January 19, 2012

CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital provides care from birth through adulthood and is working on several projects to ensure that this care is the safest and most comfortable possible. Recently, renovations began to create private post-partum rooms.

“We are excited that, by summer, we will offer all private rooms for post-partum care with updated finishes and fixtures, as well as private bathrooms,” said Andrew Weber, vice president and administrator. “We also will have a new fetal monitoring system and an upgraded infant security system. Our focus is to provide a birthing experience that is state-of-the-art in both comfort and clinical care.”

These new rooms, along with the highestlevel NICU available, give mothers the comfort of privacy with the security of specialty care for their infants. As newborns grow, there are many services available to them at Women and Children’s Hospital.

In early 2012, the current eight-slice CT scanner will be replaced with a new 128-slice machine. This scanner is faster with more accurate views and is also equipped with I-dose technology.

“I-dose administers the lowest possible dose of radiation available,” Weber said. “We feel that it is absolutely critical in being a pediatric hospital that we’ve minimized the exposure of radiation to our patients.”

The new CT scanner has an ambient package which creates a friendly atmosphere for both kids and adults. The room is specially-designed with curved walls, cabinets tucked out of the way and workspace carefully laid out to eliminate clutter and reduce stress.

The wall is used to project images, providing a movie theatre-like experience without glasses or headphones needed.

“This package offers many enhancements to the care experience. For example, it teaches patients about the critical aspects of getting a CT scan like holding their breath and remaining still at certain times,” Weber said. “It may tell them to act like a blowfish, inhale and hold their breath as an animated blowfish is projected on the wall providing an illustration.”

Just like Cinemavision offered with the MRI at Women and Children’s, the ambient package helps keeps patients focused and minimizes need for anesthesia for procedures.

The pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) is also getting a facelift.

“The PICU is getting a complete renovation,” Weber said. “We are in the process of converting a four-bed open area to three private, larger than normal, intensive care bays. There also will be a family zone, patient zone and caregiver zone as we try to create an updated look, but also add comfort for our patients and their families.”

The facility means nothing if it is not filled with caregivers and specially-trained physicians to take care of patients of all ages. Women and Children’s Hospital offers more than 30 pediatric specialists, who see patients from birth to adulthood.

“Women and Children’s Hospital has all of the services needed to provide care for all children,” Weber said. “These experts bring knowledge to diagnose and treat most childhood problems and diseases.”

Nursing and support staff is crucial to providing pediatric care. They become familiar with the patients and get to know their special needs. Without this support staff, the best physicians in the world cannot provide adequate care.

“We are fortunate to have very dedicated and pediatric-trained support staff including pediatric, critical care and neonatal nurses, respiratory therapists, a child-life specialist, clinical dietitians, physical therapists, social workers, lab workers and a dedicated transport team, to name a few,” Weber said.

Women and Children’s Hospital also is an instrument for educating physicians and providing the opportunity for them to start their careers here.

“One of our residents is almost finishedwith a pediatric nephrology fellowship and is coming back this summer to practice with us,” Weber said.

“Another we are supporting to do a behavioral development fellowship and will be back in 2013 with plans to create an autism center when she returns. There also is a graduate of our surgery residency program that will be back next year to do pediatric surgery and a urology resident who completed a urogynecology fellowship at Duke and is coming back this summer.”

Educating the physicians of tomorrow ensures that our community will continue to have access to the best possible care in the future.

“We are constantly re-evaluating our facilities and services to make sure we are providing the care that our patients deserve,” Weber said.

For more information, and a list of pediatric specialties, visit camc.org/kids.

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