Regular Wards

Schwester Nathalie (Station H2) über ihren Beruf

The regular wards at the German Heart Center Berlin have (excluding the pediatric wards) a total of 100 beds.

Nursing care here is highly specialized and requires of the nurses a high level of knowledge and skills.

Here we give an overview of our different wards:

Ward H1 Surgery (H1C)

Ward H1 is the ward of the German Heart Center Berlin on which patients with a mechanical heart support pump (ventricular assist device, VAD) are treated. The ward has 21 beds. Together with the transplantation ward H3 it forms an organizational unit for the treatment of terminal heart failure. This includes the evaluation for listing for a heart transplant of patients who have already received a VAD and the evaluation for implantation of a mechanical heart support system.

 

The tasks of the nurses on Ward H1 Surgery mainly lie in the postoperative care of patients with an implanted VAD after the phase of intensive care and up until they are transferred to a rehabilitation center. Our nurses work in close cooperation with the physiotherapists, cardiac engineers and the team of doctors in our VAD outpatient unit who are responsible for the patients before and after their inpatient stay.

Further, Ward H1 Surgery cares for patients before bypass, heart valve or vascular surgery and after heart and/or lung transplantation. Each bed has the capacity for monitor equipment attached to a central monitoring station.

Ward H1 Cardiology (H1K)

Ward H1 Cardiology is situated on the ground floor of the building, on the left side; it is one of the Center’s regular wards. The ward has 24 beds, four of which belong to the Chest Pain Unit, which is integrated into the ward.

 

More than 20 nurses care for the patients in a triple-shift system. Structured, professional induction of new personnel by several practice instructors enables them to have an optimal start. The planning and documentation of nursing procedures take place at the bedside using newly introduced IT systems.

Ward H2

Ward H2 is one of the regular wards and is responsible for preoperative and postoperative patient care. The ward has 41 beds and is equipped with an optional VIP area. Currently over 50 nurses are working on this ward in a triple-shift system.

 

Here patients are admitted before surgery and prepared for it. After the operation they generally return here for one to two days after leaving the intensive care unit. The target is mobilization so that they can be transferred to our cardiac aftercare institution, Paulinen Hospital. From there they are discharged home or go on to an appropriate rehabilitation center.

Click here for our job adverts for the regular wards!

Interview with Nathalie (Ward H2)

Sister Nathalie talking about her work: the video

Nathalie has been at the German Heart Center Berlin for 12 years. She works on the surgical ward H2.

What made you decide to become a nurse?

Originally I wanted to study medicine and to use the nursing training to bridge the waiting time for a place. But the longer I was here, the less I wanted to do anything else. Of course there are sometimes bad days but on the whole I like the job a lot.

What is a typical day like?

It varies a great deal depending on the shift you’re working. The early shift is the most active. The patients are washed and prepared for the doctors’ rounds and then there are transfers and new admissions. There’s always something going on! The late shirt is a bit quieter, because the patients are already there. We prepare the patients who are to be operated on the next day; we care for them and their needs in the evening and night. It should be said that the night shift is not like that on a normal peripheral ward, where most of the patients are asleep. Many of our patients who have been on the intensive care unit before they come to us find the switch rather difficult: here everything is quieter and darker. That creates fears for some patients and then we need to be there for them.

How well do you get to know the patients?

Medically speaking, very well. When we come on duty and when patients are transferred to us from the intensive care unit we get a very thorough briefing. We know when the patient was operated on, what was done, what has happened since then and whether he or she has any special needs. Depending on the type of operation, the patient needs quite different treatment and procedures afterwards.

And humanly speaking?

That depends on the shift. In the night shift the main aim is for the patients to have a good night, so we calm them down and help them to sleep. But in the early shift we get to know them much better. While we wash them we talk to them, ask whether they have any pain, whether their back or knees are hurting and so on. We explain what we’re doing and we are friendly – then the patients are more relaxed and more cooperative, that’s for sure. But that all happens parallel to the nursing tasks. There is hardly ever time to sit at a patient’s bed and talk to them.

Do you feel sorry for the patients?

Yes, of course, Say someone of my age – in their late twenties – has had a protracted cold and ends up needing a new heart valve. That is quite hard. But you have to create a professional distance. At the beginning that’s not always easy. I always say: after the 3 year training you’re a nurse on paper but only later, in practice, do you learn what it’s really all about. That also concerns the high expectations that one has of oneself. Of course we have a great deal of responsibility and there are mistakes that simply mustn’t happen. But you need to be able to let go and relax after the shift, even if not everything was perfect.

Are you proud to work here?

Let’s say: I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. The demands on one here are high and you need to know a great deal. But I don’t get swollen headed about it. I’m simply a nurse And either you are a nurse with your whole heart or not at all – regardless of where you work.

Ward H3

Patient room on Ward H3
Nurses and doctors of the Ward H3 team

Ward H3 has 12 single rooms and an admission room. Each bed is equipped with an intensive monitoring system, perfusors and artificial ventilation sockets. In view of the potential for intensive care medicine and the need for a corresponding ration of doctors and nurses to patients, Ward H3 is attached to the intensive care unit for organizational purposes.

Each room has a state-of-the-art lighting system that imitates the rhythm of day and night. Following their stay in intensive care, patients who have received a fresh heart and/or lung transplantation are cared for until they begin rehabilitation.
The H3 team also nurses long-term patients with a transplanted organ when they need to be admitted for routine examinations and treatment of an infection or organ rejection. Further, patients to be examined for listing for transplantation are also cared for on this ward.

The nursing team of Ward H3 includes nurses specialized in transplantation and heart failure. In their specialist training they were supported financially and organizationally by the German Heart Institute Berlin.