Now, the center has two “well” beds and six “sick” beds, as well as two waiting areas that separate sick patients from well patients. The space further separates sick patients and well patients by allowing two separate exits so well patients are not exposed to areas sick patients have been.
Amy Kolman, dean of students at VES, said she teamed up with the nursing staff to oversee the project and ensure the health center’s needs were met. Teresa Poe, head nurse at VES, said she’s worked at the school for 22 years and was thankful to be able to be part of the planning process.
“They knew that we were the people who worked here and knew how to take care of the students, so they really, really listened to us,” Poe said.
The school also increased the amount of nurses on staff, Kolman said, from two full-time nurses and one part-time nurse to seven nurses. This included one overnight nurse, she said, allowing the center to provide 24-hour care.
Registered nurse Elaine Dameron has been with VES for 20 years and said the renovations were very welcomed.
“Our desire is really just to provide that comfort away from home,” Dameron said. “All of this has been tremendously helpful — the additional staff and to be able to have people here overnight. The school has come together in such a major way to help us help the kids.”