Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Tracie Mitchell
Staff Writer 

New Emergency Department bigger and better


February 21, 2017

Tracie Mitchell

The new entrance to the Emergency Department which will be used at the main entrance to the hospital unti the new main entrance is complete which is scheduled to be completed in August.

WORLAND – On Monday, Washakie Medical Center and Banner Health held a sneak preview open house with a tour of the new Emergency Department (ED), which will go live Feb. 28. The new ED has five private rooms with a sixth to be added at a later date, a large nurse's station and a waiting room.

"We are excited about the increased privacy and comfort for our patients while they are in the department," RN Senior Manager in the Emergency Department Janet Clark said. "As a rural facility, we have to be able to handle whatever situation walks in the door," she added.

One of the six ED rooms is an isolation room for patients that may or do have a disease that is transmitted through the air such as chicken pox or tuberculosis. "The air system here in this room is ventilated separately from the hospital. It doesn't intermingle so we are not spreading those germs. It has its own private restroom so that patient will not need to come out into the general public," Clark stated.

Another room is designated to trauma and is located right off the ambulance emergency entrance. The trauma room has a major sink with the soap being foot activated and the water being motion activated. It has a lift to help staff move patients and a power tower that has three oxygen and four suction ports. "There's capability for three oxygen (ports) and four suction (ports) and sometimes during a major trauma that all gets utilized," Clark said.

All the rooms come with breakout doors for a wider entry, self-closing doors, computers for documentation which can be adjusted to the proper height for the nurses and rotate 180 degrees to be out of the way of the doctors, hand sanitizer just inside and outside the room, televisions, nurse call buttons and curtains for additional privacy. Clark stated that the privacy curtains were added because the doors to each room are glass.

Clark stated that the nurses station has a state-of-the-art nurse call system that connects to each ED room and the hospital, monitors that are connected to each room to monitor vital signs, cardiac rhythms and things like that and a monitor to monitor the security cameras outside of the emergency entrance door and the waiting room. "The security cameras not only help protect the staff and the patients but allow us to assess the general appearance of patients coming in," she said.

Nurses will be able to see patients coming in at all times of the day and night either in the waiting room or at the emergency room entrance after normal business hours when the door is locked. "There will be the same process as with the old ED, we will have a ring down phone and you will have to be buzzed in or a nurse will come over and physically open the door," Clark stated.

According to a press release, "Along with the Emergency Department, the hospital has a new 18-bed patient wing and two new operating rooms with pre- and post-recovery areas. As additional phases complete this year, there will be an expanded laboratory and pharmacy along with new areas for respiratory therapy, gift shop, patient waiting, registration and medical records. Washakie Medical Center is a county-owned hospital in Worland, operated by Banner Health, one of the nation's largest nonprofit health care systems with 28 hospitals in six states. The hospital offers expanding technology to meet the needs of the Big Horn Basin residents."


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