TEAYS VALLEY, W.Va. -- Nurses and hospital staff gathered in a new hallway Thursday morning in the Charleston Area Medical Center-Teays Valley Hospital and looked expectantly at the double doors that led to the hospital's brand-new, state-of-the-art intensive care unit.
"I'm going to let Missy Nichols open the doors for the first time," said CAMC-Teays Valley administrator Randy Hodges. Nichols, director of the ICU, led the way into the unit for the first glimpses of an effort that has been under construction for more than a year and marks the latest addition to the hospital's expansion effort.
"For our employees, our medical staff and for everyone who uses this facility, this is really the next step in a journey that started in November of 2006, when CAMC purchased the facility," Hodges said. "At that time, the commitment was made to put the dollars into this facility and to bring in sub-specialists the hospital didn't have."
CAMC has invested $10 million in new equipment alone since taking over operations in 2006, and the 30-year-old hospital has seen a number of changes since it became a CAMC-affiliated facility: In the past year, the hospital has introduced urology services, neurology services, a full-time pain clinic and hyperbaric chambers. Its next step will be toward an expansion of the facility's surgical services. Hodges said CAMC-Teays Valley hopes to expand the support space for its surgical department in 2014, which would utilize the space vacated by the old ICU.
"Our goal has been to upgrade this facility to have state-of-the-art equipment, state-of-the-art facilities and to increase the number of specialties that practice here," he said. "We'll be adding full-time oncology coverage in the next three months, so we have just about all of the sub-specialties you would need."
The new ICU boasts 10 large, private rooms, eight of which have been cleared for immediate use, with two more for future patient needs, Hodges said. The new space has a host of features that the staff had pointed to during several meetings with administrators, including direct access to the hospital's heli-pad, a nutrition-services station for meal preparation, a true isolation room and two more rooms specially equipped for dialysis patients.
The patient rooms line the walls along a long, central nurses' station. According to Nichols, the ICU has a 2-to-1 nurse-to-patient ratio at all times, and the design of the unit will allow the staff a view of every patient.
For Nichols, who has worked in the ICU for 10 years, the most pivotal change for the unit is its larger, private rooms.