The new expansion is complete and “we are loving the additional space,” said an excited Pat Bowles, head of the nursing department at Franklin County Medical Center (FCMC).
The 15,000 square foot addition to the Preston hospital officially opened on August 5 and started to receive emergency room patients that morning. The new emergency department includes a trauma bay, additional rooms that can be utilized for emergencies, a decontamination room, an imaging center and according to Bowles, more privacy.
“I think we can just give great care,” said Bowles. “It’s more convenient for both the patient and the nurses. The rooms are all private. We had to use the recovery rooms before and there were two stretchers in there with just a curtain in between. The privacy was less.”
There are now two separate nursing stations in the hospital and Bowels admitted there was “a little bit of separation anxiety, but the staff is doing wonderful. They can still help each other out,” she said.
To adequately staff both stations, the hospital hired an additional seven nurses and five CNA technicians.
The first surgery in the new addition was performed on Tuesday, August 6. Bowles said it was a robotics-assisted knee surgery and “it went well.”
“We appreciate our community,” said Bowles. “We recognize that it is a privilege for us to serve our community. We are just grateful for the community support that we have. It’s an honor to care for the people that you live near.”
There are still changes ahead for the hospital. The old operating rooms will be remodeled to fill other needs, including an expansion of the pharmacy and laboratory. The repurposing should be complete sometime in the late fall, early winter.