Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Welcome to our New ER!!

Welcome to our 'New ER Digs' in Chilliwack.

We have been peering through and behind this plastic tarp for months. The Chilliwack Hospital Redevelopment Project broke ground in November 2008, and we've all been secluded from this area. No one, but no one had permission to go behind these drapes, except the construction workers, contractors, and project managers. We have all been waiting for the moment in which it will be unveiled.

The day finally arrived, that all volunteers from the ER unit were invited to take the tour. We had over 15 volunteers eagerly join us for this once in a life time opportunity. Meanwhile we were prepping ourselves with our new Fraser Health vests made specifically for this occasion.

Many times I have been asked, "What do volunteers do in ER?" This position is highly reserved for retired professionals and young students entering the medical field. Volunteers are the FACE of our ER unit and they help liaison and give support between patients, and visitors, providing traffic flow to the reception and triage stations. The volunteers become strong advocates for the hospital , department, staff and physicians. One of our volunteers made a well put statement.

"We, Volunteers, Help Put the CARE in HEALTH CARE."

The new facilities include seclusion rooms, a separate pediatric waiting area, a new triage assessment bay, acute bays, minor treatment areas, observation rooms, and isolation areas
Hopefully this will enhance patient safety, increase quality of care and provide the hospital with the space for future growth..
One special feature is the additional space for a pilot program for a 'hot-stroke' protocol. This protocol allows potential stroke patients to video-conference with a neurologist in Vancouver to ensure that treatment takes place quickly to prevent stroked damage. This is truly a state of the art emergency room. The new facilities opened April 21, 2010.

On Wednesday, April 21, both ER's were that day, we had many volunteers assisting in the change over... in wayfinding from the old ER, to the new ER. Eventually by the end of the day, the beds were all empty and gone and one saw evidence of constructions crew demolishing the old unit.
Meanwhile as I passed through the old ER, one last time....I noticed a group of medical professionals and support staff...chewing on pizza, sharing emotional teary eyed stories of memories of there experiences in the old ER facilities. It will never be the same.

So what seemed like a cloudy day, months ago, has turned into a beautiful facility that Chilliwack's community will be proud of for a long time. We are open and ready for you.

"Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity." ~ Hippocrates


  1. Wow! It really is great Marg! How fun to enjoy the unveiling...

  2. Isn't it nice! I'm sure my nurse friends there are loving it. Kathy

  3. During my last time in Chilliwack visiting with my sis and family, I had to go to the Emerg. Wow!! these pics show an amazing transformation! Even so, I hope I never ever have to visit ER again, lol!! It is wonderful that you have volunteers in that department who can provide support, comfort and reassurance to the dear folks who have to spend time there waiting for treatment. Blessings!

  4. Well, I'm glad I finally got a tour! It looks great...spacious, clean, state-of-the-art.

    I like these lesiurely visits to the ER...not the anxious kind.

  5. Thanks for clueing me in on why you are at the hospital so much. The new ER is the best looking place that I hope I never have reason to visit save to say hi to the volunteers!

  6. Marg .. your new ER is beautiful .. it must be so fun to be in brand new facilities ..kind of like moving into a new house.

  7. I take great offense at this statement-
    "This position is highly reserved for retired professionals and young students entering the medical field."

    Are you kidding me. Are you for one moment suggesting that someone who wasn't a "once professional" could not do this job, as a volunteer.
    I would think that I would have to disagree.
    I have been a volunteer with many many years, and never was a professional.
    Maybe people feel they aren't good enough to volunteer because they weren't "professional". Possibly because of attitudes like this. Is that why there is such a shortage of volunteer? Well let me tell you if I got paid for what they can't pay other "professionals" to do, this world would be even a sorrier sight than it is. Most "professionals" are to good to do the grunt work, like us volunteers.
    Yay Volunteers, I cheer you all on, even you. It is true, we do put the CARE into health care.

  8. Thank-you Anonymous for your comments. I have read this many times. I wish we could sit down and chat...You are so true and have seen right through the eyes of volunteerism and professionalism. Thanks for your encouragement to the volunteers.
    I hope you go back two posts and read the poem called Hurray for Volunteers and bless you for seeing the strength they offer.

  9. What a wonderful tribute to volunteers....your pictures are a wonderful summary of a project that this town can be proud! Marg, you are a model of volunteerism and it is our privilege to "have you on board!" Couldn't do it without you....thank you!

  10. What a nice facility. I hope it blesses and helps and saves many people.

  11. It looks huge! And so nice. Our hospital is working on a cancer treatment wing. Patients won't have to go two hours drive to get radiation treatments anymore. Finally!


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