New Pediatric ER at Shands will enhance emergency care for children

Located at Shands North Tower at the University of Florida, the facility has its own check-in area, two waiting areas, nine private and two semi-private treatment rooms, five observation beds, two exam rooms for children with infectious conditions, two resuscitation rooms and a conscious-sedation room for casting broken bones and stitching wounds. Its dedicated radiology imaging room is equipped to deliver the lowest-dose radiation to young patients. Calming, child-friendly décor with a nautical theme enhances the check-in and waiting areas, with porthole windows, saltwater aquariums and floors made to look like waves adding to the atmosphere.

“We’ve created an environment just for families, staffed by people committed to the care of children,” says Jennifer Light, M.D., UF’s College of Medicine clinical assistant professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatric ER Medical Director.

The Pediatric ER is staffed by seven UF board-certified or board-eligible pediatric emergency medicine physicians and 22 Shands pediatric-trained emergency medicine registered nurses. The team can treat up to 24,000 pediatric emergency patients a year.

The new Pediatric ER includes a designated space for Pediatrics After Hours, which will move from the Shands Medical Plaza on July 20. Pediatrics After Hours is a collaborative effort between UF College of Medicine and community pediatricians who, along with Shands nursing staff, provide appointment-only urgent primary care and nonemergency services.

“Creating the Pediatric ER is an exciting step forward in our commitment to enhancing services for children,” says Timothy M. Goldfarb, Shands HealthCare CEO. “By providing this state-of-the-art facility and equipment, we’re supporting the expert care provided by our dedicated teams of UF doctors and Shands nurses and the entire health care team. We appreciate the tremendous support from employees and the community.”