SEATTLE, April 10, 2009 – Swedish Medical Center's First Hill Campus now offers a new, state-of-the-art inpatient floor that was designed exclusively for children, as part of the Swedish commitment to provide the family centered care that meets the special needs of pediatric patients.
The Pediatric Specialty Care Unit, which opened March 30, is the latest leading-edge unit built by Swedish just for children. Other pediatric specialty facilities at Swedish/First Hill include a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), a pediatric cardiac catheterization lab, a medical imaging unit with a special room for children, and a dedicatedPediatric Emergency Department.
"Swedish has a very substantial pediatric specialty practice, with more than 60 board-certified medical and surgical specialists that provide care to 20,000 families each year," said Jane Uhlir, M.D., executive director of Women, Infants & Pediatric Specialty Care.
"This new pediatric inpatient unit will allow Swedish to provide an even higher level of service to our thousands of young patients, in a setting that's very conducive to the family centered care for which we are known."
Pediatric Specialty Care Unit
The Pediatric Specialty Care Unit, formerly located in a dated, converted adult unit on First Hill's 6 Southwest, is now located on 9 East, one floor above the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Close proximity to the PICU is among the many patient and family benefits the new unit offers.
"There are 27 rooms on our new inpatient floor and all but one are private with either a built-in daybed or room for a cot when parents want to spend the night," said unit manager Christine Debois, R.N., B.S.N. "The one double room is used for twins or siblings or, when it's not in use, for outpatient infusions. This gives us a lot of flexibility."
Debois said that other benefits of the new unit include:
• Cardiac, respiratory and oxygen-saturation monitoring equipment in every room
• Three nursing stations versus just one station on the old unit
• Four rooms – soon to be six – for seizure patients, as opposed to two on the old unit
• A larger treatment room with more advanced technology
• An improved family room
• Improved security with restricted public access to the unit and its patients
Even more important, the unit's nursing and support staff specialize in caring for children, and the 51 nurses who work on the pediatric floor and in the PICU are all PALS (pediatric advanced life support) certified.
"Our patient volumes have been increasing," said Debois. "With the new unit, we can offer a beautiful, much nicer environment that is more supportive of quality patient care."
A Child's Hospital
Swedish long ago adopted the philosophy that children aren't just small adults – and shouldn't be treated as such. Their bodies are proportioned differently. Their respiratory rates, heart rates and blood pressures differ. Even the illnesses and injuries from which they suffer are different.
For these reasons, everything on the pediatric units at Swedish – from high-end medical technology to gowns and gurneys – is designed specifically for children, says Dr. Uhlir. "We have the fellowship-trained physicians, the experienced pediatric nurses, the child-life specialists, and the systems and staff to manage a high volume of cases, which includes more than 2,500 surgical procedures annually.
"Children deserve an environment that is safe and secure, and one that is staffed by highly qualified pediatric specialists. At Swedish, we are dedicated to providing the best possible pediatric care, while making sure that our patients and their families are always treated with sensitivity, warmth and encouragement."
Swedish is the largest, most comprehensive nonprofit health provider in the Greater Seattle area. It is comprised of three hospital campuses – First Hill, Cherry Hill and Ballard – a freestanding emergency department and specialty center in Issaquah, Swedish Visiting Nurse Services, and the Swedish Physician Division – a network of about 40 primary-care and specialty clinics. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatrics, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit www.swedish.org.
- To read a related article posted on the Web site www.localhealthguideonline, click here.