


The focus on patient- and family-centered care (PFCC) has become increasingly prevalent throughout health care. In the intensive care unit (ICU), family involvement becomes critical, as patients are often unable to fully engage in their care. After expanding family visitation to 24 hours, nurses in a surgical ICU perceived that they did not have the ability to tailor the visitation to meet the patient's condition and there was an opportunity to improve nurse satisfaction related to PFCC. The objective of this performance improvement project was to increase nurse satisfaction related to PFCC and create consistency across clinicians for visitation practices. The Unit Practice Council developed staff guidelines for family visitation that included scripting prompts the nurse could use when communicating with families. The adoption of staff guidelines for family visitation was helpful in creating a culture change toward PFCC. Nurses' overall mean stress level with PFCC decreased, and their perception of having difficulty in reducing patients' or families' anxieties also decreased. The development of guidelines for family visitation can be easily implemented across other critical care environments. Scripting prompts along with the visitation guidelines can serve as a useful strategy to build nurses' skills in communicating with families.