Oh, baby! July was one for the record books in the OB department
at ETMC Athens. One hundred and two deliveries were recorded from
July 1 through July 31. That's well more than the typical delivery
month of 75 to 80 babies.
"It wasn't unusual last month to see doctors running down the
hall to get to a delivery," said OB Director Pam Williams. "It's
the busiest month we've ever had."
Williams said several doctors told her they would be delivering
more babies than usual in July, which provided the director with a
chance to get prepared from a scheduling standpoint. Many nurses
signed up for extra shifts and were on-call more often to handle
the spike in activity.
"The challenge," said Kim Hardy, RN, "was keeping a labor bed
available for anyone who might be walking in ready to deliver. And,
overall, our patients were very cooperative and agreeable."
The department features eight spacious LDRP (Labor, Delivery,
Recovery and Postpartum) rooms and eight postpartum/triage rooms.
The OB was doubled in size three years ago, at which time the new
LDRP rooms were added.
"There's no way we could have contained that volume within the
old OB facilities. We would have needed to move some patients into
other units, and we certainly could not have accommodated as many
family members during deliveries as we did," said Williams. "The OB
expansion was such a wise decision."
The single busiest day of the month - July 24 - saw eight
babies delivered from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. For the nurses with years
of experience, the span of time was busy, but not shockingly so.
"It felt busier, yes, but it's been pretty busy anyway," said
Sherry Simpson, RN.
For RN Brynne Owen, however, the experience was an eye-opener.
July was Owen's first month on the job. In one shift, she helped
deliver six babies. "Pam told me they were going to break me in,"
she laughed, "and they did, very much."
"My team of wonderful nurses did an outstanding job and provided
wonderful care," said Williams. "We worked together with the
physicians, lab, housekeeping, surgery, ER, nurses from other
units. It took the whole hospital. I'm so proud."
"Every birth is a miracle," added Hardy. "Every time that baby
comes out, I'm in awe, whether it's six a day or one."