Post-Op care and visitors

Submitted by McGill university
September 30, 2020

I am Sebastien, a CPNP on a surgical nursing floor. One of the main challenges with covid has been the limitation of visitors and getting help from family members. There is a limit of one visitor per patient at a time. Most of the time during a hospital stay, there are family members present who can help with the patient. Without this support, we often notice there is an increase in calls for assistance for basic tasks the family members are usually able to accomplish. It is also harder for the patients as they feel socially isolated and have less of a support system during their stay than they would have in the past.

The current second wave situation arises new risks as well. Do we continue to allow visitors? Or do we go back to no visitation as it was during the first wave. The surgical patients are at high risk of infection and complications if visitors unintentionally bring in the virus. Since it is so difficult to control, COVID can easily spread across an entire unit even faster than gastro or the flu. Even with a screening process in place for visitors, the more people that are allowed onto a unit, the more the risk becomes present of a potential outbreak. It becomes a question of balancing an unknown risk against the benefits of visitors with the use of proper PPE.

* This is being shared as an assignment for a BNI class of Research in Nursing.