Summerville Medical Center Pediatric Emergency Department Set To Open
A child is not just a smaller version of an adult, and that’s especially true when it comes to health care. Knowing this, Trident Health has added a 4,000-square-foot Pediatric Emergency Department at Summerville Medical Center (SMC) with the promise of a kid-friendly approach from the moment families arrive to when they take their children home.
Children and parents got a first glimpse of the new emergency facilities in October, when the hospital hosted a pre-Halloween “Spooktacular” party. “We got great feedback from a lot of families that came through the Pediatric Emergency Department and indicated how excited they are to have this available to them,” says SMC Pediatric Manager Craig Duncan.
The Pediatric Emergency Department starts serving patients 24/7 this month. On Nov. 1, the hospital held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony with Summerville Mayor Bill Collins and other community guests. “No parent should have to drive far for emergency pediatric care,” says SMC CEO Lou Caputo. “The residents of Dorchester County, North Charleston and the surrounding communities deserve peace of mind when it comes to their children’s health, and we are happy to provide it.”
For young patients who need to stay at the hospital, SMC is constructing a new inpatient pediatric unit on the second floor, adjacent to women’s services and the nursery. Scheduled to open in February, the inpatient unit will include a play area and a procedure room for distressing situations such as shots and IV placement, so the child’s room remains a “safe haven” for healing. The new pediatric facilities all were designed with a cheerful approach to paint colors, artwork and lighting.
Staff includes board certified pediatric emergency physicians, pediatric nurses who will be on hand 24/7 and an in-house respiratory therapist trained in pediatric care. Plus, the head of the hospital’s pharmacy department specializes in pediatrics. SMC already employs state-of-the-art medication programs in which dosing is determined by a child’s weight.
The hospital’s music therapist also will work with pediatric patients, and pet therapy will help promote healing as well.
“We have a core group of pediatric staff members who have a wealth of knowledge,” says Duncan. “Each day, they amaze me with the ideas that they come up with to improve care. Without their dedication, none of this would be possible.”
Before joining the hospital as pediatric manager in January, Duncan worked in several areas of pediatric medicine, including 10 years as a flight nurse on a pediatric flight team, which cares for children as they are being transported by helicopter to receive critical medical treatment. He has lived in Summerville over the past decade, too, raising five children with his wife, a nurse in SMC’s intensive care unit. Their kids range in age from 5 to 11, so Duncan says he is personally glad the hospital is offering specialized pediatric care 24-7. “From a parent perspective, we’re very excited to have this close to home.”
To reach Summerville Medical Center’s Pediatric Department, please call 843-832-5343.
Callout: “No parent should have to drive far for emergency pediatric care,” says Summerville Medical Center CEO Lou Caputo.