What’s Working: The new Medical ICU at the VA hospital

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Earlier this month the Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center cut the ribbon on its new and much improved Medical Intensive Care Unit.

By the middle of next month, patients should begin receiving treatment in those new rooms.

With the cut of a ribbon, a series of improvements at the Sonny VA Medical Center’s Medical Intensive Care Unit was complete.

David Walker is the Medical Center Director.

“If you are a veteran, and you are in our system, and you become ill enough to be in an intensive care unit, this is where we put you,” he said.

Ten beds sit in state of the art rooms that are large enough for a whole family. Patients can undergo dialysis in their rooms. There are power lifts and even skylights.

Army veteran James Wiley served in Vietnam.

“I’m amazed at the size of the rooms,” he said. I’ve been in rooms, intensive care rooms, before at this hospital, that were probably a third of the size of this one, for one, and I think it’s a great improvement. ”

“It’s not a new concept, but it requires a lot of space, because you are going to have a patient in here with a lot of equipment around them, and so a room can get filled up very quickly,” Walker said.

“It’s outstanding,” Wiley said. “This is one of the better facilities I’ve seen in the VA. Not just this VA, but other VA’s as well.”

Built with an open concept, nurses are always only a few steps away. Cameras also monitor patients. It should all add up to a less stressful environment for caregivers and a more caring environment for patients.

“The care should go along with how it looks as well, and that’s always the interaction between the patients and the people taking care of them and understanding that it’s the responsibility of both.
Windows in the rooms give nurses a direct line of sight to patients from their workstations,” Wiley said.

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