August 1st, 2007 | The Wind Beneath Our Wings: A Look at Nursing Research
Nursing research is very serious business.
It’s what our practice is based on.
It’s why we do what we do the way we do it.
Being new to the concept of nursing research, I learn a lot by writing this column every week.
There are some pretty big projects going on out there and I’m amazed at the amount of research that nurses are involved in.
I really had no idea.
One thing I have learned is that there is research done by nurses and then there is research done on nurses/nursing. I’m not sure the latter qualifies as “nursing research” but occasionally the projects are interesting or the results are surprising.
I was surprised to find a study in Applied Nursing Research that attempted to ascertain the opinion of nurses regarding single vs. multiple occupancy patient rooms.
It’s no secret that private rooms help decrease infection, increase privacy, decrease noise, minimize the possibility of errors and allow interaction with family and friends. Nurses know this – we see it everyday.
In this study (funded by the Coalition for Health Environments Research and Facility Guidelines Institute), the preference of nurses for single occupancy rooms is established and documented.
Why am I surprised?
I’m surprised that a group of non-nursing researchers evaluated the available literature on the effect of single occupancy vs. multiple occupancy rooms on patient outcomes and realized were no studies involving nurses.
So… they went and solicited that input in the form of a research project asking nurses to make comparative assessments between the single and multiple occupancy patient rooms.
The results. Nurses prefer them in every way. From room set-up to actual patient care, single occupancy wins every time.
We knew that.
Now there is literature in the research community that confirms it.
Maybe I should not be amazed that a group of researchers decided to obtain the opinion of nurses regarding the physical set up of a hospital unit.
Then again, who would know better than the nurses who function in that environment?
The fact that these researchers realized that nurses have a unique perspective and sought to document it shows respect for the nursing profession.
That is always good to see.
Resource: Chaudhury, H., Mahmood, A., & Valente, M. (2006). Nurses’ percepton of single-occupancy versus multioccupancy rooms in acute care environments: an exploratory comparative assessment. Applied Nursing Research, 19(3), 118-125.