Publication Date


Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Irene Daniels Lewis

Second Advisor

Virgil Parsons


Family witnessed resuscitation, teleological model


Background Family witnessed resuscitation (FWR) is the concept of allowing family members at bedside during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Studies have shown that the lack of standard policies by hospitals regarding FWR forces nurses to make different decisions regarding family presence at bedside during resuscitation. The framework for this study is Sandman's teleological model. Objectives To examine nurses' perceptions of having family members present during adult cardiac resuscitation. Methods A descriptive study of 57 registered nurses (n = 57) from northern California was conducted. Participants completed a mailed survey consisting of a 22-item Likert scale questionnaire titled "Family Presence Risk-Benefit Scale." Results Analysis from the questionnaire showed that the majority of participants were between the ages of 40-63 and had more than 20 years of working experience. About 51.9% worked in units with no formal policy on FWR and 71.7% had participated in a cardiac resuscitation. Study results show that nurses had varied opinions, but there were no statistically significant results to indicate that the majority of nurses favor FWR. Conclusions The study found there was no statistically significant data to conclude there was any consensus among nurses about the risks or benefits of families at bedside. This study concludes that nurses want to be present in the room if their loved ones were being resuscitated. To help nurses with decision-making guidelines during resuscitation, it is recommended that health-care institutions establish standard policies regarding FWR. Further studies need to be conducted to investigate nurses' perceptions regarding FWR.