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Doors to patient rooms: open or closed?

Nurses   (14,090 Views 28 Comments)
by ktliz ktliz (Member)

ktliz specializes in critical care.

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This might seem like a silly question, but I was just wondering whether it is the norm on your unit to leave the doors to patients' rooms open or closed?

All my hospital experiences have been with 2 facilities. At the hospital where I volunteered, all rooms are private, and most patients kept their door fully closed. At my local hospital, most rooms are shared, and doors seem to be left open.

Do you have a specific policy on your unit for whether doors are to be left open or closed? Do you leave it up to the patient? Or do you keep doors open as a convenience or safety measure?

-Katee, pre-nursing student

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Lennonninja has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in MICU - CCRN, Interventional Radiology.

997 Posts; 16,211 Profile Views

I'm just a tech, but I always ask what the patient prefers, especially since I work nights. Most patients don't have a preference, so I leave the doors halfway unless they request one or the other.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

65 Articles; 13,945 Posts; 170,502 Profile Views

open. i don't think i've ever worked anywhere the doors were kept closed, and where i work now they won't close all the way.

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RNDreamer specializes in acute care.

1,237 Posts; 15,688 Profile Views

I don't know what the policy is, but most patients leave their doors open. As I am leaving a private room, I may ask if the patient prefers the door closed or open. If they say closed, I do let them know that I will pop my head in frequently to make sure they are OK.

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Not_A_Hat_Person has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health.

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I ask the patient if they want the door open or closed. I've only been in one facility where nurses weren't allowed to close the doors; my peds rotation, a home for children with brain injuries.

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mmm cdiff specializes in Pediatrics.

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If the door was open when I came in, I leave it open when I leave. If the door was closed when I came in, I close it when I leave.

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Jenn329 specializes in Cardiac Surgical ICU.

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I work in an open bed unit. No doors to worry about. :)

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

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Ask the patient what they want. If they are too sick to have a preference the door should be open.

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Mas Catoer has 30 years experience and specializes in General.

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Our tropical climate leave us with choices. Wards with 4-8 bed capacity have the door fully opened to ensure mobility unless it's too windy. Most private rooms with AC mostly have the door fully closed. And, we use to knock the door prior to entering the room. Other hospitals with central AC have their door mostly halfway opened.

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Crux1024 specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, Emergency, SAFE.

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I leave it to patient preference.

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Flo. has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Developmental Disabilites,.

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If I am worried about the pt then I leave it open. If not I ask how the pt wants the door.

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mom4josh has 11 years experience and specializes in onc, M/S, hospice, nursing informatics.

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All of our rooms are private. Since I work 7p-7a, I usually leave the door closed just before latching. This way, when I make rounds, I don't wake anyone when opening the door. However, if the patient is confused, elderly, or a high fall risk, the door stays open, at least half-way. BTW, this is just my own personal policy. Our hospital doesn't have a policy on this subject.

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