2015 July

President's Message- Judy Philbrook

“We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.” Herman Melville

Ever wonder why you do what you do day after day? Or ask yourself if anything that you have done has made a difference?

Our NICU has a reunion each year—the first Saturday of June. What an awesome and humbling experience! I heard many stories, and experienced laughter, gratitude, and tears. Parents and/or grandparents came up to me and asked if I remembered them, told me about their child and thanked me. One mother said that her son had a Grade 3 IVH and that this caused great worries, but happily reported that he is now 3 and knows his ABCs and how to count! Another father said his baby was in our unit for 12 weeks and was showing her off! Yet another family told me that because of their son, they have gone back to church and he is attending a Christian school. Parents talked about coming to visit their babies in the NICU, answering calls in the middle of the night, and how it feels to come back.

Don’t ever sell yourself short. People are watching what we do—and how we do it—all of the time. Sometimes the most insignificant things to you may mean the most to the family. Also remember that being there counts too—sometimes the emotional connection speaks louder than words.

Belonging to a professional organization, like CANNP, can produce similar questions and feelings. Again, is what I am doing making a difference? It seems like this is a lot of work for the number of members that we have.

I appreciate your continued support of this organization! In this newsletter, I am pleased to announce fantastic budgetary news. I am grateful to the 2015 conference planning committee for all of their hard work in planning an excellent conference.

I heard many positive comments about our conference—it is professional and well done, it provides networking experiences and the vendors loved the opportunity to share their wares. But, there are a lot of nurse practitioners who are not taking advantage of our regional expertise. Please share the value of CANNP with them as we are making a difference—one day at a time, one admission or discharge at a time and one conference at a time…

Have a great summer! Judy

2015 Conference Highlights

The 2015 annual CANNP conference, “Babies are our Business” was held on April 16 and 17 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC.

The conference planning committee did a great job and their hard work is appreciated. Members of this committee included: Joanna Fletcher NNP-BC Paula Issinghoff NNP-BC Reagan Oglesbee NNP-BC Carol Snyder NNP-BC Cheryl Smith NNP-BC Renee Starcevich NNP-BC

Topics and presenters included:

  • Update in Neonatal Neurology Carolyn Hart, MD Antibiotic Stewardship John “Brock” Harris, Pharm D
  • The Premature Infant: A Nutritional Emergency Suzanne Smith MSRD, LDN, IBCLC
  • The Golden Hour Phyllis Waddell, RN, BSN
  • Competency Maintenance: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You Lee Shirland, MS, NNP-BC
  • HFOV with the Neonate Chris Surike, RRT-NPS
  • NNP Mentoring Program Amy Jnah (ECU) DNP, NNP-BC
  • Nursing Research in the NICU Desi Newberry DNP, NNP-BC
  • Putting Together Prenatal and Neonatal Genetic Testing Erin Steed, MS, CGC
  • Gut Microbiome and Its Effect on Disease Chris Magryta, MD
  • Newborn Screening for Complex Congenital Heart Disease Matthew B. Brothers, MD

Practice sites traditionally donate gift baskets.The following participants won a basket: UNC - Debra Nickerson, Duke - Beth Connelly,  CMC, Levine Childrens - Deana Grogan, Charlotte Novant - Kristen Ruby, WakeMed - Kathy Connelly, CFVHS - Tneshia Sweat, Forsythe - Oksana Kasko, CMC Pineville - Courtney McDaniel, Vendors - Jennifer Wetherby

CANNP offered a Skills Lab at the conference. The following skills were demonstrated and practiced: umbilical catheterization, lumbar puncture, intraosseous insertion, intubation and chest tubes. Mannequins were donated previously by PETA. 

Educational Feature: Spirituality in Our NICU
By Judy Philbrook, NNP-BC
Spirituality in our NICU is currently a three-pronged process.

It consists of  1) debriefings  2) a monthly worship service and  3) spiritual retreats.

I wrote about our debriefings and efforts in palliative care in the July 2014 issue of this Newsletter, so will address the other areas in this article.
Monthly Worship Service:
    We started to offer a worship service for our staff in Sept 2014. We call this the Saturday Evening Worship Service and hold it on the first Sat of the month. It is offered at 6 pm to accommodate oncoming staff, and at 7:30 for those who are leaving. Each service is 30 minutes.  It took several months to obtain approval for this offering. First, we sought and received approval from the NICU Medical Team, the Patient Care Manager, the Service Line Director and from our hospital’s Chaplain Services. We sought community pastoral support and were fortunate that Judith Foster Reese, an Episcopal priest who was serving as an interim at a local church, was interested. Judith had some previous experience in biostatistics and research in a NICU at the University of Alabama (Birmingham). We also sought musicians and were able to secure the help of the Second Mile Praise Band at a local Presbyterian church. We have our worship services in our NICU Classroom. It is “remodeled” - the tables are folded and chairs are arranged in a semi-circle. The counter top serves as our altar and has featured flowers, battery operated candles and a cross that I bring from my Sunday School classroom!

Our service opens with soft music. We then have a variety of offerings, but these have always included a reading from the Bible, a meditation and music. Meditations are often adapted to the health care worker. Attendance varies—we have had 15 people, or 4 people attend. Regardless, we worship and have an increased sense of God and community when we leave.

Judith left in January for her next assignment. We have been fortunate to find another pastor, Eva Ruth, who moved back to Lumberton last Nov. Eva is a hospital chaplain and is also working on life coach certification. She is employed part time at a Presbyterian church in Lumberton in pastoral care.

We have tried to open our service to other disciplines—we have invited our maternal-child colleagues and NICU parents.

This winter, I sought funding through our Employee Directed Funds Grant Program. We were granted money to pay Eva for her travel and work with the stipulation that we include an announcement in our bimonthly employee newsletter, that an overhead announcement be made prior to the service and that I work with marketing to develop a professional flier. It’s all win-win!  Spiritual Retreats The last prong is attendance at a spiritual retreat.

One of our physicians, Scott Cameron, asked me and another NNP to attend this retreat several years ago. We did and saw how we could work to make things better and have asked and sponsored 13 more staff members (NNP, RN, RT and unit secretary staff). The retreat is through the North Carolina Presbyterian Pilgrimage group. (Others may liken this
to Cursillo or the Walk to Emmaus). After the retreat, we meet as a large, or in smaller, groups and continue to try to maintain our focus. The neat thing about this is that staff members are now asking us if they can go, rather than us asking them! It is telling and is hopefully making a difference.

We are all faced with challenges and are finding that being able to openly talk about issues we face, both work-related and personal, in this environment is good for all of us. On the bottom of the worship invite, there is a statement that reads:
Let us lift up our needs to you, O Lord, as we bring our personal and professional needs to You in community with our friends and co-workers.

We praise You and know that only You can restore peace within us.
We feel fortunate to have these opportunities in our workplace.