Well baby nurseries

  1. I'm a little hesitant to ask this, given the thread on asking questions in another forum , but I'm a paediatric nursing student in the UK, and whilst I get a maternity placement and a NICU placement as part of my training, as far as I know we don't have well baby nurseries over here.

    From what I can gather from reading on this board, couplet care is where the mother and baby remain in the same room, which is what happens over here too. The baby always remains in the postnatal unit with the mother, unless of course it's a preemie/ill etc, in which case it will go to either a special care baby unit (less acute) or a NICU.

    I've heard people talking about well baby nurseries, but because they are commonplace in america and non-existant over here, at least in my county, I still don't really understand when, why or how long babies go there for.

    Would anyone be kind enough to explain to me the basics of the function and role of a well baby nursery?

    Thank you very much.
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  2. 44 Comments

  3. by   at your cervix
    Generally speaking, a well baby nursery is a "holding area" for babies. Some mothers do not want to have their babies in their rooms all the time, they may want to rest. The baby would go to the nursery when the mother was resting. The baby may also go there for assessments or medical procedures.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Neither place at which I am employed has a "well-baby" nursery. That is almost a contradiction because well babies do NOT need NURSERY care. We do couplet care in LDR's and LDRP's only. Babies stay w/their mom's 24/7. If a baby is in a "nursery" it is cause he/she needs special care only that nursery staff provide.
  5. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Like at you cervix said, moms do not always want the babies in their room. They want to rest, shower, go have a cigarette, etc.

    Babies also go to the nursery for their hearing screens, pictures, circumcisions, physician assessments, hep vacs, lab draws, photo therapy, etc.

    Heather
  6. by   KRVRN
    They also go there if it is up for adoption or if the mom is seriously ill herself.
  7. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Good points Kristi! I'd forgotten about those!

    Our babies also have to remain int he nursery if they're being monitored or getting a pneomogram, ech, ekg, etc.

    All any of this really means for me is that our hospital admin. have dumped way too much transitional/NICU care onto the well nursery.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    The reason I stated there is no well-baby nursery is cause we are not staffed for it, period. PKUs, pictures, footprints can all be done in the mother's room, at her bedside w/the equipment we have, if she so chooses. Otherwise, we do take the baby out to do these things, at her request. The nurse who is caring for the couplet (mostly nights), does all the PKU's, prints, cord clamp removals, etc. for her mom-baby couplet. If they do elect to have firstfoto pkg done, then we do have to take the baby to the nursery for this. But there is generally NO ONE to staff for wellbabies. If a mom is that sick, oftentimes she goes to a higher level of care e.g. another hospital or, yes we suck it up and watch her baby. But this is accomplished by the staff we have (that does couplet care) taking turns watching her baby. There is no staffing for well babies alone, outside the realm of couplet care.

    If there is a special care baby in our SCN, (we have Level II capability only), then there is a nurse assigned specifically to that baby's care and she remains in the nursery. It's at that point the other babies may come in and be watched there while moms sleep, rest whatever. But we never promise we can take a baby out of the room for certain. If it's slow and I have the time, I am more than happy to take a fussy baby out and rock him/her so mom and dad can get rest and gather sanity. I feel for them and want to help out. But oftentimes, we just don't have staffing for it. It's unfortunate.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jan 17, '03
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    By the way, the thread you mentioned is NOT a gripe about questions in general...it's about people who come here asking us to do their thinking, homework and solve their problems all the time for them. There is a CLEAR distinction between someone asking questions and seeking information and someone abusing the system as a parasite who refuses to do any of their own work and/or research. I hope you can understand this distinction. Your post in no way crosses that line.
  10. by   Tycoben
    Thank you very much for all your explanations.

    I had no idea that a well baby nursery covered so many areas!
    Heather's message mentions that she feels too much 'transitional' care has been dumped into the well nursery.

    From this I'm guessing that the nursery system might progress through three stages -

    well baby nursery = least acute,
    transitional nursery = more medical/nursing care required,
    NICU = intensive care required

    or am I just making up my own personal hospital system here? :chuckle

    I've had a look for the abbreviation 'ech' too - I know we use different terms over here (ecg instead of ekg, for example), but I've had a search and looked at the glossary and still can't find what that one means. It's probably something really simple too, and I'll kick myself when I find out!

    Thanks again for all the info.
  11. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by Tycoben
    I've had a look for the abbreviation 'ech' too - I know we use different terms over here (ecg instead of ekg, for example), but I've had a search and looked at the glossary and still can't find what that one means. It's probably something really simple too, and I'll kick myself when I find out!
    It is something very simple.... I left off the "o." Babies come to the nursery to get an echo(cardiogram).

    My bad.

    Heather
  12. by   Tycoben
    Bahahahaha!

    And you know Heather, I looked everywhere for an 'ech' test! :chuckle :chuckle
  13. by   ShandyLynnRN
    we do couplet care as well, usually. But we also bring the babies to the nursery anytime the mom wants us to. As we have been told, the babies are our patients too, they are being charged to be in the hospital as well, and mom's shouldn't HAVE to "babysit" if they don't want to. Most mom's will keep the baby in their room all the time, but some want us to keep them at night, so that they can get some rest before going home and having to deal with them all night. Many times I encourage this, if they are totally exhausted, and especially if they have other children at home. We are never allowed to tell moms that we CAN'T keep their babies in the nursery.
  14. by   fergus51
    We flat out refuse to care for well babies. This policy is in place mainly because of breastfeeding women, but applies to everyone because we just don't staff for that anymore. I don't really like it when women expect us to look after their babies for them. I am not there to babysit.

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