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NYU Langone Puts Patients First During ICU Renovations

In late 2009, administrators at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City decided that their age-old medical and surgical ICUs, 15 West and 15 East, respectively, could use a makeover. With input from the critical care nursing staff, the two units were torn down to make way for a brand new, state-of-the-art space for NYU Langone’s critical care patients.

“The nurses were very involved in the design,” said Judy Dillworth, RN, MA, CCRN, NEA-BC, director of nursing, critical care services. “They created satisfaction surveys that were sent out to their peers with whom they worked in the MICU and SICU.” The nurses then worked with nursing education to tabulate and collect the data from the surveys. The result was a space with rubber floors for comfort.

From left, Jamie Konrad, RN; Colleen Seymour, RN; Judy Dillworth, RN; and Alison McKenzie, RN.

Although the units were combined, the new area provides more space for staff, patients and their families. The renovation consists of all private patient rooms, where families are welcome 24/7. Sleeper chairs allow visitors to stay the night in comfort if they wish. A Meiko toilet system — similar to a Murphy bed — also was installed in each room, along with two sinks and a hopper sanitation system.

Caring for patients in the smaller rooms was a constant challenge, said Patsi McKenna, RN, nurse clinician. Patient rooms were so tight that staff would have to maneuver around one another to work and there was no room for family to visit or stay over. “It was a patient safety issue,” McKenna said. “Now we have the best environment.”

Besides rubber floors that provide comfort for staff who constantly are on their feet, patient rooms are equipped with all needed equipment that is just an arm’s length away, including wall-attached ventilators. Video monitors set up outside of patients’ rooms allow them to be monitored by staff and provide security to family members who are able to watch procedures being performed without being in the way.

Other improvements include a clean utility room with Omnicells and a stocked medication room even though there is a pharmacy on the floor open from 8 a.m. to midnight.

Another improvement is patient lifts in each patient room on 15 East. Allison Mckenzie, RN, nurse manager, was approached by the Safe Patient Handling Committee about using the unit as a trial for the lifts. “We had open ceilings at the time and they needed a unit to trial,” she says. The lifts can hold up to 550 pounds. The bariatric lift can hold as much as 750 pounds. Approval has been given for lifts to be installed in 15 West, as well.

“We love the lifts,” McKenna says. “And the patients love them, too.”

Editor’s note: See the related story, “Nurses Build Practice Into Hospital Design, Construction” at


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By | 2020-04-15T13:30:15-04:00 January 10th, 2011|Categories: New York/New Jersey Metro, Regional|0 Comments

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