After a new mother delivers her baby, she is transferred to the Mother/Baby Unit at Mercy Medical Center for the postpartum experience. Mother and baby stay together and one nurse is dedicated to caring for the couplet, facilitating bonding between mom and baby. The Mother/Baby Unit also provides care for High-Risk antepartum patients who require an extended stay for monitoring of fetal and maternal well-being.
During this inpatient stay, nursing’s primary focus is providing education to the patients for better patient outcomes. This patient-centered information helps to assure that the family is prepared to care for the infant independently at the time of discharge. Various methods of education such as one-on-one teaching sessions, videos, and written materials help to meet the learning styles of our patients.
The Mother/Baby Team is multi-disciplinary including registered nurses, certified support staff, a clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwives, certified lactation consultants, board certified physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, and pastoral care. This collaborative team is coordinated by the nursing staff to provide the patient with optimum postpartum and newborn outcomes.
Nursing staff education includes an individualized competency-based approach to orientation. Depending on the experience of the staff member, orientation meets the adult learner’s needs and is tailored to support the new employee’s prior experiences. Newly graduated RNs are entered into a 12-week program during which they are provided with 70 hours of didactic education through the Maryland Perinatal Education Consortium. Clinical experiences include low-risk postpartum care for vaginal and cesarean deliveries, high risk antepartum nursing care, and transitional and normal newborn care. New staff members with prior experience have the length and content of orientation customized to their individualized needs. New employees meet on a weekly basis with their preceptors and the clinical nurse specialist to identify strengths and areas of needed improvement to assure optimum outcome and the development of a nurse who is a good fit with our theory of patient-centered care.