1. Looper, Karin RN

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FIGURE After reading "Family Presence During Invasive Procedures and Resuscitation" (February), I've concluded that the hospital I work in needs to change its policy of asking all non-health care personnel-meaning family-to leave the room during CPR and invasive procedures.

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As an ICU nurse, I've had to come to terms with this issue. It's easy to become flustered in emergencies; we're all human and prone to error. I imagine it would be important to maintain 0% error when family members are watching your every move, and I'm sure this would be stressful at first. I empathize with the residents and physicians who were described as reluctant to adopt this practice for fear of being held liable for something the family member presumed to be an error. Yet I'd want to be present during any procedures performed on my family members. I have a right to know exactly what's going on, and seeing trained personnel doing all they could to help my loved one would alleviate my fears.


As much as I cringe at the thought of being held accountable for even the smallest details, family members should be present during invasive procedures or CPR. Nurses should strive for perfection in their jobs. If that means being put under a microscope when family members are present, so be it. I will show this article to my colleagues so we can give this policy a trial period.


Karin Looper, RN


Charlotte, NC; October 2000