The Teck Acute Care Centre: We Are Built To Heal
Opening this fall, the Teck Acute Care Centre will provide an innovative healing environment with patient and family needs at its heart. The building was designed to comfort and calm, give families space to be together, and instill a sense of community.
The healing journey for a child and their family can be greatly affected by the environment. When we set out to design our new hospital — one that would match the level of exceptional care delivered — we, of course, consulted with planners, architects, builders and other professionals who would design and build the physical structure. But when we considered what would make the new hospital truly special, we spoke with the people who were most familiar with it — medical and surgical staff, kids and their families.
The result is spectacular: abundant natural light and open spaces, communal gardens and gathering places to lift spirits and promote a sense of community. There is significantly more clinical space, efficient organization and improved technology. The building is environmentally and economically sustainable, adhering to LEED Gold Standards. The Children’s Healing Experience project (see page 10) has been integrated throughout to help children heal in mind and spirit.
Speaking with children and families, we noticed an emerging theme that we could address — the loss of control. Thoughtful additions like the ability to personalize their own room, universal control of the television, lighting, improved communication with nurses, and food on demand will allow our kids to feel more independent.
“To us, being able to change the channel on the TV or turn the lights off might seem insignificant,” said Analyn Perez, an oncology nurse at BC Children’s. “But for them, that sense of control can be so important to their mental well-being and help them stay positive during a challenging time.”
Another way we help reduce anxiety and fear in patients is by giving a sense of normalcy during their stay. Families are part of the care team and a significant part of our new model of care. The Teck Acute Care Centre has 231 private rooms with ample space for parents to be with their kids 24 hours a day, access to kitchenettes, laundry facilities, family lounges and storage spaces. There’s also a comfortable sofa or chair where the child can sit when they are feeling strong and want to socialize.
“I love the option of not having to be in my bed when I’m feeling good,” one young patient said. “I can actually get up and hang out on the couch, kind of like I’m in my living room.”
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