The progressive ventilator step-down unit (PVSU) at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is an eight-bed step-down unit, specializing in treatment of patients on mechanical ventilators. Most patients admitted to PVSU come from an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). PVSU focuses on maximizing the rehabilitation while continuing to treat the cause of the illness. This goal is accomplished through intense physical therapy, respiratory care and mental stimulation.
PVSU has a nurse-patient ratio of 3:1 based upon nursing acuity. The core patient care team is comprised of a specially trained nurse and nursing care partner. Other team members may include respiratory therapists, physical therapists, case managers, chaplains, pharmacists, and nutritionists / dieticians. PVSU has a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) that oversees the education of new staff members, supports current staff members, implements evidence-based best practice in line with current research, and assists with patient education.
The goal in PVSU is to continue the progress that began in ICU and to help the patient achieve the best possible outcome.