Emergency Department Worker in front of Ambulance

Building A Seamless Experience

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Building A Seamless Experience

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The emergency department at Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital was recently expanded to help provide better service and care to patients in their times of need. Reopened earlier this year, it now includes a dedicated entrance that is separate from the main entrance of the hospital. The renovation added 2,000 square feet of space, which allowed the hospital to expand to 14 treatment rooms and add two specialized rooms for mental health patients. Additionally, the triage area and quick registration locations were renovated, improving the overall experience. This renovation project is Centra’s latest investment in Bedford Memorial Hospital, after committing to a five-year capital improvement plan.

Janet Blankenship

Medical emergencies can happen to anyone. Janet Blankenship can attest to that. She is not only a licensed nurse, but is also the current deputy chief of the EMS Division at Bedford County Department of Fire & Rescue. No matter who you are, in times of need, you want kind people and efficient processes helping you through your treatment.

Janet, born and raised in Bedford County, is married with three kids and three grandchildren, and she enjoys volunteering and spending time with her family. She has been with the Bedford County Department of Fire & Rescue since 2006, but she’s been working with fire and EMS since her days as an intensive care unit nurse at Bedford Memorial Hospital in 1992. She oversees both career and volunteer EMS staff. She also works as a liaison between Bedford County Department of Fire & Rescue and Bedford Memorial Hospital.

Toward the end of March 2018, Janet found herself on the other side of medical care. She was shocking her hot tub with a high concentration of chlorine powder to clean it, and when she turned the jets on, she happened to get hit with a mist of the chlorine in the face. Janet explained, “I really thought nothing of it, and it wasn’t really until the next day I noticed that my lips were burning.” She went on to say that the following day she began coughing.

By Monday, April 2, she woke up having difficulty breathing with a high fever and had burns inside her mouth, so her daughter took her to Bedford Memorial Hospital’s emergency department. Janet praised the timeliness and professionalism of the staff in the emergency department. She said, “Everybody was immediately at my bedside. I had familiar faces there but also some whom I didn’t know yet. Everyone was right on top of it and just as nice as could be. Everyone was very professional, courteous, kind, and willing to help you.”

Joshua Wilson, a physician assistant in the emergency department, assessed her and told her that she’d need to be admitted to the hospital overnight. They determined that Janet had bilateral pneumonitis (lung inflammation) from inhaling the chorine. Dr. Electra Martin ascertained that her condition had progressed into pneumonia. Janet said, “Nothing but a great experience up there. Whatever experience I had in the ER totally transferred to the floor.”

Janet talked about how attentive, responsive, and kind all the staff were. She said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience when I felt really rough. When you feel so bad, it was just a pleasant experience to know that people were caring. They cared about how you felt — cared about if you needed anything and what else they could do for you. You get a sense of this is what they want to do.” Janet continued, “The people who would do the cleaning were very courteous, and the people who brought your lunch tray had a great attitude. It’s just nice to see people come in and have a smile on their face.”

She talked about how much confidence she has in Bedford Memorial and their ability to provide excellent care. Additionally, she conveyed how she loved all of the positive interactions between her and the staff and enjoyed the flow of care there from start to finish. She explained, “To me, it was the continuity of care, the consistency, and the hometown feel that you get there.”

For more information on the new emergency department and services offered at Bedford Memorial Hospital, please call 540.586.2441 or visit CentraHealth.com/BMH.