Ashley Adams is helping ease the stay for expectant mothers on bed rest at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. She's the antepartum care coordinator, a new position created to provide more consistent care to those pregnant women.
Adams is getting the word out about her role and building up donations of books, board games, gaming systems and laptops for patient use. She's also worked with other staff to improve depression screening and lined up volunteers who help patients with crafts projects during their stay.
Q. How was care handled previously?
Before, we had an antepartum nurse who was responsible for patients. Each day was a different nurse. The patients are there long-term, so a lot of times things fell through the cracks, such as emotional well-being. You wouldn't necessarily notice someone was getting depressed.
Q. What do you do to help patients during their hospital stay?
In the morning I round with the obstetricians and see if there are any needs for the day. A lot of the patients see the high-risk perinatologist in the hospital in the evenings, and I also round with her.
When the patients are first admitted, I talk to them about what they may anticipate happening during their hospitalization, depending on what issue they're here for. Then we get a plan of care established and talk about what we expect for the long-term outcome of the hospitalization, whether they'll be there a while, or if there's something we can do and then send them home.
Q. How many patients do you usually help on a daily basis?
Anywhere from three to 10 at a time. They can stay from a couple days up to three or four months.
Q. What conditions would require bed rest in the hospital?
Pre-term labor and incompetent cervix, where their cervix is dilating without them contracting. Another huge one is preeclampsia - high blood pressure. We also get patients with kidney infections or gall stones.
Q. What is the best part of your job?
Seeing the patient with her family in the room and having some semblance of a normal pregnancy. We've had baby showers up on the floor.
*This infomation was written by the Des Moines Register