Thursday, October 24, 2002
Nursing renovations upgrade offices, labs
By Mary E. Iorio, OU Writer
OU’s School of Nursing is about to get a little tender loving care.
In November, work will begin to renovate and improve practically the entire 4th floor of O’Dowd Hall with upgraded office spaces, a new conference room and an improved dean’s suite that provides better accessibility and increased advisory space for nursing students. Second floor lab spaces will be redesigned, retrofitted with advanced equipment and electrical systems, painted and then recarpeted.
The centerpiece of the project will be a completely revamped Crittenton Hospital Medical Center Multimedia Lab, renamed in honor of the $75,000 grant hospital leaders awarded OU to underwrite advanced training technology for the lab.
The space will provide “computers, video and scanners needed to train nursing students on the many nursing software programs,” said Interim Associate Dean Catherine Vincent. “We’ll have a catheter simulation program and an intravenous administration program that allows students to practice IV insertion."
"Certainly, this lab renovation is the most important aspect of the project, thanks to the generous grant from Crittenton,” Vincent said.
Sophomore Andrea Dorman looks forward to using the new technology. “I’m glad I’ll get to practice before I have to work on real people. I don’t want to hurt anybody. I’d rather get the hang of it, get the basic steps down and feel confident when it’s time to put an IV into a patient’s arm.”
Dorman decided to attend OU because university leaders have made top quality facilities a priority. “I picked OU because it had new buildings going up, it’s dedicated to offering the latest technologies. The campus is constantly being improved.”
Those improvements will mean 25 percent more office space for the School of Nursing in O’Dowd Hall. The recent move of the School of Education and Human Services to the new ED Building opened up rooms in O’Dowd.
“The work on the fourth floor will consist of constructing a conference room, which the School of Nursing doesn’t have now,” said Rusty Postlewate, associate vice president for facilities management. “We’ll re-align their student records/student counseling area to better organize that function and to better secure the records. The entire area will be repainted. We’ll replace the carpet.”
Workers will also make small, quality-of-life changes, putting windows in some office doors to shed light on hallways. “Faculty will still have privacy, but there will be a little bit of natural light seeping out to improve the atmosphere.”
For faculty, the changes will alleviate crowding while moving all faculty onto the same floor. “All full-time faculty will have windowed offices,” Vincent said. “We’re hoping some space can be used for small meetings between faculty and students.” A key improvement will be additional office space for part-time faculty, who now share one small office between 20 people. The new ratio will be 1 to 5.
Construction will continue into April. Faculty will move to the first floor for the duration of renovations. The practice and multimedia labs have already taken up temporary space in the vacated Educational Resources Lab.