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I am so proud to share that the level III/II that I work at is rolling out a new "visitor policy". We ditched the gowns a year or two ago, now there are 24hr visiting for parents (duh, they are parenting, not visiting), with supportive visitors being the people they choose, as opposed to "grandparents only". No limits on sibs either, mom+dad+ 5 sibs=okay, as long as they arent pulling on vent tubes or swinging from the ecmo machine.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/champagne.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="champagne">
 

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man! i wish they had that at out nicu!<br><br>
those are great! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Sounds very much in line with the policies at our NICU! I hear that is the model being implemented at NICU's more and more.<br><br>
Glad to hear another is moving in line... I am continually astounded at the rules some of our NICU families had to endure <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I can see this being a good thing, but I can also see it as being very dangerous to the preemies too.<br><br>
Parents staying 24/7 <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
Supportive Visitors other than grandparents <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> as long as it was only when mom and/or dad was there, and it was limited to no more than 2 "others" at a time.<br><br>
Siblings allowed <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
Unlimited siblings at once I dont agree with...1 at a time yeah, but I dont see how it could be safe/secure for any NICU child to have a bunch of kids in the NICU. Same goes for me saying a limited amount of "other visitors"<br><br><br>
To explain my feelings:<br><br>
I hated only beign allowed a few hours a day with my twins, but that was the rules...if I coulda stayed for 24hours a day I woulda tried my hardest to do it.<br><br>
Supportive visitors would have been nice....there were times I needed someone and DF couldnt be in there with me. And the nurses in our NICU were a little to cranky and snotty.<br><br>
I wouldve loved for DS to have been able to come in and see his brothers....he woulda loved it..instead we had to settle for him kissing a window for 4 weeks til they came home.<br><br><br>
As far as unlimited sibs and my reason for not alot of "other visitors", I just dont feel it is safe. Yea there are cleaning procedures when you go in, and all that jazz, but I dont think I would feel my babies were safe if there were 500 adults and people walking in and out of the NICU daily......it was sad enough seeing all the sick babies and preemies, but to add on top of that an illness they dont need, would be sadder. I mean our NICU was so bad, that I sneezed once(allergy issues at the time), and covered my mouth and nose when I did, I even closed DS incubator door right before hand cause I felt it coming. I washed my hands, resanitized and all that jazz used the sani cloth to wipe down the incubator area just incase, and I ended up being forced to wear a mask for 3 days during visits....it was crazy, but I see thier point.<br><br>
Now if your NICU has private rooms/partitions, and your baby has his/her own space, then I can see these changes being ok, but our NICU was small and still is, and at any given time I had to walk by 6-8 babies just to get to my guys in the first week before they moved to a different area in the NICU. We were asked not to look at or comment on the other babies....but that never stopped anyone...specially visitors. Everyone was always looking, commenting, touching isolettes and incubators....it irked me to no end...some say I was being over protective, but I say I was just being mommy. And the extra stimulation for sensative babies isnt a good thing either.<br><br>
I know infections coming into the NICU are rare right now, but I see them becoming more common with changes being made that will allow a million people to go in and out.<br><br><br>
Thia may sound pissy...I dont mean for it to....I just wish there were more changes like breastfeeding whenever (some NICUs dont allow it more than once a day, I had to push just to do it 2x a day at ours), more kanagroo care (ours didnt allow it for more than an hour a day, and we couldnt even do it until all thier breathing stuff and lines cept for IV were out), more parental involvement in OT and feeding and bathing and what not from the very begining (we werent allowed to bathe til our babies were 2 1/2 weeks old cause they werent in the room where the bath/sink was located so we had to wait til they got moved).
 

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These were the rules in the first hospital we were at. I loved it there. I loved the fact that if at 2am I was lonely, I could hope in my car and go visit ds2. I think the only rule they had was if you were stick, stay home.
 

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Our NICU had 24 hour "visiting" - I was so surprised (and sad to hear it) when I discovered that was not universal.<br><br>
The unlimited siblings thing does seem a little risky. But I'm glad your NICU is becoming more family-friendly. It means a lot to parents. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Ours had a similar rules. The only time we were excluded was if a family needed some private time with their baby and a religious figure...and we all know when that might happen, I don't think I need to SAY it (I'm a little superstitious, ok?)<br><br>
We were encouraged not to visit during shift change, but that was only for about a half hour every 12 hours.<br><br>
We were allowed in for rounds so long as we were not blatantly invading another family's privacy.<br><br>
We were allowed to have siblings visit, but long visits were not encouraged as the younger kids often couldn't stay calm and quiet. Ryan visited twice, but was quickly bored.<br><br>
Visitors (no matter relation) were ok so long as a parent was there or they were on our short list (I think it was 3 people) of who could visit without us.
 

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OMG! I can't imagine not be able to see my baby when ever and for any amount of time I chose. I had no idea either that it was like that at some NICUs. Our rules were just that parents weren't really suppose to be hanging around during shift change. . .b/c a lot of info was being exchanged at that time. Mamas and Papas could come and stay as they pleased at any level of care. You were only suppose to have one or two vistors w/ you at a time. A rule I really loved. It cut down on commotion. And siblings had to be 3 yrs or older. We had to phone into the NICU w/ our id# ofcourse and during my time there I ran into some strange folk who would have all types of reasons for trying to slip past me at the door. I would always apologize and say it wasn't up to me, sorry. That always kind of freaked me out a bit. As would when larger groups of rowdier youths would some how all be let in together. It would amaze me how some folks just didn't get it. All right, enough with my ramble. . .
 

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My older dd was not allowed to visit her baby sister in the NICU because she was under 5. She was 4 1/2.
 

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I just can't fathom that some NICU's don't let parents have 25/7 visiting hours.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: Unless they are sick, it's their child and they need to be there for him/her. I'm glad things are starting to change.
 

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When my baby was critical the nurses offered that they could be really lenient and allow us to select one relative to be able to visit since we didn't have any grandparents in the country. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: I couldn't pick just one (DH has three sisters and a brother here, plus we have lots of aunts and uncles who lived closer and cousins, etc) so we were the only ones allowed in. Being given that kind of choice at that point was almost worse than being told it just wasn't possible.<br><br>
Sibblings were allowed in one at a time, which makes sense to me.<br><br>
I didn't mind the gowns, though they seem really silly when you are attempting to get a baby to nurse.<br><br>
We were kicked out for 1.5 hours for the morning shift change and rounds on the unstable babies but only 45 minutes when he was with the more stable babies. It was really hard when he was his sickest. 10:30-noon was a long time to be away. On occasion babies crashed right before or after that 1 1/2 hour time frame and we were all kicked out while they worked on the baby. That was really hard.<br><br>
Too many memories!!<br><br>
The NICU is a much harder place to be than a regular (even ICU) situation. The NICU nurse who made me cry is now in charge of the peds floor where AC gets admitted and I don't mind her half as much there. On the regular floor we have such a different relationship, I already know my baby is mine. There she was upset that I didn't volunteer to change his diaper (no one had let me previously and he was two weeks old, how should I know she would let me?) and she yelled at me for putting the outside of the wet diaper on top of his incubator instead of the trash can to wait for her to weigh it. She said that the top of the incubator was sterile and now she had to clean it because of me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: That diaper was in the icubator, and it was just the plastic outside that touched the top of the incubator, how odd. I had watched other nurses put the diapers that before (and after) that too.<br><br>
NICU nurses need to be special people because it is really hard being a NICU parent.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Sorry for the tangent. I really got off track.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Liba613</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7980163"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">NICU nurses need to be special people because it is really hard being a NICU parent.<br></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: about a thousand times.
 

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My nicu nurses were great. I was in a 50 plus bed nicu in a university setting so there were literally a couple hundred in the support staff. Yes there were a few I butted heads with but 1 or 2 in a huge amount, not too bad. Rounds were 9:30- noon and parents had to leave unless there were different circumstances. Otherwise 24 hours for parents and "visitors" were 1-9pm. They said parents and visitors at our nicu. Parents also had a special green bracelet. Also, only 2 people could be bedside and one had to be a parent at any time w exception to the siblings of the baby. So if I was at bedside and we had visitors, the visitor would have a tag. If dh was also there, he would be in the waiting room until the other visitor was done. Usually we would have the visitor w dh and I would be pumping. If no one else was in the nicu, they would "bend the rule" and let us have the visitor w us bedside while both of us were there.<br><br>
As far as germs. There are plenty of hospital born germs in the nicu and the natural ones that happen when the body attacks foreign objects like central lines etc. I remember the NP saying keep your purse and personal stuff off the ground, take off your shoes when you enter your home etc. She said things get dropped all the time such as pencillians etc and the germs learn to fight those things so they are stronger, more abt to not react to meds etc. How do you think MRSA got started??
 

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That sounds great! Our NICU only allowed parents and grandparents. No one under 18 was allowed due to it being RSV season--I don't know if that changes during the summer or not. Only 2 people were allowed at her bed due to space considerations although they would have let us have more during her baptism if we had wanted. Also, parents did not have to be there as long as the grandparents were on the "approved visitor" list.<br><br>
We didn't have to wear gowns although I did have to wear a mask when I was on the tail end of a cold (not that it bothered me then since I hadn't seen Mary for 5 days at that point!). The only time we were not allowed in the NICU was if a surgery was being performed or between 7 and 7:30 am and pm for shift change.
 

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Wow, that blows that every NICU doesn't already have those rules. The only time I wasn't "allowed" in the NICU was during rounds, but sometimes they'd let it slide (depended on the nurse). Once he was in his own "room" in level 2(just a little room off to the side that had its own door) we didn't have to leave for rounds because we could just close the door. I could bring in anyone I wanted to visit DS, they just had a limit of 2 people at a time, and if they were on my "list" I didn't have to be present for them to visit. They didn't have a sibling rule that I know of, the only siblings I ever saw were for one baby that was getting close to going home and was off in his own room so they may have bent the rules for him. I don't think they cared, though, as long as you weren't invading someone else's space.
 

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That's awesome! Our 8mos NICU stay would have been so much better had I been able to bring my kids with me when I visited.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>irangel</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7989187"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That's awesome! Our 8mos NICU stay would have been so much better had I been able to bring my kids with me when I visited.</div>
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I could not agree more with this.<br><br>
Z was 15 months when N was born. It was bad for us. I had to go visit from 8pm until 11pm because I had no child care. I waited for DH to get home and settled until I could go see N and because shift change was from 6pm to 8pm and 6am to 8am. DH could only see N on weekends. Our NICU would not make an exception for us at all. Trust me, I begged and pleaded for them to.<br><br>
It made for a very long 5 and a half weeks. It was hell.<br><br>
Thankfully, I have more options now because we are a lot closer to more family than we were when N was born.
 

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In the NICU my daughter was in the rules were lax and I had huge problems with it. Some parents would come in and not wash their hands or their children’s hands properly. Or they would bring 18 family members and some would refuse to wash their hands because they did not like the soap.<br><br>
But worse of all is all the people who would look at my child and know all of her information. (She was the smallest child to survive at that hospital)<br><br>
I do think we need support, but not every one we know. If your child is not well behaved they should stay home. There is often too much going on to have to worry about little ones! So I think their time should be limited.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
We are very strict on handwashing for all visitors and parents, no cop-outs using the hand gel. We ID all visitors by visual check with ID cards, since bracelets get lost/stolen and handed around. My problem with closing for rounds is parents want to be at rounds, not to mention, if you have other kids they are usually in school or something and it can be easier for parents with school agers to come in while they are in day care or school. I agree some parents will have a hard time deciding when to leave for food, rest, etc, but I don't think that some people having a hard time with that is a good reason to restrict all the other parents who have different situations.
 
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