Bayshore Community Hospital unveiled a new Pediatric Care Center Thursday night, which will serve as an emergency room and observation area for young patients.
The Pediatric Care Center is separate from the adult emergency department in order to create a less intimidating experience for children and their caregivers, explained president of Riverview Medical Center and Bayshore Community Hospital, Timothy Hogan.
"It's an anxious time. It's a confusing time. It's something that none of us look forward to but virtually all of us have to experience," said Hogan. "And many times emergency rooms, although they try, don't really cut it when it comes to providing comfort for children and their parents. It's really a hectic environment."
The care center contains three emergency bays and two observation areas. It will serve as a link to the Meridian Pediatric Network, giving pediatric patients direct access to K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. In addition to being staffed with pediatric nurses and doctors, the center has a colorful beach theme. Starfish, dolphins, seahorses, boats, turtles and seagulls decorate the walls, floors, ceilings and cabinets.
The $160,000 project took about six weeks to complete. It is modeled after a similar one at Riverview Medical Center which has been very successful, Hogan said.
Bayshore plans to open the center for pediatric patients on Monday, April 16 at 3 p.m.