Feb 25, 2019

This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Noel Martin, RN, CLC, Nursery/Labor & Delivery Nurse, and CHAMPS Nursing Team Leader at CHAMPS hospital Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula, Mississippi. She was nominated for her wonderful contributions to the Baby-Friendly journey at Singing River and for her presentation on a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle on skin-to-skin (STS) in the operating room (OR) following cesarean section. Noel completed and wrote up the PDSA with Neonatal Nurse & CHAMPS Team Leader Tina Fritz, RN, BSN, IBCLC. Then, Noel presented it on a CHAMPS conference call with team members from other CHAMPS hospitals throughout Mississippi that are also on the Baby-Friendly journey.

“Much to our frustration, STS in the OR after a C-section never seemed to go ‘right,’” Noel shared with CHAMPS.

This frustration became the impetus to do a PDSA, to see what could be changed to make this process better. She and Tina discussed different ways of not separating moms and babies at C-section delivery, while still navigating the reality of a surgical deliver and recovery. These ways included putting baby STS while mom is still on the OR table, then transferring mom and baby together to the bed from OR table; letting dad or significant other hold baby until mom is transferred to the bed from the OR table, then baby goes STS; and taking baby and dad/significant other to the recovery room and baby goes STS as soon as mom returns to recovery room from OR. As Noel attended C-sections, she tried these different options to see what kind of difficulties they ran into and how to navigate those difficulties.

“I personally like keeping the mom and infant in the OR and starting STS as soon as mom has been transferred to her recovery bed,” Noel said. “That way the STS can be completely uninterrupted once it has been started. If mom is under general anesthesia, then I take the infant to mom’s recovery room with dad or another family member. Once mom is awake and alert enough for STS, it is started.”

“The conference call attendees graciously gave me positive feedback on the PDSA presentation, and I also received a lot of advice from other hospitals that was extremely helpful. I think with the help of that PDSA we have improved our STS in the OR rates,” said Noel.

What personally motivates Noel to do the work she does?

“My work gratifies me,” she shared. “Newborns are AMAZING and to me birth never gets old. I love being a part of the best day of a woman’s life. On the flip side, I also feel like on the worst day of her life I can bring her hope and hopefully ease a tiny bit of her pain. I cannot imagine ever doing anything else. I love the fact that I have the opportunity to make a positive impact on every family I meet. In this career there are highs and lows, but there is always a chance to have a positive impact on someone’s life.”

Congratulations, Noel, and thank you for all that you do!