Sunday, 8 November 2015: 4:40 PM
The movement to incorporate Family Centered Care (FCC) models in the care of hospitalized patients has swept through North America. Previously limited access to loved ones who are hospitalized has changed over the years to a culture within institutions that now recognizes the importance of family involvement in patient care. This shift to a FCC approach is especially critical in a changing healthcare environment where patients are being discharged home with more complex needs and increased functional limitations, and family members are expected to assume the caregiving roles and responsibilities once performed by healthcare professions. Understanding the needs, preferences, and capacity of the entire family unit for managing long-term chronic health needs of family members is essential to the health of patients and well-being of the entire family. This symposium includes theory and research presentations that provide evidence for the importance of recognizing and addressing the needs of family members. The first presentation is focused on development of a middle range theory of family vigilance. This will be followed by presentations of three research studies. The first two studies, one on an oncology unit and one on a stroke rehabilitation unit assessed family members’ needs at the bedside. These two studies used data from art therapy, interviews and the Family Inventory of Needs to develop programs that responded to family members who maintained vigils at the bedside of their hospitalized loved ones. The third study describes the needs of stroke caregivers as their family members with stroke move through the care continuum from acute care to inpatient rehabilitation to home. Evidence will be provided to support the importance of including family members in discussions about patient care and treatment decisions. The symposium will conclude with suggestions for nursing interventions and implications for nursing practice.