Local News

Nurses Get Robotic Assistance At Moore County Hospital

Posted April 11, 2006 12:21 p.m. EDT

— A new employee at a Moore County hospital is helping to make sure patients and nurses get the help they need.

Tug 1 is one of two robots at First Health Moore Regional Hospital. The pharmacists answer medication and supply requests from around the hospital. They fill Tug's drawers and send it on its way.

The old way of delivering medication kept nurses and couriers hopping.

"It's been a huge help at night when there's not as much manpower, and the nurses in the unit don't have to leave to go pick up medicines like they did before," said nurse Joy Martin.

Tug can call on any elevator, go to any floor and find its way to every nurses' station. The robot is efficient, but its first week was kind of slow.

"People [were] jumping out in front of it to see if it will stop, how quickly it'll stop, and see what it would do when it did stop," said pharmacist Brad Pusser.

When Tug 1 stops, it just moves around obstacles and does not stop from its delivery duty. Tug is polite, but it still has a few people to win over.

"It gets on my nerves because I'm not fast enough. It tells you the delivery is there and I'm punching the buttons, and I'm not fast enough. It's faster than I am," said Cyndria Spivey.

The robots can be programmed to speak in English or Spanish.