Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
When hospitals became the primary care setting for very ill patients, visiting hours and restrictions related to family presence during resuscitation (FPDR) became common. During medical crises that occur in hospital settings, families are separated from loved ones because family members may impair resuscitation efforts or such efforts might psychologically traumatize family members. Various national health care organizations have endorsed family presence during resuscitation; however, practices preventing family presence persist. This project used evidence from the peer-reviewed literature to develop a healthcare institution policy that addresses family presence during resuscitation. Theories, concepts, and models that guided this DNP project included: (a) theory of reasoned action; (b) family systems theory; (c) FPDR concepts (nurses' practices and beliefs, critical care professionals' opinions, practice guidelines); and the Plan, Do, Study, Act model. A systematic review of the literature was carried out to develop the policy. An interdisciplinary team of 7 professionals was assembled to contribute to policy development using literature from peer-reviewed journal articles. Products developed included the family presence during resuscitation policy and plans for implementing and evaluating the policy. This project holds potential to contribute to positive social change by giving patients and families the opportunity to witness and understand emergency care practices.