Rutland hospital celebrates newly renovated psychiatric unit
RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) - Since 2011, the state has been working to replace the Vermont State hospital’s 54 inpatient psychiatric beds lost to Tropical Storm Irene. Rutland Regional Medical Center has just opened three more.
State officials toured the freshly renovated psychiatric unit on the fourth floor of the hospital on Wednesday. Powering through the pandemic, the $4.1 million project took three years to finish. The unit now has 18 single, private bedrooms, compared to the six before. It can treat 20 patients at a time, as opposed to 17. It features safer furnishings, cosmetic upgrades, and a new nurse’s station.
Unit nursing director Lesa Cathcart says the welcoming environment promotes healing and wellness. “It was really important for us to have a unit where patients felt safe, secure, valued, and respected so that they could work on their recovery,” she said. “As soon as you walk on the unit, you can almost feel the difference. The colors on the walls feel very comforting and soothing.”
Cathcart also says the new design is more effective. The centrally-located nurse’s station improves patient visibility and accessibility to staff.
The unit provides short-term treatment for adults experiencing acute mental health crises. It’s one of five in Vermont.
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