Experiences of Transplant Nurses Caring for Renal Transplant Patients Assigned to Acuity-Adaptable Rooms

Thursday, 25 July 2013: 1:55 PM

Nena M. Bonuel, MSN, RN, CCRN
Center for Professional Excellence, The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX
Sandra Cesario, PhD, RNC, FAAN
College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University - Houston, Houston, TX

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to learn about the experiences of transplant nurses in caring for renal transplant patient in the acuity-adaptable room setting.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to learn the acuity-adaptable patient room concept.


Acuity-adaptable patient room concept is an emerging care model where a patient is cared for in the same room from admission through discharge regardless of the patient level of acuity. Care of a renal transplant patient is complex and one institution embraced the room concept to provide care for their renal transplant patient. Previous pilot study showed decrease in length of stay and cost on the patient cared for in an acuity-adaptable patient room, compared to patients cared for in a transitional care process from 9.6 days to 4.1 days. Not only did the acuity-adaptable patient room improve patient outcome and cost but with the nursing competency preparation to support the implementation of the acuity-adaptable patient room, a hybrid nurse with both critical care and medical-surgical skills emerged. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of transplant nurses caring for renal transplant patients assigned to acuity-adaptable room.


Descriptive phenomenology was used. The study was conducted in a magnet facility that has a 30-bed multi-organ transplant unit with 16 acuity-adaptable patient rooms. Ten (10) seasoned transplant nurses were interviewed using a semi-structured interview approach and data was analyzed using Colaizzi’s method. To maintain trustworthiness of the data, factors regarding credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability were addressed.

Results:  Three theme clusters emerged from experiences of the transplant nurses: Patient and family comfort, Nurse Empowerment, and Future potential of the Acuity-adaptable patient room. Transplant nurses perceived that the acuity-adaptable room provides healing environment for the renal transplant patient.


Nurses felt empowered in caring for patient in the acuity-adaptable patient room. It is this empowerment that they were able to build partnership with patient and family in providing quality care thereby transforming the environment so the renal transplant patient is put in the best position to heal