A decision I made at work happened just recently actually. As we are all aware hospitals are bursting at the seams, there are often more patients needing to be admitted then there are beds. On my unit (Palliative Care) we are constantly escalated and have even turned our lounge into a patient room, also we quite often get Medical patients who aren’t palliative and then we can’t accommodate our own patients when they need a bed.

This particular night shift we happened to have an empty private room (because a hip fracture went to the OR) I had a patient who was declining and needing sedation, she was in a semi private room so it was hard for the family and the person in the next bed. Bed flow wanted to send us an isolated medical patient who was not palliative because private rooms are a hot commodity these days. I made the decision to transfer my patient to the private room so that she and her family could have a more peaceful environment for her end of life. Bed flow was not happy with my decision but I simple said we would gladly take another patient into the newly vacant semi private bed.

The decision making process would have been helpful in that I could have looked at the alternatives and consequences more effectively, yes my patient got the privacy end of life deserves, but another patient had to spend more time in the ER. However in this situation I feel I made the best decision for my patient and their family and I would definitely do it again. Also we ended up getting a different patient into the empty semi private bed so in the end we helped the ER anyway.