New Woman's Assessment CenterPrivacy and Care in Times of Need
Women in labor go first to Woman’s Assessment Center to be admitted into the hospital. Woman’s is unique in that it doesn’t have a traditional emergency room, but it does have an Assessment Center, the first point of entry for a woman in labor, and a place of privacy and care for women in the community. Woman’s Assessment Center triages medical urgencies such as labor, but is also equipped to handle emergency obstetrical, gynecological or breast problems as well as to help women who are victims of sexual assault. Woman’s has created a design that takes into consideration the level of care and compassion a woman needs during anxious times at its new hospital.
“Women who visit the Woman’s Assessment Center are often in labor, in pain or experiencing some form of distress, so we chose an entrance that is protected from the public eye, yet is easily accessible with a private waiting area,” explains Sharon Odenwald, Assessment Center nurse manager. Located on the hospital’s first floor, the Assessment Center entrance is to the left of the main lobby, is accessed by a separate drive and offers separate parking—all of which is designed to provide a sense of privacy and easy access during the onset of labor and other female emergencies. The facility also has a separate ambulance entrance.
Just inside the Assessment Center is a personal waiting area for family members. During times of uncertainty, family members are often stressed. This area offers them a secluded area to wait for updates about their loved one. Further into the Assessment Center is a separate triage area for patients. This adds yet another layer of privacy for a woman. After stopping in a triage area to determine the seriousness of a woman's condition, she is brought into the assessment area where her course of care is determined – whether she is allowed to go home or is admitted to the hospital. The Assessment Center has 10 examination rooms, all with private bathrooms.
“One of the most extreme crises that we cope with is sexual assault,” says Odenwald. Nearly 60 percent of all sexually assaulted women who go to a hospital in the greater Baton Rouge area are treated at Woman’s. When a woman arrives, she is brought to a separate, private consult room in the Assessment Center where she is encouraged to speak with a counselor and detective/police officer.
A forensic examination and medical screening are performed by a board certified OB/GYN along with a team of nurses. “By providing a compassionate, supportive and protected environment, we hope women who are in this vulnerable state feel cared for, safe and confident that we have obtained all the information needed for an investigation,” explains Odenwald. Woman’s Care for Victims of Sexual Assault program is offered at no cost to the victim and is funded by Woman’s and support from the community.
Woman’s always strives to provide exceptional care. At the new campus, thoughtful measures have been taken to improve efficiency, comfort and the overall patient experience. Woman's Hospital is located at the corner of Airline Highway and Stumberg, near Pecue Lane.