Southeast Missouri Hospital unveils new orthopedic unit

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Lucille Tidwell didn't seem too impressed with the 27-inch television or the accompanying DVD player -- she liked her hospital room's new color.

"The color makes it striking. They're pastels, I like that," said the 87-year old Sikeston, Mo., resident, who also happened to be the first patient to be treated in Southeast Missouri Hospital's new orthopedic unit, in her case for a fractured hip.

The new 11-bed unit began accepting patients on Tuesday and is hyped by hospital officials as only the first step in the hospital's $16 million renovation project, which also includes two new floors and the renovation of four other units that will push the number of private rooms from 39 to 107.

At the new $750,000 orthopedic unit there are now 11 rooms, up from seven. Of those, five are private rooms, which each include the 27-inch television, a DVD player, along with stations for nurses, motion-activated sinks and private bathrooms. The other six rooms are for two patients each and have smaller televisions. Each room also allows the patients climate control.

Building's newest rooms

"These are the newest rooms in the building and the most up-to-date," said Darline Brown, the unit's nurse manager. The unit -- which formerly housed neurology -- will be staffed with two registered nurses and a nurse's assistant for each of the hospital's three shifts.

"This is the first of the five floors being renovated," said hospital administrator Jim Wente. "The two new floors will be done by January 2004 and the whole job by 2005. Everything's on schedule and going well."

The hospital is currently licensed for 269 beds.

Construction on the two new floors began last July; they will sit above the Harrison Annex. The new floors will be for medical and surgical patients, Wente said. Those two new floors will house 46 new patient rooms, 34 of which will be private. The range of occupancy is 150 to 200 patients a day.

Patient care areas also scheduled for space expansion are surgical progressive care, medical progressive care, neurology and oncology.

smoyers@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 137

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