Trinity Hospital in Minot began scheduled tours of the Family Birth Center this month. Previously, expectant mothers had to make reservations to tour the center, but are now able to stop by during a set date and time to receive a guided tour from a registered labor and delivery nurse, whose sole duty at the time will be to guide the tour.
"Originally, we would have the mother come in for a pre- admission visit, where we would get her medical history and show her around. We found that to be inconsistent, due to how busy we are," Deb McAvoy, nurse manager for the Family Birth Center at Trinity Hospital, said.
"It was hard for the nurse to focus on the mother when she also had other patients at that time. Now, we have somebody very specifically focused on what is needed at that time," McAvoy added.
Katina Tengesdal/MDN - - Deb McAvoy, nurse manager of the Family Birth Center, shows a labor and recovery room.
McAvoy explained that the process of taking the health history of an expectant mother at the time of a pre admission visit was also redundant, because health histories are now already stored on the electronic health record.
With the Family Birth Center having 125 to 140 deliveries per month, 75 to 100 outpatients per month, and other patients undergoing gynecological surgeries in the unit, the scheduled time for pre-admission tours has proved beneficial to both patients and staff.
"Before, they were making reservations for a tour, and we would never know what our day is going to be like here," McAvoy said. "There were times when people had to wait. A person's time is valuable. We don't want them to have to wait in the lounge for us."
Upcoming tour dates, times
March 24 -- 7 p.m.
March 28 -- 2 p.m.
March 31 -- 2 p.m.
April 2 -- 2 p.m.
April 7 -- 7 p.m.
April 11 -- 2 p.m.
April 14 -- 7 p.m.
April 16 -- 2 p.m.
April 21 -- 7 p.m.
April 25 -- 2 p.m.
April 28 -- 7 p.m.
April 30 -- 2 p.m.
"Nobody likes to feel rushed, either," she added. "When the unit's busy, you can feel it if somebody is on the tense side."
The tours, which guide expectant mothers and their families through the birth center, focus on answering their questions about the center's layout, policies and other concerns.
"People want to know where they're going, what to bring and what the visitation policy is," McAvoy said. "It's always nice to know what to expect up front so we don't have that miscommunication."
Those on the tour will view a labor and delivery room, a postpartum room, the nursery, and the family lounge. They will have the chance to discuss with the nurse what to expect when they arrive, what to bring, how to get there, the infant safety and infant immunization programs and visitation policies. There is also a question-and-answer session to address additional concerns.
After the first few weeks of the tours, McAvoy said she is confident that expectant moms and their families are getting the information they need.
"Before, when the nurse had other patients, they might miss telling people some things," McAvoy said. "Now, we know that everybody is hearing the same thing, so we know that nothing is being left out."
"On the tours we have a casual, relaxed atmosphere, and we're getting good feedback from the families that have come through," she said.
The tour is an opportunity to alleviate some concerns, especially for first-time moms, or for those delivering at Trinity Hospital for the first time.
"It can especially help first-time moms," McAvoy said. "For most women, this is their first experience being a patient in the hospital, since they are generally young healthy people with little hospital experience. It's a different feel for them."
"For anyone who is interested, the tours are helpful, and it helps to know our policies," she said. "For those who have been here before, it's always good to get a refresher, and the tours can give you time to ask some questions."
Trinity's Family Birth Center Tours are open to expectant mothers in any stage of their pregnancy and to their families. For more information about the tours, call 857-5380 or 1-800-862-0005 or visit (www.trinityhealth.org) for a tour schedule. Those going on the tour should meet in the obstetrics waiting room on the third floor of the hospital. No registration is required.