How would you make inpatient rooms better?

  1. If you could do anything to inpatient rooms (excluding making them bigger ), what would you change? Think in terms of patient comfort, nurse convenience, ergonomics, furnishings, storage, etc.
    What are your pet peeves about inpatient rooms?
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  2. 47 Comments

  3. by   prmenrs
    I work in NICU and also Mother Baby Unit. My pet peeve about rooms is electrical plugs. They need to be easy to reach, that means ~ waist height. And there need to be more of them. Put enough in that when new equipment comes in, we are not struggling to find additional outlets. Our entire Maternal-Child Division was just "re-done". All cosmetic. Very pretty, but no additional outlets, no decent lighting for the pediatricians to examine the babies. What the heck???
  4. by   nrsang97
    I worked at one hospital that had no overhead or celing lights. The only lights in the rooms were the lights over the pt bed. I was always having trouble with IV's and foleys in women due to lack of light. I had made numerous complaints and nothing done. To put in a foley we had one person shine a flashlight while someone put in the foley.

    Also having electrical outlets in easy reach and having lots of them. Always a problem.

    Also if the TV's are on swing arms get rid of them and put them on the celing. I worked in a facility where the tv's were on swing arms and I cannot tell you how many times I banged my head on them. I hit my head a few times so hard that I saw stars. Made things difficult to manuver in the rooms.

    Wider doorways to the bathrooms. Wider doorways to pt rooms to make it easier to manuver beds in and out when transferring a pt to another room or test.

    I think that the architects that designed hospitals had no idea what it is like to work in a hospital. They also have no idea how much equipment a single pt can have.
  5. by   spiceyqueen
    one of my friends(male) always says that most hospitals (rooms) were designed by men - dont think further than the design.
    NRSANG 97---am definitely with you on the light thing.........
    beside wider doors , SPACE
    i would love to see that hand basins are reachable (for everyone-disabled, tall, short). some facilitoes just dont have them,
    No carpets thank you..went to this private hosp and they had carpeted room, became such a pain if someone spilt something, worse when it was wee, or blood.
  6. by   SCRN1
    I agree with that about the TVs and having more electrical outlets. I've banged my head on quite a few TVs myself. We have a couple of electrical outlets that are almost eye level and some that are down low (below the knee). It's a pain if there's all kinds of other equipment blocking those low ones and you need to get to one. Also, patients who are able to ambulate themselves but have IVF that have to bend down to reach those low ones.

    In a couple of hospitals I've worked, there was always a "hump" between the floor in the room and floor in the bathroom. It'd make it a lot easier for pushing IV poles with the patient into the bathroom if the floors were even.
  7. by   canoehead
    Pull down storage fron the ceiling, so we could do the dressing change or treatment, then put the table up and out of the way.

    Room for a 2 nurse assist through the bathroom doorway, and room for a wheelchair and a nurse in the bathroom.

    Showers that are just a continuation of the room without a cubicle to step over, or stay inside of. It's easier to help the patient if we don't have to worry about water getting out of the shower cubicle, and if we can just roll them in. Bathroom spills are easier to clean up too if there is a floor drain for the whole room.

    Pull down chairs built right into the wall, especially in the bathroom.

    Four feet clearance around the bed for equipment and procedures. Six feet at the foot of the bed, since we often pull out the bed so people can have access to the head, then the foot is too cramped to allow passage.

    Windows that open even a little, for the illusion of fresh air. Streetsounds also make real life seem that much closer to the sick.

    TWO wall suction, and two O2 accesses, and medical air at each bedside.

    Sink available on exiting for handwashing, not in the middle of the room. Actually sinks in hallways outside patient rooms get the most and consistent use IMO.

    Electrical outlets waist high- I agree.

    Hand held shower instead of stationary shower head.

    Actually take the current beds and swing them around inside the room, how much leeway do you have? Do you have to take the siderails down to get through the door? If you have a row of pumps, or a crash cart at the bedside will you have to move them to get out?

    No bumps in the doorjamb to catch on walker wheels or equipment.

    A nightlight that can be used by the nightnurses instead of the overhead light on rounds.
    Last edit by canoehead on Jan 29, '07
  8. by   crb613
    I agree w/lighting & electrical plugs! I would also love to have some type of storage for supplies...IV start kits, dsg change supplies, ns flushes, tubing etc. This could be locked w/a type of electronic eye that needs a badge to open. Oh & I hate those stupid privacy curtains & carpet....nasty. This needs to be something that can be cleaned!
  9. by   burn out
    Make all rooms private. Quit having 6-7 feet tall people hang everything at their eyelevel. I am 5 feet tall and when equipment is over the patients bed I have actually dropped it on the patient's head. All rooms need a bright overhead light..I hate trying to finds veins under 60 watt light bulbs.
    All rooms need a small refrigerator with ice bucket so patients can store their own drinks and ice and not have family members keep running to the desk for ice ..put the ice machine at the end of the hall so family members can access it themselves it doesn't take a nursing license to get ice.
  10. by   deehaverrn
    First, it must be said..rooms are entirely too small. Our mom baby rooms are same size as med surg, but we have many more visitors as well as baby cribs to accomadate..and forget about if mom had twins or triplets!!
    All outlet (and lots of them) should be waist high, instead of buried behind furniture. They should have chips in our badges (like at gas stations) that unlock supply cabinets just by our proximity, that way we would have access but things wouldn't get stolen or be open to kids etc. (we have a lot of toddler visitors)
    Adequate shelving and closets for pt belongings as well as flowers and gifts brought and sent (another huge thing for Maternity areas)
    Internet access for patients who want it (even if it is at a cost like the tv)
    which should be on the wall so that you don't know into it, and its able to be seen by all in the room
    Wall unit type of fold down seating for visitors (maybe that is wide enough to be used to sleep on). And it should fold up when no one is sitting on it..so that you don't have to take the time in an emergency to be pushing furniture out of the way or out of the room
    Hallway kitchenettes would be nice..with ice machine and small fridge for pt and visitor's use, although our pts seem to think we are waitresses and even call us in to ask for drinks for their visitors, and you know JCAHO would still cite the hospital if food was not labeled or discarded properly
    Also, I would post in all rooms a sign.."If you leave anything behind, we will keep it for one month and then donate to charity", somehow on our unit it has become a nursing responsibiltiy to track down owners of lost items.
  11. by   prmenrs
    We have "COWs"--computers on wheels--out in the hallway. One visitor asked me if he could get online on one of them!!
  12. by   canoehead
    A cot length trunk with a pad on top and storage under the lid can get triple use- bed/storage/seating. Put it under the window.
  13. by   RITA2007
    I think every room should have it's own thermometer attached to the wall so it couldn't grow legs and walk off. That way, I wouldnt be searching for one when I need it most. And a pulse ox.. Yes, that would nice.
  14. by   AfloydRN
    I agree w/ burnout- ALL privates. There is no patient confidentiality w/ a roommate and their family listening. Make the bathrooms more user friendly too.

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