1. Yusufova, Esmira

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Susan M. Behuniak's vivid description of her bedside vigil in a nursing home ("Semiprivate," Viewpoint, February) reminded me of my first day of clinical work as a nursing student, when I was assigned an "actively dying" patient in a semi-private room. His roommate screamed for help, even as my classmate sat with him and the staff laughed loudly in the hall. My patient was a pianist, so I played his music on a CD player to drown out the other noises. He gasped and waited for his final breaths, tears rolling down his face.


Kirk found that patients in hospice prefer to have a choice of single or shared rooms; 75% said they would prefer to be in a single room.1 Rowlands and Noble concluded, after an extensive review of the literature, that single as well as multibed rooms should be available to patients with advanced cancer.2 Patients who are "actively dying" should be given a choice of a private or semiprivate room. It's a simple change that nurses should advocate.


Brooklyn, NY




1. Kirk S. Patient preferences for a single or shared room in a hospice. Nurs Times 2002;98(50):39-41. [Context Link]


2. Rowlands J, Noble S. How does the environment impact on the quality of life of advanced cancer patients? A qualitative study with implications for ward design. Palliat Med 2008;22(6):768-74. [Context Link]