Deakin University

File(s) under permanent embargo

Nurses' work experiences in hospital wards with single rooms: An integrative review

journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-25, 03:29 authored by SF Søndergaard, Bodil RasmussenBodil Rasmussen, Debra KerrDebra Kerr, K Frederiksen, B Redley, M Trueman, R Kolbaek, HS Laursen, Melissa BloomerMelissa Bloomer
Aim and objective: To evaluate evidence that examined nurses' work experiences in hospital wards with single rooms. The research question was ‘What does the research tell us about nurses’ work experiences in hospital wards with single rooms?’. Background: In the last decades, new hospital builds have moved towards including a high proportion of single rooms. Yet, single rooms create ‘complex environments’ that impact the nurses. Design: A structured integrative review was undertaken of empirical evidence. Methods: Original, peer-reviewed articles, written in English, were sourced from four databases: CINAHL, PubMed, Embase and Web of Science. The initial searches were performed in April 2021 and repeated in December 2022. Quality appraisal was undertaken using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. A narrative synthesis approach was used to analyse the data. Reporting was guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. Results: Twelve studies, published between 2006 and 2022, with an international origin, and representing n = 826 nurses, were included in this review. The synthesis revealed mixed perspectives about nurses' work experiences in wards with single rooms. Whilst single rooms are ‘all good in theory (and) a good idea’, the reality was quite different. Synthesised findings are presented in four categories: (i) aesthetics and the physical space, (ii) privacy vs. isolation, (iii) safety, which includes situational awareness and (iv) communication and collaboration. Conclusion: This review describes how single rooms affects nurses' work experience. Whilst nurses shared multiple concerns about single rooms and the challenges they also acknowledged patient preference for the privacy and space afforded by single rooms. Relevance to Clinical Practice: Findings from this review highlight the need for careful planning to maintain and strengthen teamwork, prevent nurses' sense of working in isolation, as well as creating opportunities for mentorship, and collaboration among nurses when working in single-room settings.



Journal of Clinical Nursing