The Mount Nittany Medical Center Emergency Room Entrence

The exterior of the emergency room entrance of the Mount Nittany Medical Center on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2021 

A 10-floor addition to Mount Nittany Medical Center was approved last week, and the new tower is set to improve the work environment for medical staff and experience for local State College community members who utilize the hospital.

The estimated $350 million project is expected to begin construction this coming summer and be open for occupancy by December 2026.

It will allow for each patient to have their own private room — which is essential, since currently, people are often treated for differing medical situations in the same room as other patients.

With the closest hospital to Mount Nittany over 30 miles away, these improvements are a long time coming, as there’s a need in the area for medical care that caters to each patient’s specific needs.

According to the release, the new tower will also “enhance recruitment,” which is the key factor for the addition to provide the best possible experience to the local community.

This expansion is necessary, but it must be paired with an increased search for employees so there aren’t health care employees working shifts with too much square feet to cover.

Mount Nittany Health must also make sure it has an ample amount of equipment to cover the new tower.

In addition to a more pleasant experience for patients, the expansion will allow for more efficiency in wait times, which is an issue at many hospitals — especially since many are recovering from staffing shortages due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This new tower will also provide a more spread out work environment. Being a health care worker in an overcrowded unit of a hospital makes for a cramped and insufficient workplace.

There could also be an opportunity for Penn State to improve medically with the new expansion.

Nursing students are already spending one of their college years at Hershey Medical Center to study, so with improved amenities and the need for more hires, it could be possible for the school to incorporate Mount Nittany into its curriculum — by giving an alternative location closer to campus or better preparing them for Hershey beforehand.

The entire local community will benefit from this addition, as long as Mount Nittany Health follows through with its commitment to enhance recruitment to allow for better workflow and patient care.

Daily Collegian Opinion Editor Kit Schroder can be reached at cas7114@psu.edu.

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