The Intensive Care Unit has been cleared out and patient care moved to fourth floor as Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital begins extensive upgrades to the wing. The $1.77 million project

The Intensive Care Unit has been cleared out and patient care moved to fourth floor as Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital begins extensive upgrades to the wing. The $1.77 million project

Workers set to begin operating on KBRH makeover

Hospital getting $1.77 million upgrade to be completed this fall

Health care disciplines in sync with hospital procedure made for a smooth transition of patients from second floor to fourth at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) this week.

The move is temporary, but will last for the duration of patient-centric renovations in the region’s only Intensive Care Unit (ICU), in situ since the ’70s

Major upgrades ring in at $1.77 million, and involve three high level infrastructure projects, expected to be completed by mid-October.

Wall repair and window replacement may sound rather ordinary, but in fact, increasing natural light via larger glass panes, is a key component to improving patient care.

“Natural light in meeting circadian rhythms, decreases delirium and length of stay,” explains Sarah McLeod, referring to physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. “We used to sedate patients heavily and they would be on ventilators for extended periods of time,”added McLeod, KBRH manager for critical care and HART (high acuity response team). “Now we have better measures, different medications, and much more sophisticated ventilators.”

Sedation is minimized so weaning from ventilators is much quicker – meaning, patients are wakened much sooner and exposure to natural light helps orientate them to time, place and person.

Another key project focuses on improved infection control. Bedside curtains in the six-bed ICU will be replaced by glass doors, aging fixtures will be upgraded, and a new T-bar ceiling is in the works.

Project Manager Jonathan Jinjoe walked the Trail Times through the empty ward this week, pointing out extensive re-design plans which completely shift the model of care by de-centralizing the nursing station and re-configuring the unit into patient-centric “pods.”

“The whole process of moving was a huge plan that took place between plant services and clinical staff,” he began, noting the original plan was to complete each project in stages, which meant moving patients during each phase. “It was our clinical lead for the site, Jane Cusden (KBRH acute health services director), who made the decision once we had funding in place, that relocating the ICU was the way to go so we could do the renovations properly.”

Jinjoe said all six rooms will be demolished and re-built in a modern ICU design that allows nurses to work outside each room, or “pod,” instead of at a main nursing station.

“Basically, that means most of the nursing will be done at the bedside,” he added.

The bathroom will be re-configured, equipment storage will replace the current nursing base, and square-footage will increase when crews construct an airborne isolation room in the adjacent space, which was formerly the renal unit.

“We are a six bed ICU but we will end up with seven physical beds including the airborne isolation room,” clarified McLeod.

The isolation room will have the capacity for an ICU patient, but will also benefit less critical patients with suspected (and confirmed) airborne pathogens.

“For example, if there is a medical patient in Nelson, who is suspected to have TB, they would be able to come to us,”she explained. “That patient may not necessarily need ICU care, but the room is a resource.

“We would be able to put them in isolation and care for them, where we are able to keep the staff safe and the patient safe.”

McLeod has been in the nursing profession for 30 years, 18 of those at KBRH.

She’s seen much change in the field but says one thing remains constant – the ICU patients are still as sick.

But care is constantly improving as education advances, skills are kept up-to-the-minute and modern critical care equipment replaces the outdated models.

“Our patient care standards are very driven by research and aligned with the Kelowna network and with the province,” she said. “So we know we are providing really good care.

“We have a really engaged staff and a really great staff,”added McLeod. “We do the nursing, the physicians, our team of pharmacists, physios, respiratory therapists – everybody works together and we have a great team. I think this infrastructure (renovation) values and reflects the work we do.

“And it’s a real positive when your work environment is improved – it’s a great thing, it really is.”

The Ministry of Health is contributing almost $1.3 million through Interior Health for the renovation, including $500,000 for the glass doors, walls and fixture replacement.

The West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District has directed $485,200 toward wall and window replacement, including $190,000 for the isolation room. The KBRH Foundation is currently fundraising the remaining $57,000.

“My feeling, as a non-clinician, is that it’s the staff that provide the care, not the building,” Jinjoe said. “The building helps, but it’s the staff. And the staff hasn’t changed, they just went to a temporary location like going to a summer cottage – it may be a bit more crowded but the level of care and quality of care remains unchanged.”

Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A volunteer delivers food to families as part of a West Kootenay EcoSociety program. Photo: Submitted
Farms to Friends delivers 2,500th bag of food to families in need

The program services communities in the Nelson, Trail and Castlegar areas

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read