Understanding Family Members' Experiences of Facilitated Family Presence
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Facilitated family presence during resuscitation (FFPR) is a practice in healthcare that provides family members the opportunity to be present with their loved one during resuscitation. The distinct aspect of FFPR is the presence of a family facilitator (FF) who remains with, supports, and guides family members (FMs) throughout the duration of the resuscitation event. Research regarding family presence has included discussions about risks and benefits with perspectives from FMs, patients, nurses, and physicians. However, little research focused on the role of the FF and none focused on understanding the family members’ experience of the FF present with them during the resuscitation. For this study, the researcher used a philosophical hermeneutic approach and interviewed nine participants at least 3 months after their FFPR experience. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed by a team of philosophical hermeneutic researchers using an interpretive analysis methodology to identify themes and patterns in the data. Two overarching patterns were revealed: being guided through a surreal and sacred time and contributing to a successful resuscitation. FMs considered the resuscitation successful if they knew everything possible was done for the patient, understood the meaning of the patient response to interventions, and were present with the patient during and at time of death. The findings from this study concur with current research recommending the practice of family presence during resuscitation. However, this study highlights the importance of a FF to guide and support FMs through the resuscitation process and the importance of the FM being present as part of their own coping and grieving process.