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TMC redoes ICU, looks for brighter future post-pandemic

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:12 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A change of scenery can make a big difference, especially for medical professionals who saw the worst of COVID-19.

Tucson Medical Center has complexly redone its ICU, bringing a fresh start.

New floors, bright colors and a new outlook for the future are just some of what the new ICU renovation has brought.

For staff, this was a place of trauma, loss and darkness during the pandemic. Leaders hope with vaccines and a post-pandemic world on the horizon, this will again become a place of healing.

“My staff is so excited about this renovation because we really do feel it’s a catharsis of COVID. It was a tough time here. Every single room here had a COVID patient,” said ICU manager Jenny Tuttle. “Walking down these halls with this sadness knowing a lot of these people are not going to make it out of this unit, that was what was hard with COVID.”

Not only is the feel new, but the technology as well.

They have built eight permanent isolation rooms, which are handy for any other kind of pandemic or infectious disease. Blinds were also built into the windows to help with infection control, and new monitors with state-of-the-art technology that can be manipulated and rotated for a better view.

“We are the second hospital in the country to get these monitors,” Tuttle said.

It’s a change spurred by the pandemic and desired by staff.

This is the first of three phases. More rooms and halls will be redone, shedding the trauma of the past and looking to the future.

Staff blessed the new ICU before moving patients in.

“We’re going to huddle at 7 and bless this unit and have a positive first step,” Tuttles said.

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