August 21, 2008

Transitional Care Unit Opens Its Doors

By Michelle Dynes

CRMC's new outpost allows patients to continue getting nursing services while recovering in a homey setting.

By Michelle Dynes

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CHEYENNE - Cheyenne Regional Medical Center unveiled its new transitional care unit during an open house on Wednesday.

In addition to an expansion, the hospital's new unit was relocated from 2600 East 18th St. to the main building at 214 East 23rd St.

The move connects the hospital's transitional and acute-care services, said Laurie Wright, service line director for the hospital's Continuum of Care.

She added that transitional care serves as a bridge between the hospital and home. It lets patients recovering from an injury, illness or surgery to continue getting care in a more home-like setting.

The previous transitional care unit had a mix of 10 private and semiprivate rooms; the new version contains 16 private rooms. Patients also eat their meals in a dining room just as they would at home.

Wright said the redesigned unit will ensure that patients get care in a modern, comfortable environment. This becomes especially important when the average stay in a transitional care unit is a couple of weeks.

She added that these are patients who no longer require round- the-clock care but still might be on intravenous therapy. They also might need nursing support or physical therapy.

"They might be ready to leave the hospital, but they are not ready to be at home," Wright said.

The goal of the unit is to provide a more relaxed, less hospitalized setting for recovery. Private rooms also offer the staff flexibility.

Wright said patients in acute care often were placed on a waiting list for an opening in the transitional care unit.

And patients who shared space did so with a roommate of the same gender. So if a male patient needed a bed and the only open spot was in a room with a female patient, the latecomer had to wait his turn.

Wright added that most people also prefer to sleep in their own room.

The transitional care unit upgrade was paid for with money raised at the 19th annual Denim 'N Diamonds fundraiser June 28.

The Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Foundation collected about $300,000 for the project.

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