Making Room: Family Presence during Resuscitation Supports a Healthy Work Environment

Thursday, 15 July 2010: 2:25 PM

Donna M. Prentice, RN, MSN(R)
Medical Intensive Care Unit, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Saint Louis, MO
Jennifer A. Williams, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, CCRN, CEN
Emergency Services, Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO
Kelly Dodds, MSN, APRN, BC
High Risk Cardiology, Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to discuss the benefits of family presence during resuscitation.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able discuss strategies for implementing family presence during resuscitation.

Purpose: A tertiary care hospital designed to provide family presence (FP) during resuscitation. The Emergency Department implemented FP in 2006 with great success. The Code Committee implemented FP during resuscitation in January 2009, throughout the hospital.  FP during resuscitation has been shown to help meet the emotional needs of family members during a critical time, affords the family the opportunity to be kept informed, to be with their loved one, and to have closure. Description: The hospital code committee was given charge to implement family presence. Spiritual Care Services were present for all codes. They were recruited to screen families, to become the guide, and support for the family during the code. An algorithm was developed for the process. Tools were developed for family screening. Support from key groups was obtained through literature review, conferencing and experiential sharing. Education was provided for the spiritual care personnel regarding the screening process and what to expect in a code. Follow up meetings were held with spiritual care to coach and allow for feedback. The hospital code committee received feedback and followed up on any issues.  Outcomes:Family presence was instituted hospital wide with success. Anecdotal reports of families telling the team that they could tell every effort had been made to save their loved one. Code team members and the spiritual care group became more comfortable in code situations.  Staff members were more attune to the care that they provide and open communication with the family.  Family presence allowed for discussion of the patients wishes and futile efforts.  A number of families, once they visualize for them selves the stress that the code process has, stop any further efforts. Family presence during resuscitation is another step in providing excellent care to the people we serve.