WVU Hospitals opens new 24-bed unit

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Hospitals’ new Eight Northeast unit opens Monday (Sept. 15), completing the top-floor build-out of the Northeast Tower and offering new features such as mechanical “patient lifts” in every room for nurses to help patients move around. The unit also includes larger beds in four bariatric rooms outfitted for larger patients, including those who are having weight loss surgery. 

The new 24-bed unit, called a step-down because it bridges the gap between intensive care and standard patient rooms, requires a staff of approximately 50 to maintain round-the-clock operations, according to Samantha Richards, R.N., director of eighth-floor operations at WVU Hospitals. Each nurse will have no more than three patients under his or her care.

The step-down unit is the largest in the hospital and the first to combine various patient populations. Patients recovering from surgery may be admitted to the unit along with accident victims and people suffering from complex medical conditions.

 “We are thrilled to be opening this new section of the eighth-floor tower,” Richards said.  “Having the bariatric suites is new for us. A combination of ergonomic improvements makes work safer and easier for the nursing staff, and we’re also excited about new amenities such as extra windows for patients in isolation rooms.”

Five separate nursing stations are scattered throughout the unit so nurses will be required to walk fewer steps while monitoring patients more efficiently through patient-room walls made of glass.

“Eight Northeast’s workstations are strategically placed throughout the unit, creating higher visibility for the patients, family members and nurses alike,” Richards said. 

WVU Hospitals is currently recruiting more nurses to complete the staffing on the floor. Over the past year, WVU Hospitals has hired almost 1,000 new employees.

For information on employment at WVU Hospitals see http://www.health.wvu.edu/employment/work.aspx.



For more information:
Andrea Brunais, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
ab: 09-11-08

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