- Your main place of work as a nurse is going to be a hospital.
- Hospitals vary widely in the services they offer and therefore, in the departments they have.
- Modern hospital buildings are designed to minimize the effort of medical personnel and the possibility of contamination while maximizing the efficiency of the whole system.
- Travel time for personnel within the hospital and the transportation of patients between units is facilitated and minimized.
Intensive Care Unit. Photo: Norbert Kaiser.
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DEPARTMENT, UNIT or WARD?
- Department: a specialized division of a large organization; "you'll find it in the hardware department";
- Unit: an organization regarded as part of a larger social group; "after the battle the soldier had trouble rejoining his unit”
- Ward: block forming a division of a hospital (or a suite of rooms) shared by patients who need a similar kind of care;
Sometimes the words are interchangeable, but you will mainly hear speak about departments and patients’ wards.
Here you have a list of some of the most common departments or units you may find in a hospital:
- A & E: Accident and Emergency: it is a department specializing in acute care of patients who don’t have a prior appointment and who come to the hospital either by their own means or by ambulance.
- ICU: Intensive Care Unit: it is a specialized department in a hospital that provides intensive-care medicine.
- Operating Theatre: it is a room where operations are performed
- Radiology or X-Ray: it is a department where radiographies are taken to patients
- Laboratory: it is a place equipped for experimental study or for testing and analysis
- Outpatients’: it is a department where you can find those patients who are not hospitalized overnight but who visit a hospital or a clinic for diagnosis or treatment.
- Kitchen: it is a place aimed at cooking and serving food.
- Pharmacy: it is a place where medicines are compounded or given out.
- Technical Services: it is a department that manages and maintains Hospital facilities and critical services.
- Blood bank: it is a place for storage of or an institution storing blood or plasma
- Administration: it is a place where the execution of something is directed.