Newcastle Nursing and Rehabilitation Residence

Newcastle Nursing and Rehabilitation Residence

The Newcastle Nursing and Rehabilitation Residence (NNRR) is a 135-bed skilled nursing home. NNRR is considering

converting a 36-bed wing of their main building for use by patients who require ventilator-assisted breathing. The rooms will be slightly smaller than optimum for ventilator patients but just exceed the recommended minimum square footage. Enlarging the rooms is not an economic option. In the main, the conversion will require the addition of electrical wiring to power oxygen-concentrators that extract 95 percent pure oxygen from room air, portable ventilators that supply the oxygen under pressure to assist breathing, and small, motor-driven suction devices to remove excess mucus from a patient’s airway. These rooms must also be connected to an emergency generator that automatically starts and supplies electrical current if the main electrical supply fails. Finally, pressure sensors must be connected from each ventilator unit to a sound device located in the hallway of the ventilator wing. These units sound a strident signal and cause a hallway light to flash

if there is a sharp drop in the airway pressure of a ventilator patient. In addition to these power needs associated with ventilator patients, power outlets are also needed for several machines that dispense tube feedings of medicines and nutrition, and for IVs, radios, and similar entertainment devices. Each bed itself needs a power outlet as does the air

mattress pump. Because all rooms are double occupancy, each room needs two full sets of outlets. The equipment noted above is normally plugged in at all times when the patient is in his or her room. Otherwise, we’ll patients, however, are moved daily into a “day room” equipped with a large screen TV and chairs and tables.

Most patients must be moved with their portable ventilators and concentrators or bottled oxygen. Patients who are well enough, eat their meals in the day room and socialize with each other and with visitors. (The socialization is a quiet

process because a large majority of the patients breathe through a tube inserted in their trachea and are unable to

speak aloud.) The Senior Administrator, Steve Murphy, has decided to set up the conversion process as a project. Mr. Murphy is considering the choice of a project manager. He is trained in business, not hospital design. He feels a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse might be an appropriate PM. He also feels that a Respiratory Therapist (RT) might be a good choice because RTs are responsible for using the major electrical equipment. Finally, he thinks that the installation and placing of all the outlets might be better handled by a representative of the electrical contractor who must carry

out the major part of the room conversion.


Q1. Who should Mr. Murphy choose? Defend your choice. 4 M

Q2. What should be the key characteristics of a suitable project manager for this job? 4M

Q3. What are the key learnings from the case? 4M

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