A new ICU unit in Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital will be welcomed this February.
The new unit will open in Fredericton’s hospital with 12 beds, new equipment and renovated spaces. The facility has undergone $250 million dollars in renovations, with $21 million specifically for the new unit, taking special care to improve the well-being of the unit’s visitors.
Intensive Care Units are for patients with severe and potentially life-threatening injuries or illnesses, who require constant around-the-clock care and supervision.
The renovation is focused on creating a comforting space for family members who need to spend extended periods of time supporting their loved ones. The patients’ rooms and the family rooms have full walls of windows to improve mental health and well-being. The patients’ rooms are all single with a private bathroom.
Space was a key focus during the planning stages of the renovation as the unit will cover 1,514 sq. metres. The pandemic’s threat of overwhelming the ICU beds encouraged the unit’s move to include negative pressure rooms.
These rooms specialize in preventing the spread of airborne viruses, including Covid-19. The ventilation between patients with and without Covid is made separate so all patients can receive the care they need without threatening the health of surrounding patients.
On top of the increased number of rooms, the rooms themselves are larger, allowing the new modern equipment to fit easily with the expansion, relieving stress upon patients and staff.
The introduction of continuous renal replacement therapy requires larger equipment than this new space can accommodate. Also, the addition of motorized lifts makes moving patients easy.
The unit will increase from eight beds to twelve beds, creating 20 new healthcare staff positions. Recruitment for the unit offers employment for healthcare workers in Fredericton including considerable benefits.
Hiring has been challenging but Everett Chalmers is dedicated, recently hiring a director of recruitment. A variety of positions are available, including physicians and registered nurses. New hires are promised up to $10,000 in signing bonuses and up to $5000 in relocation costs. The recruitment tactics are to encourage doctors and healthcare professionals in New Brunswick to remain local.
Only seven beds will be available upon the February opening due to short-staff, but the hospital plans to open more beds in the coming months as their new hires begin work.
The well-being of the existing and incoming staff is a top priority after the stressful years of the pandemic and the ongoing pressure of the job. New monitors have been installed allowing workers the ability to keep an eye on all patients without being in multiple places at once.
The remainder of the $250 million renovation will go to modernizing the maternal and newborn care unit, surgical care, and day surgery, along with ambulatory procedures, phlebotomy and health records services. New opportunities and improved care is coming for Everett Chalmers and Fredericton, expected to be complete in 2028.