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St. Joseph relocates two departments

Eagle Staff Report

St. Joseph Regional Health Center has expanded its outpatient surgery ward and doubled the size of its critical care division with the recent relocation of those departments to a newly opened four-story glass tower.

The move adds 16 beds to the space-cramped critical care ward and puts patients in both outpatient and critical care in private rooms. It also leaves space in the hospital’s main wing for new operating rooms and overall expanded and upgraded facilities.

Nurses and staff in critical care began wheeling patients Wednesday from the ward’s 11,000-square-foot facilities in the main building to the 33,000 square feet reserved for the ward on the tower’s second floor. The ward at times had been at 100-percent capacity, which would become a problem when there was no room for additional critical care patients, hospital spokesman Tim Ottinger said.

The new unit also puts a nurses’ station near every private room. Rest rooms shared by every two private rooms and an extra hour of visiting time for critical patients make the new ward more family-friendly, Ottinger said.

“The design of the tower really includes all the latest research on how to make it a healing unit,” he said. “Larger windows in the rooms and artwork in the halls make our facility more relaxing. It’s stressful to be at a hospital, and we’re trying to reduce that stress.”

The outpatient surgery ward moved into the tower’s first floor Aug. 30. The relocation adds six beds in day surgery, bringing the total to 22, and 13 beds to the recovery area.

Five of the 27 recovery rooms are reserved for cardiac patients.

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