The Children's Center at Chilton Medical Center is now open to help our littlest patients. The 4,500-square-foot hybrid unit combines specialized children's emergency care with beds for those who need to stay in the hospital overnight. That means that families in that community can get the right care locally and also be assured that when more specialized care is needed, Goryeb Children's Hospital, only 20 miles away, will be ready for them.
“We do a fine job of caring for patients of all ages in our current emergency room and throughout the hospital,” says Jorge Amor, MD, pediatrician on the medical staff at Chilton. “But kids aren’t just little adults. They need different medicines, different IVs and different equipment, for example. They also need doctors and nurses with specialized pediatric training, including how to talk with them and their families. That’s exactly what we’ve created here.”
Child- and Family-Friendly Concepts
Having this separate emergency room allows children to avoid the activities of an adult emergency room. Children admitted to the facility will also find new child-friendly rooms that are private, along with family and patient lounges. And because having family nearby is especially important to children, rooms are larger, and special furniture doubles as a bed for an adult to stay overnight.
An Easy Shift Between Emergency and Inpatient Care
Offering both pediatric emergency care and pediatric inpatient care requires dedicated physicians and nursing staff. “Nurses who specialize in pediatrics are child-friendly; they are quick to smile and have a warm, friendly personality. This gifted combination not only makes the child feel better, but also reduces the anxiety of their hospital experience,” says Lou Faraone, MSN, RN, manager of Chilton’s emergency department. To make the best use of their skills, the center’s design allows staff to flow freely between the areas.
“This innovative one-stop center allows us to continue to offer specialized care for children here close to home,” Dr. Amor says. Staff at the Children’s Center at Chilton will care for an estimated 13,000 children a year in the new emergency room, and about 400 children a year whom they will admit to the dedicated pediatric unit.