Infant security is everyone’s business - Wyoming Medical Center

Infant security is everyone’s business

By Monica Money, R.N. Jul 28, 2016

At Wyoming Medical Center, we provide the highest standards of care in a safe environment. Safety in the care we provide is not the only safety we care about. We also care about physical safety. On the Ruth R. Ellbogen Mother, Baby and Family Center, this is one of the most important pieces of the care we provide.

After going through the strenuous and exhausting labor and delivery process, our families want to be able to close their eyes and know that it is ok to drift off with a new baby in the room.

We have several levels of security on Mother and Baby. Any patient of visitor who presents to the unit will encounter locked doors. In order to get into or out of the unit, visitors and patients alike must pick up the phone on the wall to speak to security. A camera shows security personnel who is trying to get through the locked doors and asks for their purpose. Although this does eliminate the days where just anyone could take a stroll through the hospital and look through the nursery windows for fun, it also protects the unit.

When a baby is born, we place matching wrist bands on mom, her significant other, and two on the baby. Only banded persons are allowed in the nursery and a banded person is asked to remain with baby at all times while baby is on the unit. We also don't allow babies to be held in the arms of parents or visitors while out in the hall. The baby must always be in a crib. This not only prevents neonatal falls, but adds an increased security for the baby.

After the first bath, the baby is also given a Cuddles infant protection band and monitor. Cuddles is made from soft material that has special conductive fibers woven into it. These fibers are able to sense contact with the baby’s skin. The monitor constantly transmits that the band is in contact with baby's skin and that the baby is on the unit. Like I said, the band is extremely sensitive. If it gets wet (the baby urinates on it, for example), the band alarms. If the band loses contact with the skin, the band alarms. If metal or any conductive material is near the band, the band alarms.

The band is very cool in that it also senses when the baby is near an exit. If a baby comes near an exit, a voice will come overhead instructing the parents to move away from the exit. The exit also locks down until the baby moves away.

Although we have not ever had any kidnappings at Wyoming Medical Center, we take every precaution to make our unit as safe as possible. This allows our families the peace of mind to concentrate on what’s important: bonding with their newest member.

MONICA MONEY, R.N.

Monica Money is a registered nurse and clinical education coordinator for the nursery at the Ruth R. Ellbogen Family, Mother and Baby Center at Wyoming Medical Center. She has been at the hospital for three years and has been an OB/Nursery RN for the past 11 years. She has a bachelor of nursing degree from the University of Wyoming and is a Certified Lactation Counselor. She also directs the Neonatal Resuscitation Program Education for Wyoming Medical Center. Email her a mmoney@wyomingmedicalcenter.org.