Communication is key in every relationship. It’s a foundation of happy marriage. It’s the gel in the most successful business partnerships. And it’s absolutely paramount on the Labor and Delivery floor of a hospital. Support staff, nurses and doctors working together, communicating effectively and efficiently to deliver babies is just another day at the office for these professionals.
When I gave birth to my son, I saw firsthand how much communication plays into the childbirth experience. As a first-time mom, the labor and delivery experience was completely foreign to me. No matter how many Lamaze classes you attend, nothing can fully prepare you for your birth experience. In a sense, we were trusting in the resources of our hospital facility and the expertise of our staff to guide us through this life-altering event.
The new Labor and Delivery floor at Sarasota Memorial Hospital opened a week after my due date. Fortunately, my son waited 11 days after his due date to arrive, allowing us to take advantage of this brand-new facility and all the updated amenities it offered, including hydrotherapy tubs and portable fetal monitors.
In the delivery room, during this delicate period of time, the conversations are plentiful. The doctor communicates medical information to the nurse. The nurse coaches the mother when to push. The husband shares words of encouragement and strength with his wife. This intricate system of communication exists all for one purpose – to deliver a new life safely into the world.
Using a Voalte smartphone, my nurse was able to text other units such as Anesthesia when I asked for an epidural or the pediatric nurse once my son was close to being born. She called the doctor as I continued to progress in labor, and soon after his arrival, our son was born. The labor nurse was able to effectively communicate an immediate need to other staff members while keeping her focus on my baby and me. After we were moved to the Mother Baby floor, our nurses communicated with the Lab staff and specialists using their Voalte smartphones, all without disturbing the quiet bliss of our first few days together as a family.
There’s a steep learning curve when it comes to communicating as a parent. From learning when to ask for help to differentiating my son’s cries and babbles, communication plays even more of an integral part in my daily life now. In comparison to motherhood, communication between hospital team members seems oddly less complicated.
Ashley Murphy is a Technical Writer at Voalte.