Hospital waiting room upgraded

From left, Primrose Clarke, Stephanie McLean and Ian Miller sit in the newly redecorated waiting room of the Cayman Islands Hospital’s critical care unit. – PHOTO: ALMA CHOLLETTE

The critical care unit of the Cayman Islands Hospital is now a more welcoming place, thanks largely to the efforts of one woman who has spent many hours in the hospital’s waiting rooms over the years.

Heather Bodden, whose family and friends have been in and out of the hospital, found common ground with others who had to sit and wait for hours for news about their loved ones. She spent a lot of time at the hospital because her father was there often in the three years before he passed away, and she could not help but be aware of the uncomfortable chairs and bare environment in the drab waiting area.

“I just thought one day I would just take matters into my own hands,” said Ms. Bodden, who joined the hospital’s beautification committee.

Now, instead of hard chairs, tiles and pale walls, the waiting room features a sectional sofa, laminated wood flooring, brightly painted walls and custom window treatments.

The yearlong project was completed in mid-May and officially opened last week.

After Ms. Bodden joined the beautification committee, she reached out to people for help and received many positive responses, with nearly a dozen donors coming on board.

“I told them what I was spearheading and what I was doing it for,” she said. “They were happy to be a part of [the project].”

As the project got under way, the most challenging aspect turned out to be the furniture.

According to Lizzette Yearwood, chief executive officer of the Health Services Authority, “We need hospital-grade furniture [and] it’s not any and every furniture that you can get [that can be used in the hospital]. It has to be medical furniture.”

After the flooring and the blinds were installed, other details, like plant decorations, were added. However, the project does not end there.

“There are other areas of the hospital that need attention,” Ms. Bodden said, “and we’re appealing to companies to come forward and take one of the little areas that we are hoping to improve.”

Waiting rooms in the pediatrics, maternity and medical wards and the ambulatory care unit are considered to be those most in need of a makeover.

“We have worked with many people on [this project], and we’re not [refurbishing] only for the people visiting their loved ones,” she said. “We’re doing this for the staff also.”

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