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New Ulm Medical Center

A hospital room that invites, by design

A recently renovated patient room at New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) provides a more comfortable environment for patients who face an extended stay in the hospital.

The special patient room, which was completed on August 22, was made possible with the help of $28,000 in funding from the NUMC Foundation. The renovation is part of an ongoing initiative by NUMC to provide extra comfort and care for those who need it most.

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The special room for patients who face an extended stay in the hospital includes a family lounge area with a sleeper sofa for family members who need to stay in the hospital overnight. This lounge area also has its own television and a private bathroom, and is equipped with Internet access for visitors who need to work while they are in the hospital. The family lounge is connected directly to the patient room, similar to a suite allowing the family to move between the adjoining rooms with ease.

Added privacy and comfort

Before the renovation, the space resembled a typical hospital room, and was situated directly across the hall from a waiting area. For patients who required long hospital stays, the room offered little added comfort, convenience or privacy.

"We found that families needed additional privacy so we decided to refurbish this space,” said Sharie Novak, RN, manager of the Med/Surg and Critical Care units at New Ulm Medical Center.

It's not just about privacy. The redesigned room is also intended to make patients and their loved ones more comfortable. One of the biggest changes was the addition of an adjoining family lounge area. The family lounge area contains a sleeper sofa for family members who need to stay in the hospital overnight. This lounge area also has its own television and a private bathroom, and is equipped with Internet access for visitors who need to work while they are in the hospital. The family lounge is connected directly to the patient room, similar to a suite allowing the family to move between the adjoining rooms with ease.

"There is also a small table and chairs if family members need to work or sit down to have a meal," Novak said.

Benefits for the patient

Although most of the medical supplies and equipment available in the room are similar to that of a typical hospital room, there are some added benefits for the patient. Novak points out the new ceiling lift, which allows nurses to mobilize some patients more safely and frequently, reducing the risk for injuries and complications. It can also provide patients who are weak the reassurance they need to feel more secure getting out of bed.

The newly renovated room features a laminate floor that looks like wood, adding warmth to the room," Novak said. "We've received comments from the staff on how much they like it. It just makes the room seem less sterile and more comfortable."

The recently completed renovation has already been well received. "We started using the room one week after it was completed," Novak said. "The family of one patient who stayed in the room loved the added privacy the room offered. They could go directly from the family room into the patient's room. They really felt like the setup was very nice and comfortable."