Bags of dirty laundry often sit within arm's reach of the doctors' test interpretation station located in a former closet at Penticton Regional Hospital's cardiology unit.
Down the hall, a few feet from the reception window, sits a wheeled rack of clean laundry.
Still, the team of physicians, cardiology technologists, ultra-sonographers, nurses and clerical staff manage to get the job done with impressive results.
An open house was held on Thursday in the cardiology section at PRH. Staff from other departments in the hospital were invited to stop by and tour the facility.
The cardiology unit is strictly for out-patient use and includes about a half-dozen rooms. None of them are very big. Some are outright tiny.
Cardiologist Dr. Tom Ashton agreed their quarters are cramped. He noted four physicians are assigned to one examining room.
"You can imagine, when we're all busy, how difficult it is to schedule," he said. "We do consultations here, we read echo-cardiograms here, we do our computer assessment and research here."
Ashton said he is proud of the training and research carried out in the cardio unit. Some of their research papers have been published in key medical journals.
"This department has been on the leading edge. We have had excellent results coming out of this department," he said.
"But things are bursting at the seams. If we want to continue to be able to look after large volumes of people, we have to have more space."
Ashton said while the hospital constantly tries to improve its service to the community, the lack of space is a definite hindrance.
"When you have four doctors sharing one room, I can assure you, although we all work very well together, we would certainly like to have more space so that we could see more people in a timely manner."
Karen Judenhagen, a cardiology technologist at PRH, said every room in the unit is used for multiple purposes.
"We've done it well for a long time so we're used to it, but we could definitely use more space," she said. "There's a lot of tests done in a small amount of space."
Judenhagen said they conduct five or six different types of tests - mostly on an out-patient basis. Patients who have suffered heart attacks are taken to the hospital's intensive care unit.
Judenhagen, who has worked in cardiology at PRH for 12 years, said she takes a lot of pride in the department. They deal with dozens of patients every day.
"Every patient is slightly different so it keeps us on our toes," she said.
Echo-cardiology involves ultrasounds of the hearts, while electro-cardiology measures the heart beat.
Coincidentally, the open house was held the day after Wednesday night's public rally at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre which attracted more than 600 people in support of the proposed $300-million ambulatory care expansion at PRH.
Colleen Pennington, the city's economic development officer, said 330 copies of a letter to Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid were signed and dropped off at the forum.
Pennington said she is delighted by the response. However, she questions the need to be so political in what should be a decision based on need.
The PRH expansion is listed as Interior Health's top capital priority. The province is being asked to contribute $160 million.