CONCEPT OF NURSING UNIT:
Concept in the design and facilities of nursing unit has been changed time to time based on the different categories of patients and peculiarities of nursing care. In the hospital, the nursing unit is broadly classified into general nursing unit and special unit. General nursing unit is defined as unit where in patients are kept with out any special requirement or consideration. The Special nursing units have extraordinary requirements where in patients are grouped due to age, gravity of illness. Intensive care unit or emergency unit, pediatric, obstetric, and orthopedic unit are few of the example.
The nursing unit is also called ward. The ward is defined as grouping of accommodation for the patients with service facilities that enable a team of nurses to care for inpatients under the best possible physical conditions.
Warren P Mom11 MD in 1940 defined "A nursing unit as a group of beds and associated facilities that could be supervised by one nurse during the hour of minimum staffing, and suggested that no beds in such unit might range between twenty five to thirty two, depending upon number of beds per room and the maximum travel time distance from the unit facilities."
A nursing unit is defined as a section of a hospital that includes a nursing station, the beds it serves and the necessary service8, storage area, work and public areas needed to carry out the nursing care.
Ward units form 113 to ?h of the structural mass of the hospital complex. Most of the equipment and staff is housed in this area. All the medical care, teaching and research are concentrated in this area. It serves as a temporary home for the patients but fundamentally it has to be a convenient for nursing. Therefore it must be designed in accordance with the social needs and habits of the dependent community.
An ideal nursing unit should provide for best of physical facilities, and optimal work environment, which result in a high quality of nursing care. It should be operated at lowest possible cost and provide congenial environment for nursing and medical staff to work.
The planning and designing of a nursing unit is a vital step in hospital planning. Therefore, it is necessary to proceed in an orderly manner through a series of stages in the planning and building a nursing unit. It is particularly necessary to work in a careful and accurate manner. Time spent thinking out clearly that the requirement of the nursing unit is will save money and time in the long run.
The planning of such a unit is being based on the work of the nursing staff and associated staff, which they have to perform. Thus, it caters to the need of mixed groups of patients in various stages of illness or convalescence spending part or whole of their time in bed.