J Nurs Adm. 2018 Nov;48(11):553-560. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000679.
OBJECTIVE: To describe strategies used by US high-level isolation units (HLIUs) to recruit, train, and sustain a full team of multidisciplinary staff and identify how units are secured.
BACKGROUND: Fifty-six US hospitals have been designated HLIUs, capable of providing safe care to patients with highly infectious disease.
METHODS: An electronic survey was administered to the 56 HLIUs in spring of 2016. Responses were collected via a fillable PDF and analyzed using descriptive statistics.
RESULTS: Thirty-six HLIUs (64%) responded; 33 completed surveys, and 3 reported no longer being a designated HLIU. HLIUs reported large numbers of multidisciplinary staff, primarily consisting of RNs and critical care clinicians. Nearly all HLIUs (94%) required orientation training, although hours varied.
CONCLUSIONS: Over a short period, HLIUs recruited and trained significant numbers of staff with little guidance. Costs of ongoing trainings are considerable, and it remains unclear how HLIUs will continue funding these activities.