For a child, going to the hospital can be scary. That’s why Wellstar Douglas Hospital’s new $5.7 million Pediatric Emergency Department (ED) offers a kid-friendly and kid-sized experience for Douglas County’s youngest patients. The nautical-themed 7,600 square-foot facility provides specialized care for children from birth to 18 years of age.
The world-class “just-for-kids” facility has a separate entrance and waiting room from the main Emergency Department and is currently open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The ten treatment rooms feature child-sized furniture, equipment and supplies.
“We created an environment that is optimum for healing and that helps our youngest patients feel as comfortable as possible,” said Dr. Avril Beckford, chief pediatric officer, Wellstar Health System. “Children in Douglas deserve to see doctors and nurses who understand them. We also wanted to give parents a state-of-the-art facility staffed by pediatric physicians close to home – there is no need to travel long distances with a sick child now, because this specialized facility is right here, in the Douglas County community.”
A deeper dive into kid-friendly care
Staffed by kid-friendly nurses and skilled providers devoted to children, the new kids’ ED is a result of collaboration between the architect, construction firm and pediatric experts. Wellstar’s pediatric team cares for children at more than 114,000 emergency visits a year across Wellstar’s hospitals.
“From the outside, there are colorful floor-to-ceiling glass windows,” Dr. Beckford said, as she imagined a child’s first impression. “It feels almost like you’re walking into an aquarium.”
Inside the pediatric ED, children and their parents are greeted by warm staff members, soothing murals of ocean life, a large flat screen TV and child-sized furnishings.
To help children be seen and treated more quickly, some rooms will be dedicated to patients with less serious conditions – such as sore throats and sprains. There will also be a trauma bay and a dedicated room for adolescent gynecological concerns.