Addition welcomed by workers - Hospital staff appreciate technology and space
|Main waiting area on the second floor. 1/15/10 (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Surgeons, nurses, physicians and support staff members are anxious to move into the Wood County Hospital’s new expansion starting Jan. 25, not only for what it means to them, but for what it will also bring to their patients and the community at large.
At the heart of the 100,000-square-foot expansion is the spacious area on the first floor for major surgeries, minor procedures and some diagnostic testing.
“Having state-of-the-art rooms allows Wood County Hospital to attract and retain talented surgeons who practice using the latest surgical techniques,” said a delighted Mike Bozzo, BSN, RN, who directs its surgical services. “This inspires confidence in the community and will ultimately lead to more members of the community coming to Wood County Hospital for surgery.”
He noted Wood County Hospital has “the same commitment, the same technology, and the same talent as Toledo ... and we’re located right here in Bowling Green.
“That’s easy. Why drive 35 miles to have the same surgery you can have in your own community hospital?”
Bozzo added, “Our outcomes are as good, if not better than other hospitals in the area. And the cost of care here is substantially lower than at those hospitals in the urban area.”
RN Karen Richards, who has been at Wood County Hospital for 38 years, is pleased with the extra storage available and the larger surgical suites. “Technology has changed so much,” she said. “The LED lights (in surgery) are wonderful. The lighting will be great.”
Wood County Hospital has a new Women’s Center with a color scheme of storm cloud blue, green earth (light green) and retreat (darker green), plus kilim beige that match the entire expansion. But its previous decor of quilts was kept, and they are being moved to the new site.
Some more unusual quilted artwork has also been added for patients’ enjoyment.
|Surgical nurses station
Stephanie Lane, director of the new center, said her area “is beautiful, but the artwork is the icing on the cake. The quilts will make the Women’s Center warm and inviting.”
Lane has heard from her staff members they are “excited about the new digital technology that the center will offer. They have also made comments about the design and decor. They appreciate the privacy that the center will allow for women.”
“It’s beautiful,” mammography technician Cheryl Lance said of the new Women’s Center. “It seems very up-to-date and modern.” An employee at the hospital for 22 years, she is pleased the quilt-themed decor was kept since “the patients love them.” Lance also said the quilts will give the center a warm, personal environment and bring a touch of “home” to it.
“I enjoy what I do. I enjoy the patient contact,” added Lance. “I’m excited about the new technology, the digital mammography and the benefits that’ll bring to the patients. We will be able to get them in and out quickly. We will be able to eliminate some ‘call backs’ and eliminate their anxiety because of the technology.”
Sandy Zoltanski, an RN who has been at Wood County Hospital for 28 years, will be moving onto the second floor of the new addition where there are 56 private inpatient rooms, large nurses’ stations and — for the first time — a nurses’ lounge in each of the new two wings.
“It’s so beautiful,” she said after taking brief tours of the new area. “The colors are very soothing. What’s important to me are the soft green tones and the floral and scenic artwork. They all promote relaxation which you need in a hospital.” She added the privacy for each patient “is a big plus.”
“And spaciousness — just having storage. Now we don’t have to go to other wings of the hospital to get what we need. It’s all on our own floor. We lacked storage. We just didn’t have it on our (old) floor.”
|A wash area is in all of the private rooms
Zoltanski described as “great” having official lounges for the nurses. “We’re not used to that. It’ll be nice to sit down and take a few minutes for lunch. We were so busy before we couldn’t leave the floor. It will be nice to have a place to go to relax for a few minutes.”
Speaking for herself and her coworkers, Zoltanski said, “We are all excited. We’ve been training on the new equipment, and we are ready to get going.”
“Because they were planned from the ground up, the new layouts were designed to be efficient and convenient for patients and family and everybody who works here, really for everyone,” said Susan Halleck, director of volunteer services. “The second floor is designed to be step-saving for the nurses and the volunteers.”
She oversees the volunteers who work at the reporting desk, in the surgical waiting room, make internal mail deliveries, staff the gift shop, sew, are involved in Meals on Wheels and members of the Hospital Guild.
“It’s exciting,” said Shelly Sharp, coordinator of Central Service. “I think this (addition) will really enhance communication between the O.R. staff and Central Sterile. “I’m really excited about the move and the changes. I never dreamt I’d be part of all this, to work with a great group of people, managers. We’ve all had to make sacrifices and acquire new responsibilities.”
Architect right at home in Wood County
|Surgical room during construction
There is a special joy in the work done by health care architect David Bates, cofounder of Meyer + Bates and Associates in Perrysburg.
“It’s gratifying to know you’ve helped the patients and the staff,” he said of his designs for the 56 private inpatient rooms in Wood County Hospital’s new expansion, as an example. He found from a mock-up he built of the rooms that it was more convenient for the patients and nurses to have the private bathrooms toward the corridor rather than away from it. It was a small change, but one he knew would be appreciated.
Bates is the architect behind the entire $42 million project, another in a long line of work he has done for Wood County Hospital over the years.
“When you work with different hospitals you become part of their culture. It is one of the nice things working with Wood County — you become one of the family.”
Prior to designing the 100,000-square-foot addition, Bates combined his 30-plus years as an architect with his past experiences working with hospitals to have some idea of the design work.
Yet “each hospital is different. You do have to listen closely to staff and administrators and design it to meet their needs.” At Wood County, “we spent a lot of time in meetings so there was an awful lot of information from different areas of the hospital.” The process impressed Bates.
“I’d like to say all hospitals should do what Wood County Hospital did, have the input from staff. Most of the projects we do are probably 50-50,” half of the hospitals using input from employees and half which rely just on consultants. “The extent the administration wanted input was impressive.”
He added, “It helps me with the final project when it’s completed. The more input they have, the more equipment is located in the right area, the location of the sink and storage items right close at hand. It improves staff functions.”
Bates wants local residents to know that while it is a state-of-the-art facility, because it was built in Bowling Green “we wanted to still fit into the neighborhood.” That included using masonry and face bricks. “It’s important the hospital is part of the neighborhood. I feel good about the way it kind of nestles ... in there nicely.”
While the architect is gratified to know patients will find their private rooms spacious, private and soothing, he found the floor design challenging because “right from the outset you double the size the staff has to walk. It was challenging to design something they didn’t have far to walk to, including the janitor closet, linen closet. ... That was the biggest challenge. It is one of the down-sides of going to private rooms. It increases the footprint of the building.”
But Bates expects patients to find their rooms quiet with how the two wings were designed. There are patient rooms on the north and south sides of the wings, with support functions between them which should make rooms quieter than they were in the older section of the hospital.
During the public Open House on Jan. 24, Bates expects to attend and welcomes questions from guests.
Working with the architect and the hospital’s design team which selected the colors was Megan Donovan, an interior designer with the firm.
“Everyone there was great to work with,” said the former Dallas resident. “The feel of Wood County, we really wanted to bring a lot of nature into the design. The culture is really welcoming to me.”
In an effort to merge the blues and greens used in the county’s original hospital with those in the new addition, Donovan and the design team chose a palette of shades found in nature.
While the large designs in the second floor, a blend of sycamore and maple leaf shapes, adds to the expansion’s leaf motif, it also serves a practical purpose. Donovan explained the leaves are “a way-finding tool” and a point of interest. “You are drawn to a spot at the nurses’ station or where a couple corridors meet,” because that is where the large leaf designs are located.
“Everything done in this facility was done with a lot of teamwork,” said Donovan.
|Exterior of new hospital wing.