Nursing Excellence: Medical Surgical

Medical/Surgical & Comfort Care Transition Unit

This acute care unit focuses on two different patient populations: medical/surgical and comfort care/hospice. This double patient population gives the new graduate nurse the ability to care for patients across the entire adult lifespan. This floor takes a high number of drips and infusions, which gives the new graduate nurse the ability to care for high acuity patients. The comfort care and hospice patients are their own unique population and the 12E team enjoys working with palliative care to provide outstanding end-of-life care to these patients and their families. Skills you will master on this unit include:

  • Advanced physical assessments
  • Drip management for high acuity medications such as heparin, nitroglycerine and lidocaine
  • PCA pump initiation and management for pain control
  • Symptom management for the comfort care patient
  • Peripheral IV insertion and blood draws
  • CVL and foley catheter management

General Surgery/Gastroenterology

General Surgery and Gastroenterology is a 30-bed acute care telemetry unit within the medical-surgical service line.  Our exceptional team members make a difference by providing compassionate and highly skilled care to those we serve throughout the region.  We encourage and promote professional growth and development by offering opportunities to participate on shared governance councils, opportunities to attend leadership development training, and by providing assistance with obtaining specialty certification in medical-surgical nursing.

Our unit is proud to be the Medical Center’s first Dedicated Education Unit.  This teaching model allows nursing students to gain “real world” hands-on experience while working alongside our experienced nurses who are providing patient care.  Working with nursing students assists our efforts to stay abreast of the most up-to-date evidence based practice. In addition, we gain satisfaction from educating the next generation of health care providers.

Hemodialysis Unit

Since 1973, the Hemodialysis Unit has provided acute dialysis treatments for UT Medical Center inpatients. The patient population currently includes medical, trauma, neurology, cardiac and surgical patients with acute renal failure as well as patients from surrounding area chronic clinics who require medical and surgical care or transplant services.

Hemodialysis nurses have a wide scope of practice that includes providing care to severely compromised critical care patients with surgical, medical and transplant care needs. Patients in the critical care areas may be dialyzed at their bedside or, if stable enough, may be taken to the dialysis unit. Additionally, another component of care available to patients in this high-tech area is plasmapheresis. Patients experiencing disease processes requiring pheresis come to the dialysis unit or may be pheresed at bedside in the critical care areas. In the Hemodialysis Unit, patients continually are monitored due to the invasiveness of the procedures performed. The dialysis nurse must have excellent communication skills as well as outstanding clinical skills as they routinely collaborate with many departments and services on a daily basis to provide safe and exceptional care.

One year of critical care or Emergency Department experience is preferred to work in the Hemodialysis Unit. The orientation plan includes a comprehensive experience teamed one to one with a preceptor until the nurse is clinically competent in Hemodialysis. Teamwork is essential in the dialysis unit to provide patients with excellent care. Staff nurses rotate on a nightly call schedule for emergent dialysis treatments. Exciting opportunities for certification also are available.

Complex Medical-Surgical Nephrology

Complex Medical- Surgical Nephrology is a 24-bed acute care unit dedicated to providing patient care to medical, nephrology, urology, and surgical patients. This unit has a primary focus on care and management of patients diagnosed with complex medical needs. As a team, we work closely with the Nephrologists, Urologists, Hospitalists, and many more disciplines.

Our unit provides experience with complex medical patients in order to further one’s knowledge and advance clinical skills. A few of the special skills that nurses develop are:

  • Complex medication management and education
  • Cardiac monitoring
  • PICC line management
  • Nephrology/peritoneal dialysis
  • Nephrostomy tube management
  • Difficult urinary catheter insertion
  • Bladder irrigation
  • Bladder scanning
  • Wound care and management
  • Diabetic education

Complex Medical-Surgical Nephrology nurses pride themselves on great teamwork and co-workers who are always supportive of each other. We encourage and promote professional growth and development by offering opportunities to participate on shared governance councils, opportunities to attend further specialized training, and encourage obtaining specialty certification in medical-surgical nursing.

Medical Telemetry

Medical Telemetry is a 30-bed acute care telemetry unit specializing in the medical management of patients requiring interventions under the supervision of the dedicated University of Tennessee Hospitalist Team. The unit is also a teaching floor, housing the UTH/House Staff Team 3 physician resident rotation and cultivating a proactive working relationship between physicians and nursing staff.  Medical Telemetry is a dynamic and fast paced unit focused on multidisciplinary collaboration for patient care.  The unit has standard work in place for daily discharge board rounds to help best facilitate communication with providers and coordinate patient care and discharge needs.  All nurses are required to have completed ACLS within one year of employment and professional certification is expected during employment tenure.  The unit received the internal NDNQI Quality Award in 2015 and the Nurse Satisfaction Award in 2016 and 2017.

On Medical Telemetry we are all one team!

Our nurses are actively involved in Shared Governance at the system and unit level.  Nurses help make decisions about issues that affect and guide nursing practice.  Registered nurses participate on the Nursing Leadership, Practice, Quality & Safety, Research, and Professional Development Councils.  We also have a very active unit council where team members have input and make decisions about the operation of the unit.

Medical Surgical Telemetry

The Medical Surgical Telemetry unit is a 30-bed acute care telemetry unit located on the 6th floor of the East tower.  Our team is comprised of registered nurses, nursing assistants, health unit coordinators, a clinical nurse specialist and case manager that are committed to providing excellent and efficient care to patients with a wide variety of diagnoses (chest pain, COPD, trauma/ortho, heart failure, post-operative care, etc.). The diverse population of patients we serve gives the team the opportunity to maintain many of the skills required of multiple specialty units.

Our commitment is to promote the mission and values of UTMC by providing an excellent experience focusing on patient and family centered care with a team-oriented approach. We understand that collaboration with all departments within the organization is vital to the outcome of our patients. For these reasons, our team is actively involved in shared governance, values continuing education and promotes professional development to better serve our patients and community.

Our second Medical Surgical unit is a 30-bed acute care telemetry unit. Our team is dedicated to providing high quality patient and family centered care to patients with a wide variety of medical diagnoses.  Our goal is to use teamwork and positivity to create a culture that promotes compassionate care of our patients and person and professional growth of our team. We pride ourselves in having a family-like environment and having teammates who are supportive of each other. Alone we are strong, but together we are unstoppable! We are committed to the mission, vision, and values of UTMC which means that personal growth and development are important to us.  Professional growth and development are encouraged through participation in shared governance, being an active member of our unit council, achieving specialty certification, and being engaged in research and evidence-based practice.  These principles help us better serve our patients, team, and community.

Oncology, Transplant and Cellular Therapy

The Oncology, Transplant and Cellular Therapy unit is a 25-bed unit located on 5West, with an attached Cellular Therapy Lab and Outpatient Apheresis Unit.  Acute care and specialty nursing interventions are provided for patients requiring the following:

As East Tennessee’s only Oncology, Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program, 5West nurses participate in daily interdisciplinary rounds to maintain a comprehensive understanding of each individual patient’s condition and medical plan. Oncology nurses provide holistic nursing interventions on an emotional and physical level, to bestow patients and their loved ones with the highest quality of life. Frequent education sessions provide the Oncology nurse with specialty skills for the care of complex patients while fostering collaborative relationships with Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Pharmacists and Physicians. This affords patients and their families expert care that alleviates their fears, shares in their victories, and comforts them in their time of great need.

Progressive Care Unit

The Progressive Care Unit (PCU) is an 18-bed unit that provides intermediate care to the patient whose acuity requires nursing interventions not available in an acute care unit and is more stable than patients in an intensive care unit.

PCU patients are moderately stable with a high potential for becoming unstable. PCU RNs care for patients with a variety of medical and surgical problems including cardiac, pulmonary, moderately stable trauma, non-invasive ventilation (BiPAP), mechanical ventilation via tracheostomy tube and approved drips. PCU is staffed with professional and ancillary staff, including a designated Respiratory Therapist.

The Progressive Care Unit at UT Medical Center values continuing education. Every team member is certified in Basic Life Support (BLS). Every registered nurse completes Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) , ventilator training, and a therapeutic drip class. Every nurse resident completes Essentials of Critical Care Orientation (ECCO). We take pride in our commitment to obtaining professional certifications, specifically joining the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and obtaining Progressive Care Certification (PCCN). Advancing education formally and informally is encouraged and financial assistance is available for these opportunities. The nursing staff is committed to excellence and strives to deliver the highest level of quality nursing care. The staff takes great pride in the complex care of our patients on PCU and we are committed to working together as a team.

Trauma Surgical

Trauma Surgical is a 30-bed unit located on the 10th floor. Staff members pride themselves in providing excellent, specialized care to the complex trauma patient population of East Tennessee and the surrounding region. The nursing staff works closely with a highly skilled multidisciplinary team that consists of the trauma team, dietitians, physical therapists, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, case managers and pastoral care.

Trauma patients offer many challenging opportunities to provide exceptional care while affording the chance to make a difference in the lives of our patients who have recently experienced a life-changing event. Our team cares for adolescents, adults and geriatric patients with differing degrees of neurological, cardiac, pulmonary, abdominal and orthopedic trauma injuries. The primary goal is to help restore patients and their families to the highest functioning level possible through daily physical and emotional support.

Our status as a teaching hospital enables us to impact our profession by sharing our knowledge and experience with students from area universities as they rotate through clinical rotations. Not only are we dedicated to educating the nurses of tomorrow, but we also are dedicated to the education of new and current staff members. Staff members receive specialized trauma training and an individualized, unit-based orientation with an experienced preceptor. Once out of orientation, staff is encouraged to attend pertinent conferences, in-services and training for specialty certification or degree advancement.