Nurses Help Design Beautiful New Units


Munson Medical Center Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit Nursing Station

Munson Medical Center moved two nursing units to new state-of-the-art spaces within the past year. Nursing staff from both the inpatient behavioral health unit and oncology unit contributed significantly to the design of both new areas and these spaces align with many aspects of the hospital’s True North focus, including the areas represented by patients, staff, and safety. Oncology Nursing Manager Angela Richardson-Gross, BSN, RN, OCN, said members of her team traveled to three inpatient oncology units in southern Michigan for ideas and examples of the kind of design that works best for their patients and nursing staff. The oncology team also put up an easel in the break room for team members to express what they wanted in terms of work flow as a means of better caring for patients.

"Everybody had input,” Richardson-Gross said. The final design décor, color schemes, and flow of the unit were voted on by the staff." 

“We appreciated being able to have input,” said Laurie Patrick, RN, OCN, oncology patient education. “It really was invaluable. Our contribution has resulted in improved nursing function, better rooms for patients, and improved patient safety.”

The new unit includes places for family members to stay overnight in rooms, two rooms with kitchenettes for long-stay patients, additional oxygen outlets so patients can move from their beds, a nurses’ station designed to reduce noise, and a beautiful family waiting area. The Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit features a lot of light and great views from the sixth floor of the hospital, also involved input from every member of the team. 

“Staff had input on all aspects of the unit and they were highly engaged in making this the best unit possible,” said Behavioral Health Director Terri LaCroix-Kelty, LMSW. “Our team visited six other in-patient mental health units to gather information and used feedback from both caregivers and patients.”

The design includes enhanced safety features for staff, rolling carts for nurses, a beautiful patient lounge and meeting area, and nice staff lounge. “We built this unit based on what is most important for recovery,” LaCroix-Kelty said. “This beautiful, new, therapeutic space can only enhance the healing process for our patients and improve the experience for our staff.”