Case Study: VCU Burn Unit

The VCU Evans-Haynes Burn Center is a sixteen bed unit with eight beds in the ICU and eight non-acute beds. They treat 250-300 patients per year including both pediatric and adult burn patients. The unit is located on the eighth floor of the critical care hospital. The Evan-Haynes Burn Center is the oldest civilian burn unit in the country and went under expansion in 2008. Many hospitals have been decreasing the size of their burn units, so for VCU to do an expansion was uncommon, but according to VCU, very necessary. The center deals with acute burns that may be thermal, chemical, or electrical. However, the clinic not only treats the physical wounds of patients, but also helps with mental and spiritual healing.

When entering the floor from the elevators there is an open waiting area. Entering into the space there is a reception desk across the corridor with filing and storage areas behind it. To the left, there are four exam rooms each along the perimeter wall. There is a supply room in front of these exam rooms along with a restroom to collect specimens. Continuing along the corridor there is a conference class room and another larger storage room. Next to this there is a large procedure room with two entrances with a sink and work area in between them. The last 4 rooms along this corridor are ICU patient rooms, two of which have negative pressure. Each room contains a patient bed, small outboard toilet area, a sink, and storage. Turning right down the next side of the building there are four more ICU patient rooms set up in the same manner. The last room along this side of the building is a lounge. This appears to be a nice placement because it is in the corner of the building and more secluded so that it will not interfere with what is going on in the patient rooms.

On the next side of the building there is a room for bed storage as well as eight more patient rooms. Out of the eight, two are negatively pressurized, and one is ADA accessible. Each room has an outboard restroom which shares a wet wall. Therefore, the rooms are not set up to incorporate same-handedness. The ADA patient room at the end of the corridor has a slightly larger restroom in order to make room for wheelchair accessibility. The rooms contain a lot of equipment to help with the moving of patients as well as the cleaning. The unit has both step-down beds as well as floor beds.

The center of the space contains more of the staff areas. This includes the nursing station, storage, work rooms, cleaning and utility supplies, staff locker rooms and restrooms, and all of the doctors and nurses private offices. However, in the center of all this there is also a kitchen for visitors, a family restroom, and a gallery. It seems that having the patient spaces along the exterior of the building works well so they can all receive natural daylight. Having most of the staff areas centrally located on the floor can ideally reduce travel distance and increase communication.

Pozez, a doctor in the burn unit explains that “some things we do in medicine are instant. The care of a burn patient is forever. Scars mature at different points in time, and recovery can be slow.” It's very important that a burn care unit incorporates measures to treat this patient for a long time.

Location Nurse Station

Take a look at this video which gives an inside look at the burn center:,0,5465777.story

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