Ethical Issue: Family Presence In The ER

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Ethical Issue-Family Presence in the ER
Definition
Family presence is an important consideration in the health care setting, specifically in the emergency room. Family presence is the ability of a family member to have contact with a patient in a health care area during resuscitation or emergency procedures (İşlekdemir & Kaya, 2016, p. 39). Resuscitation is the process health care providers utilize to sustain life and prevent further deterioration (Leske, McAndrew & Brasel, 2013, p. 78). Family is defined by the patient and can include friends, relatives, or significant others. Family can include anyone that has a serious relationship with the patient and can provide support (AACN, 2016, p. 11). Family participation is common during non-immediate
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This can cause overwhelming anxiety in a patient or a patient’s family. Family presence is an important ethical consideration when attempting to provide quality health care. A big component to quality health care is patient-centered care, where health care staff provides support based on a patient’s preferences and needs (QSEN, 2014). Family presence also concerns the ethical considerations of beneficence and paternalism. Beneficence involves the desire to help others (ANA, n.d.). Having family members present during invasive procedures can help a patient cope and contribute to beneficence. Paternalism is when the health care providers makes decisions based on a client’s best interest (ANA, n.d). The health care staff must decide if it is in a client’s best interest to have their family present or if it could harm the patient’s health. It important for new and practicing nurses to explore the benefits and disadvantages of family presence to determine their own view on the topic. This will allow these nurses to voice their opinions to management and possible implement ethical regulations. Only ~5% of emergency departments have regulations regarding CPR and family presence (Hardin-Fanning & Yoder, 2014, p. 4). It is very important to establish regulations regarding this topic to be prepared for conflict and educate the staff on how to handle this ethical situation. …show more content…
A randomized controlled experimental study examined the affect of family presence in the ER on a patient’s anxiety and pain levels. This study concluded that there was no significant relationship between family presence and anxiety or pain in patients in the emergency room (İşlekdemir & Kaya, 2016, p. 40). Saying this, there may not be a significant benefit to family presence. Family presence may also harm the patient. Patient care can be delayed if the family tries to interrupt the procedure to ask questions (Hardin-Fanning & Yoder, 2014, p. 4). Family members can get confused and scared during emergent invasive procedures. Interrupting procedures can lead to negative outcomes for the patient, including significant errors or failed resuscitation. Family presence may also have a negative impact on the patient’s family. There have been many reports of diagnosed PTSD in family members who witnessed resuscitation (Hardin-Fanning & Yoder, 2014, p. 4). Although witnessing resuscitation could improve coping abilities, this event could also cause significant mental and emotional stress on these family

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