When to Let Someone Else Choose
There were several confused patients on one of the medical/surgical floor and there were not enough beds close to the nursing station for all of these people who were more likely to fall. We always tried to place the confused people nearer the station where they could be watched more closely. My grandfather just happened to be one of the confused patients who was far away from the nursing station.
A bed came open closer to the station when another patient was discharged. The charge nurse of the floor approached me. She asked me, “Do you want me to move your grandfather closer to the station?”I knew that there were several other confused people on the floor who also should be nearer to the nursing desk. I replied, “Cindy, you tell me. Who is the most confused? Who needs to be moved first?
There were two reasons why I allowed her to make the decision. She knew the patients better than I did, because she was on the floor for longer periods of time than I was as a nursing supervisor.
The second reason I chose not to make the decision was that he was my grandfather. He was in a three bed room and I knew one of the other patients in the room. He knew that it was my grandfather who was in the room with him.
I knew the type of man that the other patient was and I perceived that if my grandfather was moved from a three bed room into a two bed room, the man would complain and say I had shown favoritism in moving my granddad into a room with only two beds.
The charge nurse made the decision to move my grandfather closer. His former roommate, the one who I knew would cause trouble, did. He called administration and complained. When one of the higher up managers approached me, I referred her to the charge nurse and said, “I left the decision who to move up to her. I had no part in which person she chose to move closer. There’s no truth in this man's complaints.”