The Smart, Safe Place to Have Your Baby
During the last five years, the number of babies born at Anne Arundel Medical Center has continually crept upward, with a high of nearly 5,700 born in 2007, making AAMC the number two delivery site of babies in the entire state of Maryland.
That’s more than 25,000 babies in a five-year period, a local baby boom that also is reflected nationwide, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
And, it’s not just single deliveries that are making the numbers climb: multiples are on the increase, too. Last July and early August, six sets of twins and one set of triplets were born in a 48-hour period at AAMC. And, in December, AAMC delivered its first set of quintuplets.
AAMC proudly boasts a first-string team of obstetrician-gynecologists, hospitalists, private ob-gyns, maternal-fetal specialists, and labor-and-delivery nurses that performs in a Super Bowl every day of the week.
“We have it all here,” said Henry Sobel, M.D., an ob-gyn and chair of AAMC’s Women’s and Children’s Center. “This is a smart and very safe place to have a baby—or babies.”
Joseph Morris, M.D., AAMC’s lead ob-gyn hospitalist—a physician specializing in the care of hospitalized obstetrics patients—said he expects to see more growth in 2009.
“Fortunately for our patients, we have a very experienced team here, nurses and doctors who have worked together for a long time,” said Dr. Morris, a former private-practice physician. “They are the immediate ‘first responders’ and know how to take care of any unexpected emergency.”
There always is an experienced obstetrician at the hospital to take care of patients until their own obstetrician arrives. “This is a safety net and a comfort factor that we feel is imperative for families of newborns,” he said.
In an emergency, newborns can be assessed quickly and transferred immediately to AAMC’s level IIIb Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)—20 private rooms and a six-bed nursery for newborns who need extra attention. Known as Teddy’s Place, the NICU is staffed with neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, neonatal respiratory therapists and nurses with years of experience providing this specialty care. No other hospital in Anne Arundel County offers this kind of high-level care for infants.
Level IIIb units provide comprehensive care for infants born under 2 pounds or at less than 32 weeks; advanced respiratory care; and a full range of pediatric medical subspecialists, advanced imaging, and pediatric surgical specialists and anesthesiologists on site or at a closely related institution. “Even though most babies do not need this level of care, it is comforting for families to know it is there,” said Dr. Morris. Approximately 500 newborns are admitted to the NICU each year.first picture: Above: Obstetrician Marcus Penn, M.D., with Jeanette Hartjke, R.N. (seated) and Dawnmarie Sugg, R.N., review a patient chart in the Mother-Baby Unit. 2nd picture: Right: Patient Care Technician Yaritza Edstrom, left, with nurse Renee Shookner, R.N., in the Mother-Baby Unit. group captioN:The members of the AAMC labor and delivery team – physicians, nurses, patient care techs – have worked together for many years, providing babies, moms, and families with safe, smart care. Shown here are many members of the team: Nadia Tucker; Carol Gross; Pat Mlynarski, R.N.; Aimee Dickey, R.N.; Megan Stinefelt, R.N.; Karen Salemie, R.N.; Angel Frey, R.N.; Jacquelyn Eberl, R.N.; Lillian Conrad, R.N.; Claudia Hayes, M.D.; Linda Robertson; Elizabeth Boyd, L.P.N.; Scott Hankinson, M.D.; Ellyn Walton, R.N.; Joseph Morris, M.D.; Barbara Tymkiw, M.D.; Kim Steiner, R.N.; and Misa Ewing, R.N.
What AAMC Nurses Say About Teamwork
“Working in our NICU is incredibly fulfilling,” said Marcia Gleber, R.N., who has been a staff nurse in the AAMC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 14 years. “I have worked in huge, tertiary NICUs, which were an excellent learning experience. But the people who work here are equally amazing, with all the good they do for our tiniest patients. I can’t imagine working anyplace else.”
Ann Marie Disque, R.N., B.S.N., is an AAMC Labor and Delivery nurse who worked in pediatrics for more than 20 years before moving to “L&D” in 2004. “I love our team here,” she said. “The doctors are very caring and professional. Our techs are great. The nurses are more than co-workers. We’re family. My children have seen how happy I am working here: one son now is in medical school, and my daughter served as a pharmacy tech here. I would never think of leaving AAMC.”
Marian Soriano, R.N., I.B.C.L.C., is one of 11 board certified lactation consultants at AAMC who provide comprehensive lactation support for our nursing mothers and babies, including in-house visits before and after delivery, out-patient consultation, telephone support and many items to support and enhance breastfeeding mothers’ experiences. “Our greatest job satisfaction comes from the many cards and baby pictures we get from our healthy, happy mothers,” she said.
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