Doors to a Nurse Station
by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Feb 1, 2021 12:00:00 AM
Q: Our hospital has a nurse station enclosed between two corridors. There is a door that opens into the corridor on each side. I have read Chapter 19 Corridor Separation. 18.104.22.168 (3) states this requirement shall not apply to spaces for nurses' stations. So, where I am going with this is the Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) requested we remove the two doors so that the nurses can hear a patient if for some reason they cannot use the nurse call and so they could hear if someone is in the hallways. If I understand the code correctly, with this area being fully sprinkled and smoke detection, we would be okay with removing these doors. However, my delay is that for one, the door would serve as a smoke deterrence in the case of a fire, and for two, it would help with security if a patient or family member became disgruntled. We have a card access to allow entrance on each side. If we keep the doors as they are, I was told they do not have to latch due to it being manned 24/7. I have not found where this is in the LSC, so just wanted to get clarification so we can be compliant.
A: Yes, you’re correct. You can remove the doors to the nurse station since it is exempt in 22.214.171.124 from having to be separated from the corridors. If you have a history of disgruntled patients or family causing havoc in the corridors, then yes, you could leave the doors in place. This is an issue you need to decide collectively with you CNO and staff. Since the nurse station does not require doors, if you have them, then they do not have to latch. But be careful: Check with your architect to make sure these doors are not serving some other function, such as a smoke barrier.