|Members of the ETMC Athens OB team pose in one of the new suites.
By Toni Garrard Clay
The OB department at ETMC Athens is experiencing a few birthing pains. Metaphorically, that is.
While the brand new construction at ETMC Athens is largely complete, remodeling of existing space continues, with efforts currently centered on expansion of the OB.
“This is going to be a great addition to the hospital,” said OB Director Mona Hanan. “The construction crews have been very good about working with us. They understand what’s happening here and will even stop working if the noise truly becomes a problem.”
Despite the birthing pains, team members and even future patients are excited about the final delivery.
“My staff is ecstatic about all the room we’ll have,” said Hanan. “And we’ve had quite a few calls from patients who are due in October and want to know if they’ll be in one of the new LDRP’s.
An LDRP is a Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum room, which means, in most cases, a woman will not change rooms during her stay.
“Our unit will be bigger, and our rooms are going to be huge,” enthused Karoline Costlow, RN. “What I like about the LDRP’s is that the mother doesn’t have to move to another room and move all her things, and it’s big enough to accommodate the family. It just makes sense.”
The OB is expanding into what was once the ICU. The old ICU, located right next to the OB, is being converted into eight LDRP rooms. The current expectation is that those rooms will open around the second week of October.
The existing seven patient rooms in OB will then be refurbished while the existing labor rooms make way for a new 15-bassinet nursery. The entire renovation should be completed around the end of the year.
And being on the verge of having new rooms isn’t the only good news coming from the OB these days. The department was recently declared a “Mother-Friendly Worksite” by the Texas Department of State Health Services. A work place is considered mother-friendly if management voluntarily supports employed mothers by offering them flexibility, accommodations and privacy for expression of milk.