Essentia's PICU Newly Renovated to Better Help Patients

Updated: February 08, 2019 07:52 PM

It was out with the old and in with the new at Essentia's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. 

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"In the last year, we were able to go through a major renovation," said Megan Browning, Pediatric Intensivist for the hospital.

As the only pediatric intensive care unit in the region, they get patients from all over and hospital officials say throughout the year they are almost always full. 

The goal of the renovation was to bring the look of the hospital into the modern century, and create that better level of care by creating a a more welcoming environment of healing. The changes included providing a more spacious area with more individualized rooms for the up to 600 patients they see a year.

"We take care of a range of sizes, from birth, so very small patients to near adult size," said Browning.

They have six rooms and seven beds, and each bay now has curtains and a door for more privacy.

"I think for anybody, being in the hospital is a very vulnerable time and to not even have a wall separting you from somebody that might not even be coughing, it's nice to have your own little corner to shut the door and have some quiet," Browning added.

They've also added one expnadable room if a doctor needs to bring in more larger, bulky equipment for patients that need lifesaving efforts.

"We can open up the folding wall, and use two rooms if need be for major equiptment," said Browning.

As for the new artwork on the walls, that was Browning's own personal touch to create a more relaxed environment. She donated all the artwork to the hospital that she brought during her time in fellowship.

"I was in fellowship in Pittsburgh and they have a very good craft fair, and I saw the picture and it just looked so fanciful, and calming and beautiful and I bought one," she said. "It's really fun to walk into the rooms and for me, have the memory."

Because hospitals can be a scary place for anyone, especially kids, they updated their Teen Solarium to give them hopefully a piece of home away from home.

"All of these interventions, I think hopefully can make a scary big place full of needles, more friendly, fun and exciting,' she said.

The renovations were part of $850,000 project. It was funded by the Essentia Health Foundation. 

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