Renovation at Chilliwack General gives nurses place to call home

Nurses' sleeping room refurbished with fresh paint, new furniture, fridge and more

Chilliwack city councillor Jason Lum attended a ribbon cutting for the refurbished nurses' sleeping room at Chilliwack General Hospital.

To put it plainly, the former nurses’ sleep room at Chilliwack General Hospital was dreadful.

Bubble gum pink walls, a sheet across a window, drab furniture and an old foam mattress didn’t really create the calming environment nurses deserve while resting on their long shifts.

But thanks to a little paint, some new furnishings, and a whole lot of community spirit, the sleeping room should provide a lot more comfort to the nurses who use i.

The official ribbon cutting for the renovated room was held Friday afternoon.

Liz Harris, executive director of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, said the room is a vital part of the services provided at the busy hospital.

“The sleep room is an integral and necessary feature for the Hospital,” she said. “If a nurse lives more than 20-30 minutes away, they have to sleep at the facility while on call. Previously, the sleep room was unpainted, had a foam type mattress and no means to store or prepare food.”

Nurses deserved something more, so the foundation worked hard to deliver.

“As you can imagine, it is crucial that health care staff have an adequate place to rest while on call,” Harris said. “It was very important to the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation that we worked to improve this space for our nurses who work on the frontline every day in a very difficult profession.”

While the renovated room will be a comforting oasis for those already working at the hospital, they’re also hoping word spreads to nurses looking for better job opportunities.

“We have had trouble recruiting and retaining nurses in our OR over the last few years,” said Candace Chapman, Manager Clinical Operations at CGH. “It was brought to my attention by one of the nurses who stays here frequently, that if we updated it, we may be able to recruit from areas outside of the Chilliwack area (like Langley, or Abbotsford).”

Representatives from businesses who eagerly came on board were at the ribbon cutting ceremony, including Grand Pappy’s Furniture and Appliances, and Home Depot. BeNanna Bakery even chipped in to offer up pastries for the special event.

Grand Pappy’s provide a new mattress and box spring, a bed frame, bar fridge, bedside lamp and framed artwork. Home Depot Chilliwack’s team fit the room for blinds and donated both  the product and installation.

(Above) The new look of the nurses’ sleeping room.

(Below) The look of the nurses’ sleeping room prior to renovations

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