Allen Hospital presents new special care room - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Allen Hospital presents new special care room

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -  According to the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, one in three women and one in four men will experience sexual assault in their lifetime.

Many of these go unreported.

That's why Allen Hospital in Waterloo has created a special care room for sexual assault victims, and it's the first of it's kind in Eastern Iowa.

Just walking through a hospital can be frightening for some people.

Add the strange machines, mess of wires and bright lights -- the anxiety level goes up.

Now imagine experiencing all that as a sexual assault victim.

"They already had their rights taken away and they feel like they're being taken away again," said special care nurse Rachael Lindaman.

That's why Dr. Christopher Hill and a team of specially trained nurses worked to create a safe space just for them.

"The first thing we wanted to do with this room is have no clinical monitor, no oxygen tubing, everything that makes it feel like an ER room," said Hill.

With the colorful artwork, comfortable bedding and soothing music, the room feels more like a living room than a hospital room.

The door is different too.

Instead of the standard sliding glass door that leaves little to no privacy, the door is made of wood and frosted glass, which keeps the sights and sounds of a hospital ER out of sight and mind.

It's the attention to detail that's making a ll the difference, and Dr. Hill has seen it first hand.

"I interviewed a patient right in this room, we were able to sit down in a couch environment and it didn't come across as I'm a scary ER doctor, instead that I was here for them," said Hill.

Nurses say sexual assault victims are grossly underrepresented and the team hopes the room will help more people come forward.

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