St. Elsewhere Hospital’s cardiac care unit (CCU) has 5 beds, which are virtually always occupied by patients who have just undergone major heart surgery. Two registered nurses are on duty in the CCU in each of the three 8-hour shifts. About every 2 hours (following a Poisson distribution), one of the patients requires a nurse’s attention. The nurse will then spend an average of 30 minutes (exponentially distributed) assisting the patient and updating medical records regarding the problem and cam provided.
Because immediate service is critical to the 5 patients, two Deponent questions are: What is the average number of patients being attended by the nurses? What is the average time that a patient spends waiting for one of the nurses to arrive?