October 5, 2007
The dreams of nurses
This week we had a staff meeting and I was a good employee and actually went. As usual, it was a waste of my time. We spent the majority of the time talking about what we wanted for our new unit. Plan is that we will be in a new building by 2011. Some things have already be decided. We are going to be a unit with LDRP's, and will have some "plain" rooms for antepartum, post-op, etc. We will still have 2 OR's for an estimated 43% c-section rate (which is the current rate for the month of Sept.) We'll have a level 2 plus nursery with 6 beds, and we'll be able to care for babies that are on vents for short term. Right now we cant care for any babe on a vent. There will be room for only 12 babies in the healthy nursery. In this community, the moms in general expect they'll be able to send their babies to the nursery to sleep between feedings, or be fed all night my us. They estimate we'll be doing 2400 deliveries a year from our current 1600 or so this past year. Major problems I see: The nursery is too small. We are a level 2 now and at times we have 5 sick babies. If we can care for babies on vents and more premature babes, where are we going to put them? What about the healthy babes? Some moms are too sick to have their baby in the room, and although it goes against the whole dyad nursing thing, a lot of them will want their baby in the nursery to sleep. Where will we put the babies until the expectation of putting babies in the nursery for the night ceases. The layout worries me, too. They plan on doing a triangle shaped unit with the OR's at the back. Ok, say we have a cord prolapse in the room by the entrance. We'll have to go down the hallway, around a corner and down a long hallway to get to the OR. All while keeping our hand pushing up on the baby's head to keep it off the cord, maintaining privacy and trying not to run over anyone int eh hall. These are the things I worry about. A lot of people were more concerned about ammenities. They basically want the patient rooms to be like a 5-star hotel. I admit, it would be nice, but will we have the staff to take care of the patients? We do need bigger, better looking rooms, internet connections, etc. , because the rooms now are small, ugly, don't have internet connections and the hallways have carpet (which is nasty). All I want is up-to-date equipment that works, and competant staff. All the foo-foo stuff doesn't matter. And I'm talking from not only a nurses point of view, but a patient point of view. I dont' need a fridge, fancy sheets, or a wide screen tv. Just give me a decent bed with clean linen, a clean working bathroom and diapers, wipes and a bed for my baby, and nurses, techs who can help me. Is this what other units are like? I've been shelter and have only seen 2 L&D units, ever, so maybe this is how things are, which isn't bad, but just not necessary. We'll see what we get in 2011.