Published on April 29, 2022

Tower Nurses

New Care Spaces for and by Nurse

When Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center opens its new patient tower in 2024, nurses will have played a key role in designing the space.

"The nurses had input during the design process, culminating in the room mock-ups where every ED nurse, technician, and physician was encouraged to walk through the mocked-up rooms and give feedback," said Michael Oxenford, RN, the hospital’s Director of Emergency Services, who is managing the clinical aspects of the construction project. "The architects incorporated as much of the feedback as possible in the final plan."

The tower will add 150,352 square feet over six floors adjacent to the current Emergency Department in Rockville. Patients, loved ones and caregivers will benefit from larger, modernized emergency and critical care rooms. Four new medical-surgical units will complete Shady Grove’s transition to all-private inpatient rooms. The building also is one of the first in healthcare that can incorporate lessons learned over two years of caregiving in the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It’s going to be a wonderful setting," said Joan Vincent, RN, Shady Grove’s Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer. In addition to added space and enhanced patient privacy, her nurses are excited about upgrades to their working environment, like more natural light, green spaces and added break rooms where caregivers can recharge. The tower also will relocate related services closer to one another in the hospital, reducing the time it takes for patients and caregivers to get from one place to another.

"In this era, nurses are taking care of very different kinds of patients, and that means we need their input," said Todd Cohen, Associate Vice President of Facilities and Real Estate with AtSite Inc. who is working with Adventist HealthCare full time to manage the project.

Joan believes the tower will bring "a renewed sense of excitement about the hospital and the things we can do in nursing," adding: “Our community is going to be the ones who gain.”

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