A $1 million renovation project on the fourth floor of Lawrence Memorial Hospital will begin next week.
Patients in the floor's rehabilitation and skilled nursing care units will not be moved to another floor while the work is going on, hospital officials said.
The project is expected to be completed by Dec. 1.
"It's going to be a very intensive effort," said Cathy Knight, director of the Center for Rehabilitation. "There will be a lot of work done in a short period of time."
Construction workers and hospital staff will do what they can to block off noise and other distractions during the project, hospital officials said. Some patients will be able to spend part of the day in a lower floor therapy room, Knight said.
During its meeting Wednesday, the LMH Board of Trustees authorized the renovation to proceed with the maximum cost not to exceed $1,005,000, which is based on earlier estimates. The LMH Endowment Assn. is contributing $32,000.
Currently there are eight beds for rehab patients and 22 beds for patients requiring skilled nursing assistance.
Rehab patients are individuals going through therapy after suffering head or spinal injuries, strokes and similar injuries or illnesses.
Patients in the skilled nursing unit will be leaving the hospital to return home or to a nursing home after a period of therapy, hospital officials said.
Among the improvements are new floors, window coverings, bathrooms and enlargement of the therapy room. Nursing stations will be remodeled as will a waiting room.
In January, the rehab unit will be expanded from eight to 15 beds. Skilled nursing beds will be reduced from 22 to 12.
Because of changes in insurance reimbursement policies, the number of skilled nursing unit patients has dropped, said Janice Early-Weas, hospital spokeswoman. Some skilled nursing patients will be able to get the same care they need in the rehab unit, she said.