New kids-only room at Eagle Ridge Hospital ER
There are few trips more terrifying — for both a parent and child — than the one to the local emergency room.
Eagle Ridge Hospital is making the experience a bit more comforting with two newly renovated rooms: a dedicated pediatric treatment room, reserved for the more than 10,000 kids (aged 18 and under) who visit the ER each year; and a private family room, where families can meet with doctors.
"What it contributes to here is the well-being and peace of mind of the kids," said Dr. Mike Mostrenko, deputy chief of the ERH emergency department.
With funding for the renovations coming from a $25,000 donation from Coquitlam Centre, the ER's pediatric room boasts a lively animal-themed mural, toys and a television and DVD player to keep little ones occupied. Coquitlam Centre's retailers also joined in the generosity, offering up diapers, baby formula, DVDs, clothing, toys, colouring books and crayons.
Specialized equipment in the new pediatric room includes an infant weigh scale, an adjustable-height pediatric crib, otoscopes and ophthalmoscopes, pediatric stethoscopes and rectal thermometers.
Although the hospital did have some pint-sized equipment previously, more was needed to accommodate the growing number of children in the Tri-Cities, said Charlene Giovannetti-King, executive director of the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation. The Eagle Ridge ER treats more kids as a percentage of the population than Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.
"This is making the emergency room more patient-centred and friendlier for kids and their families to deal with their health care needs, in a place that feels more calming," said Giovanetti-King. "These rooms are really fundamental to serving the people of the Tri-Cities better."
The family room, which was previously a storage/staff room, will be a quiet space with a sofa and chairs as well as supplies to make coffee and tea, and will give families a chance to process difficult news in private.
Franca Aere, Coquitlam Centre's general manager, said she was "delighted" with the results of the renovations. "Having a nine-year-old, I know how daunting it is to go to the ER," she said, "but to be surrounded by toys makes the whole environment less traumatic."
The $25,000 was raised through the mall's Holiday Hearts program: $1 from every child who sat for a photo with Santa Claus (with a top-up from Pensionfund Realty Ltd., the company that owns the mall) was contributed to the two rooms.
"It's wonderful to know that there's a need in the community, and to be able to gift it," said Deborah Stetz, the mall's marketing director.