Ken Veldman

VIDEO AND STORY: Bathing facility back online at the hospital with $90,000 from the port and Northern Health

The Prince Rupert Hospital installed a bathing facility after the Port donated $45,000 with matched funding by Northern Health.

Patients at the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital are able to dip into a therapeutic experience with the newly installed bathing facility after the Port of Prince Rupert donated $45,000 with matched funding by Northern Health.

The contribution is the port’s 46th Community Investment Fund since it started in 2010, bringing investments to $5.5 million to date, said Ken Veldman, the director of public affairs for the Port of Prince Rupert.

The hospital’s new therapeutic bathing area includes hydraulic lifts, a chair lift designed for medical care, and hydro-massage to stimulate circulation for limited-mobility patients.

“This room has been out of commission for the past five years so we were very pleased to be able to be just a small part of this project and to support Northern Health’s effort to bring an important therapeutic project back online within this hospital,” Veldman said. This is the third project that the port has been involved with for the hospital.

The outdated and out-of-service patient bathtub at the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital was installed in 1972 and had floor-to-ceiling tile with a large square bathtub.

“It really wasn’t a space that was welcoming. It was dark,” said Angela Szabo, the director of acute care services for Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii. “I think it was a difficult space to use because of the size of the bath tub and it was very tall and we didn’t have the ability to adjust the height of the bathing tub to accommodate the needs of the staff, as our current tub allows us to do.”

Staff can raise and lower the tub to prevent injuries from bending or stooping. The previous chair lift also used a foot pump for pressing or lowering. The new mechanical chair is pneumatic, it operates by air or gas pressure, and it can support patients up to 450lbs.

The therapeutic bathing facility is on the third floor of the patient care unit and supports pediatrics patients, maternity patients, mental health and addiction patients, as well as elderly and surgical patients. The tub is used by at least one patient per day, and will see more than 400 patient uses per year during its 20-year lifespan.

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