Xuan, X., Duan, X., Feng, Z. (2022). The demand for specialization and its influence on the design of inpatient nursing units: Can standardized design be done once and for all?
General medical-surgical units within a single facility have a similar design, but often provide specialized care. Options to create work efficiencies for nurses who may engage in unique tasks depending on the patient populations served, might improve patient care. Researchers developed a survey to collect demographic data and information on caregiving activities which was distributed to nurses on several types of general units. Additionally, ten nurses from different units were interviewed. Survey results demonstrated statistically significant differences in nurse perceptions of walking distance, clinical space, communication privacy, visibility, facilities and storage, acoustics, lighting, and thermal comfort. Interview data indicated that although nurses felt there was enough work similarity to justify a uniform unit layout across general nursing units, there were differences in terms of specialized caregiving activities required for unique patient populations, differences in spatial requirements for caregiving activities, and differences in allocation of space for equipment.