Thirty staff are toiling elsewhere as preparation work starts at Bridgewater's South Shore Regional Hospital where a third elevator is being added to the nearly 30 year old Glen Allan Drive facility.
Halifax area firm Blunden Construction secured the $1.4 million bid to complete the project, due to wrap up in May 2018.
"There's definitely an assumption that there's going to be inconveniences for patients and public," Janet Baker, an interim director of health services and site leader for the Bridgewater hospital, told LighthouseNOW.
"But I think that people have to focus on the end result which will be a better service."
The new elevator will be a public one. The two current elevators at the hospital will be converted to service use and patient transfer only.
The addition has been on the hospital's radar since 2012 and was identified as a necessity for patient privacy and public safety reasons. Baker cites "political will" among other reasons why the work has become reality.
Baker described the elevator job is an initial step as other work projects are in the plans.
The province announced its funding commitment for the elevator in April, in addition to chipping in taxpayer cash for a preliminary design for the addition of a dialysis unit and redevelopment of the emergency department and endoscopy unit.
Work impacts second floor offices that housed human resources and operating room booking offices, third floor risk management and discharge planning offices and a fourth floor work space for hospitalists.
Programs such as the cardiovascular and diabetes education and asthma clinics have also temporarily migrated elsewhere.
Work areas at the hospital will be isolated with temporary plastic walls to minimize noise, dust and exposure to patients and public.
The hospital, which opened in 1988, has 85 inpatient beds for its intensive care, medical, mental health, obstetrics and surgical departments.