Celebrating one year in the Ruth R. Ellbogen Family, Mother and Baby Center
By Jennifer Gallagher, R.N. Nov 4, 2015
Hard to believe that it has been one year since the Ruth R Ellbogen Family, Mother and Baby Center opened its doors. Looking back on the last year, I think this is a great opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved as a hospital, as a community and as the healthcare team providing the very best care to expecting families and their precious babies.
Last November, we transitioned from a very small, institutional-like unit in the Central Tower. It had just five delivery rooms, a small single-room nursery, and three semi-private postpartum rooms. When we were busy, families sometimes had to share a room which isn’t fun for anybody. Labor and Deliver was located on a separate floor from Mother and Baby, making it inconvenient for families and nurses.
Look at us now! Our brand new state-of-the-art birthing center takes up then entire third floor of the McMurry West Tower. Our Labor and Delivery Unit has 6 birthing rooms, 1 exam room, 2 antepartum rooms, 10 private postpartum rooms, a Level IIb nursery and, most excitingly, an OB Cesarean Section Suite with recovery rooms all to ourselves. That keeps mothers and babies close, no matter the method of delivery, and it keeps OB nurses close to our patients. The unit welcomed its first baby – Jasper, 10 pounds, 4 ounces – on Nov. 2, 2014.
Our unit is under constant surveillance. Visitors must ask for permission to enter and must request permission to leave. There are cameras at every exit to ensure that our families and babies are safe. Because we are a closed unit, we don’t have people visiting the unit that shouldn’t be here. It offers reassurance to family, friends and staff that only the people who need to be here are here.
Our staff consists of approximately 54 registered nurses and OB techs, an all-female ensemble except the one amazing male nursery nurse, Don Coulter, who brings a new light and perceptive to a very estrogen-laden environment. We welcome and appreciate Don’s insight and the critical care experience he brings to working with preterm and sick babies. He is a great asset to our team.
Our OB techs have completed extensive training to assist your surgeon during a Cesarean section and to offer support to staff and families on the unit. Our manager, Kristi Keller, is hands on, present and interested in you (and us) as people.
You are never just a patient to any of us. We love our families. We love our new babies and we love your stories. We LOVE you!
Whether you visit The Ruth R Ellbogen Family, Mother and Baby Center as a patient, family or friend, we welcome you. Here is to another amazing year and forward progress in providing you the very best evidence-based care possible.
What a year it’s been! Here’s a look at some of our eventful moments.
- Baby Jasper was the first born in the new unit on Nov. 2, 2014. Click to read all about him.
- In December, Courtney and Steven Reynolds’ fifth son couldn’t wait for one of the new delivery rooms. Seriously. He was born in the family’s Suburban on the way to the hospital.
- In February, Wyoming Medical Center dissected its entire system of care for postpartum hemorrhaging, or excessive bleeding after childbirth. A team from Swedish Medical Center facilitated a three-day simulation, bringing along its high-fidelity tetherless human patient birthing simulator named Noelle.
Jennifer Gallagher-Cockrum is a registered nurse and clinical education coordinator for obstetrics. She has worked at Wyoming Medical Center for 24 years, starting in 1992 when she washed dishes in the cafeteria. She has worked as an OB nurse for 13 years. She has a bachelor’s of nursing degree from the University of Wyoming and is certified in Electronic Fetal Monitoring and Maternal-Newborn Nursing. She teaches our Childbirth Education Classes. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.