Pender Memorial Hospital is a comprehensive critical access facility with highly skilled healthcare providers. But perhaps most importantly, it’s convenient and accessible for residents of Pender County.
“We’re located to better fit into some of our patients’ lives,” said Angela Livingood, pharmacy manager at Pender Memorial Hospital and a longtime Pender County resident.
That makes it easier for patients to receive -- and complete -- infusion treatments. It also helps them maintain their local support systems while in rehabilitation from a hospital stay.
Pender Memorial opened an infusion clinic about seven years ago after staff realized many of their patients from Sampson and Duplin counties were driving past Pender Memorial to receive treatment in New Hanover County -- tacking a two-hour round trip drive onto an infusion treatment.
The clinic sees a lot of patients who need long-term antibiotics, as well as patients with anemia who need regular iron infusions. The clinic also serves pulmonology patients, patients who need IV fluids but don’t need to be hospitalized, or patients who can have blood drawn through a port.
Most patients only spend 30 minutes to 2 hours at the clinic, said Melissa Broman, RN, manager of One West at Pender Memorial. The clinic has private rooms for all its patients, as well as a dedicated nurse.
The infusion clinic in Pender County “is more convenient for patients, and that increases the likelihood that they’ll finish the infusion treatment if it’s short-term, like antibiotics,” Livingood said. “It’s probably even more important when it’s a long-term treatment.”
Pender Memorial also offers swing bed therapy and a skilled nursing facility to help patients recover from their hospital stays. Swing bed therapy serves patients who need short-term rehabilitation from things such as knee or hip replacements or heart surgery. The skilled nursing facility provides short-term rehabilitation as well as long-term nursing care, said Rebecca Flores, who manages the facility. The facility is especially adept at handling patients who are recovering from strokes or need specialized wound care.
Patients at those facilities get healthy in part because they can stay in their communities. “We all realize how important the unofficial and non-medical support people in our lives are to us maintaining a healthy balance overall,” Livingood said. “We need that support. Being able to receive it in your community is huge.”