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Medical Surgical Unit (MSU)

Inpatient hospital care centered around you.

When you are a patient in the hospital, Gritman’s physicians, nurses and staff work together as a team. You are an important part of that team, and we focus on your needs in every decision.

At every shift change or transfer of care, your nurses meet with you to share information about your care, medications, diet and address any concerns you might have.

Highly-Skilled Staff

Our integrated team approach includes not only our nursing staff, physicians and technicians, but also specialized therapists, dietitians and case managers, as appropriate for each patient’s recovery.

All MSU nurses hold certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Our certified nursing assistants and registered nurses are certified in Basic Life Support and Crisis Prevention Intervention. Our entire nursing staff completes annual continuing education courses. Many of our nurses pursue and achieve additional department-specific certifications.

Rehabilitation (Swing Bed) Care

Qualifying patients may be offered swing beds for a longer stay at the hospital, receiving exceptional, patient-centered care. Having a few extra days before discharge gives you and your family more time to adapt to a new care plan and keep you as safe and healthy as possible. With pain management and an expert staff of therapists and nurses, our swing bed services lower the chance of another hospital stay.

Patient commissions artist to express her thanks

Going home was not the best option for Cheryl Stenzel following her recent knee surgery performed by longtime orthopedic surgeon and Gritman board member Dr. Charles Jacobson here at Gritman.

Read Cheryl’s Story

Did you or a loved one have an amazing experience at Gritman? Share your story!

Commonly asked questions

Medicare permits certain small, rural hospitals to use their hospital beds either for acute care or skilled care. The term “swing bed” refers to a physician’s ability to “swing” patients from one level of care to another while staying in the same facility.

  • Specialized wound care
  • Physical therapy seven days a week
  • Occupational and speech therapy
  • 24-hour registered nurses and nurse aides
  • Respiratory therapy
  • In-house pharmacy
  • In-house dietitian
  • IV antibiotics
  • Room service
  • Laboratory
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Low patient to nurse ratio
  • On-site physician availability
  • Activities program
  • Discharge planning

Medicare will cover swing bed care if you:

  • Are covered by Medicare Part A and have days left in your benefit period
  • Have a qualifying hospital acute care stay of three consecutive days
  • Need skilled nursing or therapy care on a daily basis

Many private insurance companies cover swing bed care. Gritman Medical Center case managers can help you get answers about your insurance reimbursement for the swing bed program.

As long as the Medicare criteria is met, up to 100 days will be covered. The first 20 days of your stay are covered in full. Any subsequent, consecutive days are covered at 80 percent. If you have supplemental insurance policies, the additional 20 percent may be covered.

Care Management will work with your current hospital to transition you to swing bed care. Please see the packing list below to ensure you have all the items needed for a comfortable stay.

Please label and bring the following items:

  • Loose fitting clothing suitable for therapy. We encourage you get dressed every day
  • Pajamas if you prefer; patient gowns are provided.
  • Comfortable shoes for exercise.
  • Your preferred grooming and bathing items such as toothpaste, toothbrush, shaving cream and shampoo. We can provide these items if necessary.
  • Personal items, such as eyeglasses, dentures, hearing aids, etc.
  • Special equipment, such as a cane, walker, prosthesis, etc.
  • Items for your enjoyment, such as books, crochet, adult coloring, etc.
  • Copies of your Advance Directives, Living Will, Power of Attorney and POST forms.
  • Insurance cards

Absolutely. You may choose Gritman for continued recovery to be closer to family and friends.


We encourage visitors and companionship, which are proven to aid healing. However, we may limit visitation depending on a patient’s condition. We encourage family members to update friends and relatives on the patient’s condition and needs via

Visiting hours are 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but may be limited at the staff’s discretion. Visitors entering the hospital after 9 p.m. must use the call button to enter through the doors to the Emergency Department admitting desk.

Rapid Response Team

If anyone—patient, visitor or staff—experiences a dramatic change in health, including these symptoms:

  • Changes in heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Confusion, agitation or other changes in mental or emotional state

Anyone at the hospital, including visitors, can call an Emergency Rapid Response by dialing “0” on any house phone. Please clearly say “Rapid Response” and your location or room number, which is posted in all patient rooms. Our Rapid Response Team will immediately respond to help.

Find Out More Information
We are happy to answer questions and share personal experiences about the medical/surgical nursing unit and services we provide.