Education enhances experience for expectant parents
From Spotlight on Health May/June 2007
After working as a nurse for more than five years at the Melrose Area Hospital, Rachel VonWalde understands the importance of patient education and patient feedback.
So when women who had delivered babies in Melrose indicated on surveys that they’d like more education, VonWalde and her co-worker Jen Tomford took action.
Now, these two hospital nurses not only teach the prenatal classes, but they also meet one on one with every expectant mother planning to deliver at Melrose Area Hospital -- whether it’s her first baby or fifth.
These pre-hospital meetings, which begin shortly after the pregnancy is confirmed, give the nurses a chance to get to know the expectant mothers a little better, to set up a birthing plan, talk about expectations, tour the hospital and to offer any education they may want before the babies are born.
“A lot of the ideas came from visiting with past patients,” VonWalde said. “This communication really helped us in developing this new program to better meet our patients’ needs.”
Patrick Heller, M.D., family medicine physician at CentraCare Clinic - Melrose, also was very involved in the program development.
“Having a baby should be a wonderful experience for parents and staff,” said Dr. Heller. “This new program should help to alleviate any anxiety parents-to-be may have about their hospital stay.”