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Family Nursing Network
  • Family Vigilance

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    Lynn Kuechle

    Family member’s experience of staying with and nearby a family member hospitalized with an illness or managing an illness experience. Categories of the meaning of vigilance include: a commitment to care, resilience, emotional upheaval, dynamic nexus and transition (Carr, 2014). Family’s belief and desire to protect their family member and safeguard outcomes contributes to family vigilance. Caregiver’s continual oversight of the care recipient ‘s activities with a sense of watchfulness, guarding, being there, and protective intervening (Mahoney, 2003)

    (Carr, 2014; Carr & Clarke, 1997)

    • Demonstrate an empathic understanding of family’s need for and purpose of vigilance
    • Support and encourage a family’s presence
    • Offer ways to support vigilance (e.g make sleeping arrangements with family)
    • Reassure family a caring presence of a nurse is available and helping the family protect the family member; but, do not expect family to disregard their responsibilities
    • Engage the family in a partnership in caring for the family member with an illness
    • Develop trusting relationship with the family to decrease their stress
    • Strengthen family member’s resilience in illness experience

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