May 3, 2012

Critical Care Tower transplant/surgery floor opening

Featured Image

Patients and staff will move into the new 34-bed unit on the seventh floor of the Critical Care Tower May 19. (Photo by Susan Urmy)

Critical Care Tower transplant/surgery floor opening

The seventh floor of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Critical Care Tower, housing Transplant and General Surgery, will open May 19.

The Critical Care Tower, an 11-story, 329,000-square-foot addition to Vanderbilt University Hospital, originally opened in 2009 with 12 operating rooms and three units housing 102 beds. Four floors were shelled for future growth, and Floor 7 is the first of these to be readied for occupancy.

“We are really excited about this important addition,” said Pam Jones, M.S.N., R.N., chief nursing officer and associate hospital director of VUH. “This unit not only provides an enhanced patient and family experience for this patient population but also provides much- needed additional bed capacity for the hospital. The team of physicians, nurses and other clinical staff has done an excellent job in planning this project.”

The new 34-bed unit will care for patients undergoing kidney, liver and pancreas transplant and general surgery, including plastic and weight loss surgery.

“This is great for transplant because they have the ability to do what is done at a lot of other institutions, consolidate into one unit where staff have specific training to care for the special needs of transplant patients. We also have a nicer, more restful environment for patients, and there is more space for their family to be with them and be involved in their care,” said Devin Carr, M.S.N., R.N., administrative director of the Surgical and Transplant Patient Care Center.

The new floor will have much the same layout and finishes as existing Critical Care Tower units.

All rooms are private and average 320 square feet, and are divided into an innovative three-zone layout. The staff zone provides plenty of space for caregivers to work around the bedside, and there is a computer in every room for documentation. The patient zone has the latest technology and safety measures, and the family zone has a sleeper chair, patient recliner and side chair.

“We’re all about family-centered care, and having more space and large patient rooms is more conducive to that,” said Van Barnett, B.S.N., R.N., manager of the unit. “There is some anxiety about the unknown, but everyone is excited about the resources and equipment we’ll have on the new floor.”

The unit’s layout has been customized for the Transplant and General Surgery population. A procedure room and two observations areas are available for biopsies, infusions, line placements and pre-operative workups for incoming transplant patients.

“Previously, a patient would often report to the ED to have their pre-operative workup, and then might have to sit in the waiting area for an extended period of time prior to surgery. Now we can do their work-up on the unit, have a bed for them and give their family a place to stay while they wait for the patient to go into the operating room,” Carr said.

The unit also has special equipment for bariatric patients and enhanced monitoring capabilities.

“Patients having peritoneal dialysis used to be all over the hospital depending on the level of care they needed. The new area will have 10 telemetry receivers, so we will be able to keep our patient population in one place, with the experts in delivering that care,” Barnett said.

To prepare for the move, staff working on the unit will attend orientation sessions, including a tour of the floor and hands-on training with equipment and procedures. A “Day in the Life” exercise on May 10 will put staff through mock scenarios to practice working in the new area.

The move will begin at 8 a.m. on May 19 and is expected to conclude by noon. Extra staff will be on hand to form sending and receiving teams, and Volunteer Services will be available to assist families in the move.

Spaces in VUH vacated by the opening of Floor 7 will be renovated before new units move in. Orthopaedic Trauma will move into Renal Transplant’s previous location on 10 South, and Urology will move into Liver Transplant’s previous location on 9 South. The move of Orthopaedic Trauma and Urology will create space in the Round Wing for a Palliative Care unit.

Of the remaining Critical Care Tower floors, two will be completed at a later date and a new myelosuppression unit on Floor 10 will open in October.