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GUEST ESSAY: Nurses make a positive impact

For as long as I can remember, a career in health care interested me. The opportunity to give back to my community made it even more appealing. I was born at Glens Falls Hospital, was by my dad’s side as he navigated the health care system following a severe accident at work and even volunteered as a candy striper at the hospital throughout high school. In nursing school, I had the opportunity to shadow a neonatal nurse practitioner and instantly formed an intense connection and sense of purpose with that work.

Throughout my career, I have worked as a registered nurse and then a nurse practitioner in neonatal intensive care units, providing specialized care for newborn babies who need a little extra help once they come into the world. When I had the opportunity to join the specialized care team at The Joyce Stock Snuggery at Glens Falls Hospital, I knew I was home. The providers, nurses and other clinicians who work alongside each other at the Snuggery strive to give mothers, their support system and our newborn babies the best possible care and experience during what is both an exciting and stressful time in their lives..

As clinicians, and many of us being mothers and fathers ourselves, we know the importance of family-centered care and the entire team at the Joyce Stock Snuggery — from our nurses and respiratory therapists to the mid-wives we work with in the area — works together with that shared goal in mind. Where this intentional effort really comes to life is in the circumstances where newborns require specialized care and attention after birth, which can happen for a variety of reasons.

In these scenarios, we do everything in our power to keep families physically together, while providing appropriate and evidence-based medical care. A common example of this is when a baby is born with jaundice and requires a therapy intervention, that treatment is done in the room with the family so they don’t sacrifice critical bonding and skin-to-skin time with their new baby.

 

During the Snuggery renovation in 2017, we even designed the doorways to be wider so that beds could fit through to allow mom to visit and spend time with her new baby in our Special Care Nursery, which is staffed by highly trained and experienced nurses. We also collaborate regularly with the advanced obstetrics team at Albany Med, which has allowed some expecting mothers with risk factors to deliver their baby here in Glens Falls.

 

In every area of the hospital, we have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of the people we serve. Several years ago, when I was working as a registered nurse and visiting my grandmother who was being treated for cancer at Glens Falls Hospital, the clinicians who cared for her went our of their way to make me feel comfortable and cared for, too. That same spirit of caring is alive and well today at The Joyce Stock Snuggery at Glens Falls Hospital where we treat our patients like family.