Private vs. Semi-private rooms

  1. How does the nursing community out there feel about semi-private rooms vs. private rooms?

    How do you feel about in regards to patient safety?

    Medication Errors?

    Communication?

    Cleanliness?

    Confidentiality?

    Any other pros or cons?

    Infection control?

    Do the pros outweigh the cons to having a private room?

    How about private rooms, for "special people" employees, VIPS, people with money, how do you feel about that?

    Has anyone worked in a semi-private hospital and then a private room hospital or vice versa?

    Does being in a private room tend to bring the family closer to the bedside and care of the patient?

    Any other comments, opinions, personal experencies?

    I am doing a project for my nurse management class, so I was curious to get some opinions?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   ptadvocate81
    How does the nursing community out there feel about semi-private rooms vs. private rooms? Think that they should all be private and Lord willing, at the hospital I work at, they will all be private as of July of this year- YEAH!

    How do you feel about in regards to patient safety?
    DANGER DANGER!!! How many times have you heard the horror stories of giving the wrong med, taking the wrong pt to surgery, etc???

    Medication Errors? TOO many to think about...

    Communication? Hard to talk about intimate things with the nurse if there is another patient and their 15 relatives in the room.

    Cleanliness? Who wants to share germs? Yuck.

    Confidentiality? HIPAA anyone? Well, Mr. Jones, tests show that you have Hep C, and thanks to your semi-private room your roomate Mr. Johnson knows and can now tell the whole town.

    Any other pros or cons? Too many to mention- big soap box for me

    Infection control?

    Do the pros outweigh the cons to having a private room? YES! Private is best and it is my belief that it is going to be a must in the future- just a matter of time before Joint Commission makes their recommendation and stamps a time frame on it...

    How about private rooms, for "special people" employees, VIPS, people with money, how do you feel about that? VIPS, blah blah blah- if i am their nurse they are getting the same treatment as my other patients (the best I have to offer) so why shouldn't they have the same room?!

    Has anyone worked in a semi-private hospital and then a private room hospital or vice versa? Our hospital has both.

    Does being in a private room tend to bring the family closer to the bedside and care of the patient? YES

    Any other comments, opinions, personal experencies? PRIVATE is Best

    I am doing a project for my nurse management class, so I was curious to get some opinions? Hope this has helped.
  4. by   meownsmile
    Yes, private rooms would be best,, but reality is not many facilities will cut their available beds in half to accomodate all private rooms. If they are already an all private room facility it was planned that way for a reason, not because of HIPPA. So what will become of the semi-private facilities,, i can see them putting some stupid partitian up between the two beds, calling them private rooms. Unless the facility has a lot of extra money to throw toward building additions with only private rooms and then remodeling all their semi-privates then i think the semi private will be around for quite a while to come. I doubt any hospital would spend that kind of money without it putting them out of business.
    If they do,, i quite because there wont be raise one to go around. I guess you have to ask,, what do you want them to do with YOUR money?
  5. by   ckben
    in terms of:

    patient safety: shouldn't matter IF you are doing all the checks you are supposed to. and if you aren't, the two patients in one room isn't the problem, you are. this kind of goes along with medication errors...

    communication/confidentiality: this is a major problem, especially in regards to HIPAA. i thought most places had gone to all private rooms for this reason (an exception being EDs). also, most patients don't care to have someone sitting on the other side of a curtain listening to everything that's wrong with them, particularly if their health problems are of a sensitive nature ("so, roll over and let me look at your rectal abscess").

    cleanliness: like the medication errors, if you're doing what you're supposed to be doing this isn't an issue from your perspective. it's mostly an issue related to the shared bathroom. with all sorts of bodily fluids that can leak on the toilet/sink/floor, not to mention twice the equipment for collecting urine and stool (and how often do we wash those?), this can easily become a very nasty situation. and even if none of that occurs, how disgusting is it to habitually share a bathroom with someone you don't know, even if they're healthy?

    i've worked in areas that have semi-private and private rooms, and the places with semi-privates have converted to privates. i think this is a better idea for everyone involved. patients don't have to worry about someone else being obligated to hear about their health problems. they don't have to worry about their family making too much noise (well, even excessive noise in a private room can be a problem, but it's obviously more of an issue in a semi-private room). they don't have to sit and listen to other people's families chattering. it's really a better deal.

    the major pro i see to a semi-private room is that sometimes the patients strike up a friendship, or at least a companionship role with each other and support each other. but to be honest, i didn't see that happening much. usually the two people just tried to ignore the other side of the curtain.

    i think being in a private room must bring the family closer to the patient. not only can they decorate how they want, watch whatever tv they want, etc., but they don't have to be considerate for the other patient in terms of confidentiality and noise level, as mentioned above.

    as far as VIP rooms go, i'm all for it. if it's a room for employees (i.e. large, nice OB rooms for employees who have their children at the hospital), what a nice way to show appreciation. if it's a room for someone who is a pillar of the community, what a nice way to show appreciation. if it's a room for someone famous or influential in the community, well, you wouldn't want that person leaving the hospital and telling people they know about the bad or even so-so experience they had. you want them to tell people they were treated right. not only is that good word of mouth for your hospital, but often people with money and the means to do so will give back to the hospitals that they feel took special care of them. no, i don't think everyone who has money should get a VIP room, but they can serve a good purpose.
  6. by   meandragonbrett
    I would refuse to to be admitted to a semi-private room. My facilitiy is 100% prive....all 766 beds.
  7. by   ElvishDNP
    I hated semi-private room when our hospital had them, for several reasons:

    1) Privacy. Whoever is in the first bed is at the complete mercy of anyone going past them to visit the patient in the second. And on a postpartum floor where a lot of moms are breastfeeding, do you really want your roommate's male relatives/friends to see your boobs? A lot of women didn't like it.

    2) Cleanliness: With all the bleeding etc. that goes on after you have a baby, do you really want to share a bathroom with someone else's body fluids? Especially a total stranger!! I know I wouldn't!!

    3) Rest. What if you are trying to sleep and your roommate has her TV blaring, or her baby is screaming and won't stop (while she is, of course, sound asleep). Or her phone rings. Or (heaven forbid) she should have something like a postpartum hemorrhage and a lot of staff needs to be in there with the lights on or something. The list is endless.

    4) The risk is just too great for med errors, even if you do all your checks. Not going to go there.

    5) It was always for patients who didn't have insurance. The almighty dollar dictated whether you had to share c another person. It just didn't sit right with me.

    I am glad we made the switch shortly after I got to that hospital.
  8. by   rn undisclosed name
    How does the nursing community out there feel about semi-private rooms vs. private rooms? Don't like them. I think all rooms should be private. At my hospital a lot of the rooms are private with the ability to become semi-private depending on census. The hospital doesn't like to go on bypass due to the $$$ it costs them. I think a persons most private moments should be private. It's bad enough they keep getting interrupted with all the people in the hospital.

    How do you feel about in regards to patient safety? There have been times when it has actually helped another patient out. Patient fell and couldn't get up. Roommate put call light on but that is definitely the exception.

    Medication Errors? Don't understand. If you are going through the 5 rights this wouldn't be an issue.

    Communication? It is real hard to maintain confidentiality with another patient/other family in room.

    Cleanliness?

    Confidentiality? See communication.

    Any other pros or cons? Sometimes it is helpful for family to spend the night in the hospital. In a semi-private room they aren't able to do that. if a person is sick and has to deal with another person's bodily functions it can just make them more nauseous.

    Infection control? Sometimes you don't yet know if a patient should be on isolation. So then another pt was exposed.

    Do the pros outweigh the cons to having a private room? Absolutely not!!!!!!

    How about private rooms, for "special people" employees, VIPS, people with money, how do you feel about that? I have a big problem with that. I don't think anyone is more important than anyone else. I've seen it and it irritates me.

    Has anyone worked in a semi-private hospital and then a private room hospital or vice versa?

    Does being in a private room tend to bring the family closer to the bedside and care of the patient? I haven't seen this. I believe it depends on the individual family. Some are more involved than others. Sometimes the involvement can be "unhealthy".

    Any other comments, opinions, personal experencies? I think people should be able to expect a private room and not be subjected to a stranger. I have seen roommates who start yelling at the other patient. Not good!
  9. by   ElvishDNP
    Let me clarify: I don't think med errors should be an issue in semi-private rooms. Just that it could be more of an issue.

    You're right -- if you're doing the 5 rights you shouldn't make a med
    error but it happens even in private rooms. Semi-private rms open the margin for error wider. That's all I'm saying.
  10. by   Jennifer, RN
    The main concern with semi privates is privacy. Our hospital is in transition to make all rooms private, our ER has all private rooms, though we sometimes have hallway pts.
    It is impossbile to give confidential tx in semi private rooms.
  11. by   CrunchRN
    To truly provide confidentiality, infection control, good hygeine, and promote rest all rooms should be private.

    I would need to be on my death bed before I would consent to a semi-private room if I were the patient. I think I would go to another hospital.

    Shared bathrooms by ill people are disgusting!

    I guess you can see why I am not a hospital nurse .
  12. by   ZippyGBR
    y'all better hope you don't get ill in the UK then where the current standard for new build is 25% single rooms 25 % small bays (2 or 3 beds) and 50 % 'large ' bays (4 -6 beds)

    patient safety - the layout of the unit is more important than the percentage of single rooms, although in some settings bays make for more pairs of eyes on vulnerable patients

    medication errors - irrelevant if you verify your patient ID properly

    cleanliness and cleaning - pretty much irrelevant if cleaning standards are up to the mark

    communication can be an issue at times but can also be addressed by having areas within the unit where you can go and talk with people

    privacy depends on the layout of the room - it the room is liad out with an 'aisle' bed and a 'window' bed for want of a better turn of phrase it's a problem but

    infection control - can be a clinical reason for a single room - requires good bed management practice across the bad base

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