St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center - Maternal and Child Health

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St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center is a Level III Regional Perinatal Center and a State Designated Children's Hospital. Patients are transferred from hospitals in several counties to obtain the diverse specialty services we offer. The excitement of caring for patients with unique and challenging nursing needs is found within each patient area.

Nurses in the Maternal Child Health division have the opportunity to collaborate with Advanced Practice Nurses, Clinical Nurse leaders and a collegial medical staff. Educational opportunities are numerous and classes are held to prepare nurses for certifying exams. Nursing Grand rounds and journal clubs are ongoing and present other opportunities for learning. The Nursing standards in this division come from the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nursing, National Association of Neonatal Nurses and Pediatric nursing society, with practice based on evidence and practice guidelines in these organizations and MCH research.

Caring is an essential component to all aspects of Maternal Child Nursing with Jean Watson's Theory providing the backdrop for our processes. Our nursing staff has incorporated the philosophy into all aspects of care, ensuring the 10 carative factors are evident from the time a patient is admitted through a patient's discharge. The model of nursing used in this division is Relationship Based Care with special emphasis placed on the nurse-patient relationship. We view this as perfect fit with our philosophy of caring. Pediatrics was the first unit to practice this model and has guided the rest of the division with the implementation of strategies.

Nurses participate in Nursing councils and are encouraged to join their professional organization. Self-staffing is practiced in all areas with resounding success.

When you are part of the Maternal Child Health Division, you are supported professionally and encouraged to become a nursing leader.

General Pediatrics

The nurse on the Pediatrics Unit is equipped to deal with a variety of patient care issues. Children in this unit may have a variety of health concerns from croup to advanced cancer. The unit is a noted for its comfort care rooms that are used for children and their families with life threatening and chronic illnesses. Helping identify needed resources for the family, a staff member staff can refer patients to the comfort care committee.

The nursing staff are leaders in Pediatric Patient Safety where they participate in a Pediatric Quality and Safety Committee. Additionally, the staff can call on the Pediatric Rapid Response team whenever it is needed.

The Child Life Program staff provides a playroom of games, as well as conduct bedside activities for children. They also coordinate the frequent character and pet therapy visitors for the children.

Nursing on this unit was one of the first to develop Relationship Based Care. We have enhanced teamwork and established caring relationships between the staff and other providers. The residents and nurses have weekly conferences to discuss patient issues and develop strategies for improvement. They have embraced the principles of Relationship Based Care, caring for yourself, caring for your patient, and caring for your partners. Unit based nursing councils meet to discuss and resolve staff issues. Our staff is expected to be PALS certified, chemo certified and each team member is given a specialized orientation to the unit.

Nurse Manager: Bea Fernandes 973.754.3632


High Risk Antenatal Care

Nurses in the Antenatal Testing Unit and the High-Risk Clinic create a plan of care to meet the goals of the pregnant mother and her family. A highly professional nurse who can coordinate the many facets of the patient's experience is required for this unit since patients with a variety of conditions are referred to St. Joseph's Healthcare System. Some of our patients require our care due to impaired cardiac functioning, neurological complications, diabetes, multiple gestations, and other pregnancy-related conditions.

Seton 3 is home to our inpatient unit, where Relationship Based Care is the model of nursing practiced. When a patient must stay in the hospital due to such conditions as premature labor, uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension, our model of care perfectly blends the situation. We understand that our patients may not be in their community and may have children at home, therefore our outpatient and inpatient departments collaborate on a care of plan for each patient during biweekly interdisciplinary meetings. Seeing a patient through a successful delivery is a joy to our Seton 3 nurses.

Fetal monitoring courses and specialized program in high-risk pregnancy are available to the staff that participates in screening for post partum depression and begin preparing patients to care for their newborns. Nurses appreciate the opportunity to work in a Regional Perinatal Center that gives them the opportunity to care for patients with complex pregnancy related conditions.

Nurse Manager: Ruth Harrell 973.754.4375

Intermediate Nursery

The intermediate nursery is a transitional home for premature and ill newborns. The goal of this unit is to return the child to their family. Because collaboration and interdisciplinary planning are essential to the process, team meetings are held twice a week to formulate plans to reach this objective.

Every day there are families being taught the essential, often complex, skills they will need to care for their child at home. Babies often go home on apnea monitors, needing supplemental feeding tubes, and developmental therapies. Medication administration for families is another skill they may need to know. Each family is treated with patience and understanding until they become proficient with the skills they need to care for their child. To continue ensuring success at home, referrals are made with community nursing services for follow up after the patient is discharged.

Nurses are certified in Neonatal Resuscitation and have ongoing education in newborn nursing. The clinical nurse leader is available to the staff and helps organize and lead biweekly planning sessions. Nurses in this unit develop close relationships with families and help set realistic goals for their babies.

Nurse Manager: Sheila Carr 973.754.3337

Labor and Delivery

The nurse who works in Labor and Delivery experiences challenges and rewards in a supportive and caring environment. The labor and delivery suite consist of 8 LDR, 3 C-Sections rooms, 4-triage area and a recovery room. The unit performs over 3,000 deliveries a year. St. Joseph's is a regional Prenatal Center, transferring patients to our unit from several outlying hospitals. Our nurses display empathy and care to each patient and their family during this life changing experience.

Nursing care is based on AWOHNN standards, with education provided on fetal monitoring, high-risk pregnancy, and neonatal resuscitation. Labor and Delivery nurses participate in joint physician nursing projects, development of nurse driven protocols, and implement safety and risk reduction strategies. The nurses in this unit must have highly developed critical thinking skills and be ready for any emergency situation. Documentation on this unit is completely electronic. Nursing resources in this unit also include a dedicated nurse educator and clinical nurse leader.

There is a great bond among all members of the labor and delivery staff, indicating the number one reason why our vacancy rate is so low. Patients are constantly writing notes of thanks and praise to these nurses; however, the greatest reward comes as our nurses gently hand the newborn to his/her mother.

Nurse Manager: Nicole Palkewick 973.754.3340

Mother and Baby Unit

In our Mother Baby Unit, there are 30 beds and a 35-crib nursery. Nurses on the unit practice couplet care, caring care for the mother and the baby. This provides a high degree of satisfaction to both the new mother and family. Emphasis in this unit is on developing the skills needed for the new mother to provide care for her infant at home. Nurses encourage the breast-feeding mother and are supported by a lactation consultant. Ongoing classes are held on the unit for newborn care. We now offer a breastfeeding class and a Discharge Instructions class for patients during their hospital stay.

Nurses are educated in neonatal resuscitation and in post partum depression screening. As a participant of the Northern New Jersey collaborative, the staff is updated on the ongoing needs of the post partum mother and baby. Nurses regularly attend education sessions on newborn topics and have ongoing staff in-services on maternal nursing.

The standards of care are guided by AWOHNN. Nurses are particularly focused on breast-feeding. Nurses feel early bonding in labor and delivery, as well as rooming in, support this breast-feeding objective. Nurses also praise couplet care as a satisfier of mommy, baby, and nurse. When you walk on this unit, it is obvious that caring for mother and baby is top priority.

Nurse Manager: Joanne Beck 973.754.3392

Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery

As one of the first in the State, St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center's Neonatal Intensive Care nursery is a 30-bed facility where nurses participate in high tech care for the tiniest babies. Our nurses, who are respected as valuable members of our team, are supported by an advanced practice nurse, a clinical nurse leader, and a dedicated educator. The care, while highly technical, centers on providing a nurturing experience for the parents and the baby. We host a 24 hours visiting policy, a breast-feeding lounge, as well as ongoing classes for parents. This unit provides a transfer service for referring hospitals.

Nurses in this unit complete an extensive orientation, are trained in advanced neonatal resuscitation and transport services and are provided the opportunity to attend national conferences. The nurses collaborate on several ongoing research projects and actively implement performance improvement measures that have placed them in the top tier of national ranking programs.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit cares for many "tiny babies", less than 1000 gms, and our nurse develop ongoing relationships with the babies and their families. Primary nursing is practiced in this unit and highly praised by the staff. Under the guidance of the clinical nurse leader, the staff has developed a tiny baby team that is responsible for protocols to guide physicians and nurses in goal driven care.

There are many nurses who have been employed more than 20 years in the NICU. Why do they stay? These nurses will tell you that seeing the babies thrive and go home with their family is a reward you can't measure. It gives them the satisfaction of giving back for all they received in nursing.

Nurse Manager: Sheila Carr 973.754.3337

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

St. Joseph's Children's Hospital was one of the first in New Jersey to develop a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. With 12 beds, 6 of which are step down beds, our nurses care for children with a wide range of conditions such as post open heart, trauma, Nero surgery, chronic renal failure, and respiratory failure with patients transferred from several hospitals in the northern New Jersey area. Parents are given open visitation in the unit and are supported emotionally by the staff during this crisis.

The staff is expected to be PALS certified, chemo certified and encouraged to obtain certification. Several staff member hold certification in trauma and intensive care nursing. Certification preparation classes are available and staff is encouraged to attend. The critical cases in the unit require the most skilled and knowledgeable nurses.

A prolonged orientation is mandatory in the PICU. There is a pediatric nurse educator and an advanced practice nurse additionally as resources. St. Joseph's Children's Hospital has a Chaplin readily available to support families and staff when needed. Child life specialists and music therapy are available to the patients.

Nurses in PICU are unique individuals. They are able to put aside their emotions and meet the needs of the patient and family under the most difficult circumstances. It is amazing to observe our nurses interact with families, provide very technical care, communicate, and coordinate complex needs with dignity and grace.

Nurse Manager: Lynn Campbell 973.754.3265



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