February 4, 2005

New VUH digs give boost to Cardiac, Neuroscience units

Featured Image

Susan Thurman, left, nurse manager of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, talks with John Byrne, M.D., center, and Rashid Ahmad, M.D., at the nurses' station on the newly renovated fifth floor of Vanderbilt University Hospital.
photo by Dana Johnson

New VUH digs give boost to
Cardiac, Neuroscience units

Two of the fastest growing service lines at Vanderbilt University Medical Center recently moved into their new homes as Neuroscience and Cardiac Services intensive care units took up residence on the newly refurbished fifth floor of Vanderbilt University Hospital, on 5 North and 5 South respectively.

The Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) and Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (NCU) areas house patient rooms that are twice the size of regular hospital rooms. CVICU has 26 beds, while NCU has 20 beds. As part of the expansion of these two specialties, the sixth floor was also dedicated to serve cardiovascular and neuroscience patients.

“The idea was to create a great environment for both patients and families,” said Susan Thurman, R.N., nurse manager for the CVICU. “This change really improves patient access. Previously we were not able to accommodate the high number of referrals. “Now with more space, a better environment and the combination of surgical and medical cardiology we are able to provide a comprehensive continuum of care.”

Before the move, both cardiovascular and neuroscience patients were located on several separate floors of the hospital. Now, families, physicians and medical staff will be able to navigate between floors, rather than throughout the hospital.

“Neuroscience at Vanderbilt is one of the largest inpatient units in the United States,” said Diane Johnson, R.N., nurse manager for the inpatient Neuroscience Patient Care Center. “With this recent expansion we have been able to increase the number of intensive care beds from 10 to 22. On our first day we were at full capacity.”

To assist with the growth of Neuroscience, an 8-bed Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, originally housing three beds located in the Burn Unit, was opened.

Both managers are very pleased with the operation of the units, especially with how the staff has been able to adapt in such a short period of time.

“The way the staff has handled the change and the partnership between Cardiology and Neuroscience has been tremendous,” said Thurman. “I agree that our staff really deserves a lot of credit for making this work and run so smoothly.”