Closed nursing unit

  1. Does anyone work in a "closed nursing unit" being self-reliant? I work in a Cardiovascular Unit and we are currently trying to set up standards to have a closed unit. We feel that this would greatly increase retention and recruitment. It would eliminate pulling and allow flexible scheduling. Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   minurse
    We have a closed unit---on paper--- when the need arises nurses float in and out--apparenty nobody reads! BTW we are ICU/IICU.
  4. by   oramar
    The only thing I did not like about working a closed unit was that managment would use it as an excuse not to staff properly. We would have 2 RNs for 18 patients(stepdown) and they would say, "to bad you are a closed unit, not our problem". Unsafe staffing is unsafe staffing reguardless of whether a unit is open, closed or on the moon.
  5. by   nurs4kids
    Our politically correct term is "self contained". We've been a closed unit for about a year now, and I love it. We are the only unit in the hospital that is closed and we have a much lower turn-over and are fully staffed most of the time. As a previous poster said, the only bad thing is that if you DO encounter a shortage, no one wants to help you.
  6. by   kaycee
    I work in an ER and it has been a closed unit for many years now. We are the only closed unit in the hospital. It is our responsiblity to cover ourselves when there is a call off. It works well for us because we have a good staff that doesn't mind covering when the situation occurs and we also don't have a lot of call offs to begin with. This is the only way this system will work well in my opinion.
  7. by   psnurse
    I am working in my first non- "decentralized" unit. I long for the "decentralized" days. We didn't often work short. It was pure teamwork in action. Loved it!
  8. by   khartz
    I manage two closed units. One we just started this year.... Best thing we ever did! The only drawback is that the staff needs to realize that in times of staffing crunches and high census everyone needs to be flexible. Administration, in turn, has been very supportive. The closed unit has given ownership and a tremendous sense of pride to the nursing staff!
  9. by   barney1321
    I am a chair for a nursing practice council in a small inhospital PACU. We are frequently be told we have to float to endoscopy or other like units like phase II recovery & pre admissions. The staff are frustrated because we never get assistance when we are short staffed. We do have areas where the staff could help without PACU level I recovery skills. Our nurse manager is very close minded to making out unit a closed/self contained unit. We are already working extra to cover our areas & holding for surgery. Would greatly appreciate some suggestions regarding standard format & expectations for this type of unit. Any pros or cons that your unit has encountered would also be appreciated.

    Thank you


    Posted by: khartz
    Original Content:
    I manage two closed units. One we just started this year.... Best thing we ever did! The only drawback is that the staff needs to realize that in times of staffing crunches and high census everyone needs to be flexible. Administration, in turn, has been very supportive. The closed unit has given ownership and a tremendous sense of pride to the nursing staff!
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 28, '08
  10. by   barney1321
    We are meeting resistance from management in setting up a self contained unit in PACU. I would greatly appreciate feedback regarding how your unit transitioned to a self contained unit, along with any positives or negatives you encountered along the way.

    Thank you very much for any help you can offer.


    Posted by: nurs4kids
    Original Content:
    Our politically correct term is "self contained". We've been a closed unit for about a year now, and I love it. We are the only unit in the hospital that is closed and we have a much lower turn-over and are fully staffed most of the time. As a previous poster said, the only bad thing is that if you DO encounter a shortage, no one wants to help you.
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 28, '08
  11. by   barney1321
    I could realy use some help. Our PACU submitted a proposal to become a self contained unit, but our nurse manager is blocking the proposal from several angles. We are regrouping to resubmit. I see from postings that several of you have either managed this type of unit or worked in a self contained unit. I would appreciate feedback related to how did you unit operate in a hospital where other units were open. What did you base your structure pln on and any pros &/or cons with a self contained unit.

    Thank you so much.
  12. by   bleppity
    I work on a self contained heme/onc floor. The nurse manager posts a needs list for each upcoming schedule to cover any holes due to vacations, personal leaves, etc. We also make an effort to recruit nurses from the opposite rotation to work for us or swap out shifts. This aspect seems to work pretty well.

    Unfortunately, we don't have a system in place for call-ins. The charge nurse just randomly calls staff that are off to see if anyone can come in. It seems that some staff members NEVER come in to help out on a call in, so the charge nurses seem to just call the ones that most likely will say yes. I am interested in how other places handle the unexpected call ins. We are thinking of having a rotating on-call person for each shift to cover call-ins, but I'm afraid this might actually lead to MORE call-ins since the person contemplating staying home would know someone would have to come in. Thoughts?

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