New ICU Door at Thunder Bay Health Sciences Centre

ICU nurse Kayley Heppler shows the new automatic door opener that allows family and visitors with mobility challenges to enter and exit the ICU more easily. Funding for the door opener was provided thanks to a Volunteer Association/Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation Family CARE Grant.
ICU nurse Kayley Heppler shows the new automatic door opener that allows family and visitors with mobility challenges to enter and exit the ICU more easily. Funding for the door opener was provided thanks to a Volunteer Association/Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation Family CARE Grant.

ICU nurse Kayley Heppler shows the new automatic door opener that allows family and visitors with mobility challenges to enter and exit the ICU more easily.  Funding for the door opener was provided thanks to a Volunteer Association/Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation Family CARE Grant.
ICU nurse Kayley Heppler shows the new automatic door opener that allows family and visitors with mobility challenges to enter and exit the ICU more easily. Funding for the door opener was provided thanks to a Volunteer Association/Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation Family CARE Grant.

THUNDER BAY – Healthcare – Thanks to a recent Family CARE Grant, a new automatic door opener in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Thunder Bay Health Sciences Centre will make it easier for visitors who need some assistance with mobility to enter and exit the unit through the Family Room. The hallway leading to the secured (and heavy) door is narrow, so for people in a wheelchair or people helping others in a wheelchair or walker, navigating into the ICU can be difficult.

Wendy Winslow, Manager of Critical Care Services at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, said that it was staff who first struck upon the idea. 

“It was one of our ward clerks who noticed that if we had an automatic door opener, people could be more independent,” Winslow said.

The door opener is only on the inside allowing visitors to get out on their own. Visitors to the unit need to be buzzed in anyway, so visitors who require assistance can simply ask for the door to be opened automatically when they contact the ward clerk at the door. Alternatively, another family member can simply press the button on the other side once they are buzzed in to hold the door open.

The opener was installed in June, and since then she has noticed it is much easier for visitors with any sort of mobility challenges to come and go from the unit.

“It has made a huge difference for our visitors,” Winslow said. “People can now move freely in and out of the ICU much more easily.”

This is a great example of how the Volunteer Association / Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation Family CARE Grant helps improve the patient – and family – experience at the Health Sciences Centre. CARE stands for “Care Advancements Recommended by Employees” and is a way to allow front-line staff at the Health Sciences Centre to identify ways of improving patient care, and providing them with up to $2,500 in funding to make it happen.

“When you’re looking at replacing a piece of life-saving equipment versus an electric door opener, you know you have to spend your budget on the life-saving equipment even though you’d really like the electric door opener,” Winslow said. “With the Family CARE Grant, we are able to get those little things that make a big difference to our patients and their families.”

You can help make a big difference too. Find out more at www.healthsciencesfoundation.ca/FamilyCare or contact us right now to make your donation to the Family CARE Grant program by calling (807) 345-4673. Thank you! 

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