Nurses’ Perceptions of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Environment and Work Experience After Transition to Single-Patient Rooms

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The architectural design of the pediatric intensive care unit may play a major role in optimizing the environment to promote patients’ sleep while improving stress levels and the work experience of critical care nurses.


To examine changes in nurses’ perceptions of the environment of a pediatric critical care unit for promotion of patients’ sleep and the nurses’ work experience after a transition from multipatient rooms to single-patient rooms.


A cross-sectional survey of nurses was conducted before and after the move to a new hospital building in which all rooms in the pediatric critical care unit were single-patient rooms.


Nurses reported that compared with multi-patient rooms, single-patient private rooms were more conducive to patients sleeping well at night and promoted a more normal sleep-wake cycle (P < .001). Monitors/alarms and staff conversations were the biggest factors that adversely influenced the environment for sleep promotion in both settings. Nurses were less annoyed by noise in single-patient rooms (33%) than in multipatient rooms (79%; P < .001) and reported improved exposure to sunlight.


Use of single-patient rooms rather than multipatient rooms improved nurses’ perceptions of the pediatric intensive care unit environment for promoting patients’ sleep and the nurses’ own work experience.

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