Hospital adopts new model for expectant mother and infant care

Apr. 22, 2013 @ 08:35 PM


Recently, Maria Parham Medical Center changed the model in the Women & Infants Units to a “couplet care” model. It basically means that one nurse is now assigned to care for both the mother and the baby.

The “traditional” model of infant care involves 3 separate nurses. The first, a labor nurse, would care for the mother from her admission to delivery. Afterward, another nurse would care for the mother’s postpartum needs while yet a third nurse (a nursery nurse) would see to the needs of the infant.

The “couplet” model has one nurse assigned to both mom and the baby for each 12-hour shift. The benefits of this arrangement include: avoiding confusion by the mother concerning which nurse to ask for in a particular situation; a greater continuity of care; a better understanding by the nurse(s) about the needs of both patients; the greater likelihood of “rooming in” (when mom spends most of her time in the presence of her baby during their hospital stay).

Generally, this arrangement leads to greater satisfaction by the patients and the nurse as well as a decrease in the cost of care.