Nurses and architects design unit


Jesse Robbins of Freeman French Freeman Architects sits with Med/Surgical Unit Coordinator Dale Gaudreau, RN, Nursing Supervisor Carol Gould and Med/Surgical Nurse Manager Diane York.

Nurses and architects design unit

RUMFORD – Several Rumford Hospital nurses have been collaborating with architects from Freeman French Freeman Architects in the design of elements of the consolidated patient unit to be built at the hospital. “Although the architects have designed many health care facilities, the nurses are the ones who have experience working in those spaces,” said Jane Aube, Rumford Hospital director of nursing.

“Our discussions concentrated on three things,” she said, “patient safety, space for families and patient privacy.”

It has been demonstrated that enhancing the nurses’ ability to see into patient rooms improves patient safety. Placing bathrooms on the exterior walls will ensure that nothing blocks the nurses’ view from the hall.

In the “Family Zone,” plans include a recliner or foldout bed and separate lighting, so family members can read or watch TV without disturbing patients.

“The mere fact that these are single rooms creates more privacy for exchange of patient information,” said Aube.

The collaborators spent a long time scrutinizing the nursing station to make sure not only that it will be a space where the treatment team can consult, but that it will allow physicians and nurses to concentrate on the accuracy of the electronic medical record and medication administration. “We wanted the nursing station to be a space with few interruptions and little noise,” Aube said.

When completed, the patient unit will bring together the medical/surgical unit, intensive care unit and birthing center in one area. There will be 16 private rooms and two “flex” rooms – semi-private rooms that may be used as private rooms. Also included in the plan are two intensive care rooms, two rooms for labor, delivery and postpartum recovery and one postpartum room. Every room will have a private bathroom with a shower.

At least two rooms will be negative pressure rooms for isolation purposes. Year-round temperature controls will allow patients to adjust the temperature of their rooms to their individual comfort level. There will be accommodations for families to stay overnight with loved ones.

The new patient unit will allow patients the quiet of private rooms and to remain in the same room throughout their stays. “Our patients have been asking for private rooms for years,” said Aube. “They want quiet, private spaces and their own bathrooms. It’s exciting to be able to fulfill their wishes.”

Construction and renovation are slated to begin this fall and be completed in about 12 months at a cost of about $5,900,000.