Nurses Get a Move On

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New Building Opens at Johns Hopkins Hospital

by Elizabeth Heubeck

Dawn Luzetsky, MSN, RN, drove down Baltimore City’s Orleans Street in the wee hours of April 29, 2012. She caught her first glimpse of a Johns Hopkins Hospital sign, lit like a beacon in the pre-dawn night on the brand new 1.6-million-square-foot hospital building. Tears cascaded down her cheeks.

After three years of dogged preparation, the time had finally come for the assistant director of Pediatric Nursing and her colleague Sherri Jones, MS, RN, coordinator of Nursing Programs for the Department of Surgical Nursing, to take up their positions in the hospital’s “command center.” For the next two days, they would help facilitate the tightly orchestrated move of 271 patients from their existing units to their new patient- and family-centered workspaces at the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center and the Sheikh Zayed Tower.

“The project was unbelievably monstrous,” Jones says, but neither she nor Luzetsky would have considered turning it down.

The opportunity threw the women into situations they’d never before faced. Suddenly, they found themselves at the planning table with architects and engineers. They made big-picture decisions, such as how clinicians would communicate with patients and one another using a new hi-tech nurse call system; and they made minute decisions, such as selecting trashcans. Throughout this process they relied heavily on advice and perspectives from nurse managers in every unit. In the end, their decisions boiled down to what was best for the patients.

“We were managing the patient move like an organized disaster. We had to be ready for everything,” Luzetsky says.

And they were. “It was amazing how smoothly it went,” Jones says, a smile of satisfaction spreading across her face.  “It’s been the chance of a lifetime.”

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“I helped deliver the last baby born in the historic building! It was very exciting; as soon as she delivered, we were making plans for her recovery as the first patient in one of the new postpartum rooms.”
Sarah Barker, BSN, RN

“The move was like getting married: all the work and prep for the big day and then having it be over in a few hours made you feel a little deflated, but I’m still excited about the new space and getting to know the new blended staff in the PCCU.”
—Larissa Bell, BSN, RN

“The most memorable aspect of moving day was the pride I felt personally in this institution and our commitment to our patients, their families, and to one another. I felt empowered in that all the years of providing feedback about our area was heard and considered when designing our new space”                             —Lisa Powers, BSN

“It was kind of surreal to see nurses take care of a patient in one room in the morning and then another in the
afternoon.”    —Donna Beitler, MS, RN-BC

What Does It Take?

Hopkins moved
271 patients in 2 days

4,327 Sandwiches
3,700 Moving Staff
171 Planning Meetings
28 Total Moving Hours
4 Years of Planning
2 Dress Rehearsals
2 Mock Moves

34 minutes
Longest Patient Move
3 minutes
Shortest Patient Move

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