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Staff in blue scrubs and guests with keychain passes bustled in surgical-center rooms Tuesday afternoon, celebrating the new equipment and renovations at Sky Lakes Medical Center.

The surgical-services center completed a $690,000, two-year renovation in December, but held an open house to display new in-light cameras, improved nurses stations, monitors, floors and painted walls. Four of the six operating rooms underwent remodeling. Each of the remodeled rooms have four monitors and one in-light camera.

In-light cameras attach to a light hovering above a surgical table and transmit the surgery image to the monitors surrounding the staff. The monitors connect to a rotating arm, making it easy to move or adjust.

Mobility for surgeons

Registered Nurse Marla Pruitt has worked at Sky Lakes Medical Center for 23 years.

“First of all, it’s a lot easier to make the surgeons happy because you can position the monitors where they want it to be,” Pruitt said with a laugh.

The monitors previously used were on wheels, had limited movement and increased risks like contamination or injury.

“There was always a risk of hurting yourself or wrecking the equipment,” Pruitt said.

Scott Alder, registered nurse and director of surgical services, said now staff can position the monitors in front of the surgeon and project the image to any screen.

“Now Marla won’t have to move around to try and see what’s going on. She can stand back, so it decreases the risk of contamination of the field,” Alder said.

Certified Surgical Technician Ronda Keppinger said the renovations made her job easier.

“We’re not having to wrangle extra equipment in and out of the room. It’s probably more ergonomic and it’s a nicer, more modern work environment,” Keppinger said.

Even the floor and wall colors serve a purpose. Before, the floors were white. Now the operating rooms have white floors with a blue square in the center. Alder said the square is a visual reminder to staff members that they’re entering the sterile field.

Remote streaming of surgeries

He added that green, the new main color of the surgical walls, and blue absorbs light and makes it easier to operate compared to white which creates a harsh light.

Alder said next year he hopes to have the option to stream surgeries to the education room.

“Whenever someone needs to go into an O.R. because it’s part of their job and they need to learn, we bring them in. But every time you bring someone in, you increase the risk of infection for the patient,” Alder said.

The surgeries would not be recorded, and the signal could only be sent to the education room if the doctor and patient approves for someone to watch.

“It’s just like bringing someone into the room. We just want less people in the room,” he said.

Alder explains that the new equipment brings more opportunities for efficiency.

“So there is some expandability — we’re not painting ourselves in a corner,” Alder said. “Here at Sky Lakes, we do what we can to keep the most current equipment, the most current technology, available to our public.”