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Home : News : Features : Display
NEWS | July 1, 2013

Growing to meet your needs: Langley ICU provides 'care done right'

By Airman 1st Class R. Alex Durbin 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The doctor was shocked when the patient stopped breathing.

Shortly after, a set of double doors burst open and a whirlwind of doctors, nurses and technicians moved around the bed being rolled down the white hallway. As the patient was wheeled to the nearest room and transferred to a bed, the emergency medical providers attached sensors and monitors to the patient's arms and chest.

The commotion was over almost as soon as it began. Soft, rhythmic beeps from various monitors were all that could be heard in the patient's room in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

The 633rd Inpatient Operations Squadron motto, "care done right, day or night," holds true as the Langley ICU is a 24-hour unit that offers care for patients suffering from life-threatening illnesses or injuries, including respiratory failure, complications from diabetes, non-surgical cardiac anomalies or post-surgical complications.

The unit's staff is a team of critical-care physicians, nurses and technicians who manage and treat patients with serious illness.

"The Langley ICU is a 6-bed unit that offers comprehensive care for Service members, dependents and retirees," said 1st Lt. Steven Woods, 633rd IPTS clinical nurse. "We offer a variety of services for patients suffering from a wide range of severe issues."

In a hospital-wide effort to provide top-notch patient care, the unit recently underwent changes as part of the hospital's expansion and renovation. The expansion added upgraded monitors and ventilators to help the ICU staff effectively improve patient care.

"We've expanded resources and the scope of services offered by our hospital to enhance the level of care we can provide our community," said Dr. [Col.] David Blake, 633rd Medical Group senior surgeon. "These tools are an excellent addition to supplement patient care and help our staff perform more efficiently."

Along with the unit's upgraded tools, the hospital added a clinical nurse specialist to the staff. The nurse is trained in master's-level degree in critical care and provides the ICU team with a wealth of intensive-care knowledge.

"We are constantly looking to find ways to be better suited to meet patient needs," said Woods. "Bringing in an advanced-practice nurse allows the staff to have access to the most recent evidence-based research, giving us a greater knowledge base to treat patients."

The unit not only uses the newly upgraded tools and up-to-date clinical knowledge to their advantage, but they take full advantage of the hospital's unique environment. The expansion allows medical providers to work closely with professionals in other subspecialties to ensure the patients' needs are met when they need it most.

"Intensive care is a complex area of medicine and requires quick, critical thinking and anticipation," said Woods. "When dealing with patients on the verge of life or death, decisions have to be made, and we rely on a multidisciplinary approach to provide 'holistic' care."

As a testament to the squadron's motto, the Langley ICU and its staff will be there when a patient needs them most, day or night.