As KGH readies to transfer patients to new tower, faculty and students pitch in
You could call it the move of the century. Sunday, May 27, is moving day at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) as the four-storey Centennial Building opens and about 64 patients are moved from the current premises to the shiny new addition across Pandosy Street.
Front and centre to help with the move will be about 30 second-year students and faculty members from UBC’s Okanagan campus School of Nursing. It will literally be a hands-on experience as student nurses roll gurneys and wheelchairs into the new hospital building.
Second-year nursing students Samantha Waller, from West Kelowna, and Jenn Jabs, from Calgary, are familiar with the hospital environment, having taken their clinical learning in KGH’s patient units over the school year.
Waller has seen the Centennial Building evolve from an excavated parking lot into what she calls a beautiful, state-of-the-art building. She expects Sunday’s move will test her abilities to be versatile, organized and adaptive to new and changing surroundings – as well as provide high-quality patient care.
“I am very excited to be part of this patient move because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is not very often that a new hospital opens,” says Waller. “This is also an opportunity for me to give back to the nurses at KGH that are so helpful, supportive and patient when dealing with students throughout the year. Without them, we would not graduate nearly as well prepared.”
Jabs says she and her fellow students have patient welfare as their prime concern. “The one-on-one care we will be providing the patients will help ease any stress and concerns they may feel as the result of the change.”
She also says the move will be a good learning experience.
“This will further expand my educational opportunities within the hospital setting and build on the caring capabilities that I have already developed.”
KGH Administrator Tracy MacDonald says UBC’s nursing students have an important role to play in the move.
“We are very happy to have the nursing students assist us in this patient move,” says MacDonald. “I am confident their assistance will help reduce any potential anxiety may have as they move into their new surroundings.”
MacDonald says the move is one of the biggest logistical undertakings in Kelowna General’s history.
“This is a wonderful opportunity not only for us to get some much-needed help, but for these students to get to know the hospital and many of the people they may be working with one day.”
KGH’s big move is an exciting challenge, says Sheila Epp, associate director of UBC’s School of Nursing. The school has a strong working relationship with the Interior Health Authority and KGH which provide hundreds of student nurse placements each year.
“The School of Nursing could not educate competent future registered nurses without the learning that comes from student nurses being in patient-care environments with real patients and nurses,” says Epp.
Faculty member Jeanette Vinek says the learning opportunity the move provides is a real-life example of interprofessional collaboration, team work and service.
“As a member of the team, the students will experience the logistics of patient care through a large-scale learning move, providing them opportunity to think on their feet and problem solve.”
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