A Brief “Thank You” from Dr. Sparks

Now and then, most of us think about the people to whom we wish we said “thank you” much more often.  For the physicians at Sparks & Favor, it’s a long list, but the RNs who care for our patients during labor and delivery surely rank near the top.

Our nurses make an important difference for our patients every day. Sometimes they anticipate a mom’s rising need for comfort measures and offer suggestions early, allowing mom to remain in control of her labor. There are also difficult moments when a nurse’s timely recognition of a true obstetric emergency is critical to the wellbeing of mom and baby.

Over my career as an obstetrician, I have practiced in quite a variety of situations from my years as a young army doctor where four of us delivered nearly 1200 babies a year to my time on the faculty at UAB supervising residents first learning to deliver a baby. I have seen trends come and go. My confidence in my nursing colleagues here comes from a years-long positive working relationship, but also from a number of specific commitments Brookwood has made over these years to maternity care. I’d like to share some of these with our patients.

First, I truly appreciate Brookwood’s commitment to specialized nursing in the Women’s Hospital. As hospitals face efficiency pressures, assigning nurses to staff multiple care areas—labor and delivery, postpartum, and newborn care—can be advantageous. But when nurses can specialize in one of these, the individual nurse develops a very high level of knowledge, skill, and experience in that particular area. Smaller hospitals cannot afford the luxury of specialized care and larger hospitals may decide against it in favor of easier staffing. The Brookwood model assures my patients of very proficient nursing care while they are in labor, during their baby’s delivery, and afterward.  While mom rests and recovers, specialized, experienced newborn-care staff are keeping a watchful eye on her baby and providing knowledgeable answers to her infant-care questions.

From our nurses’ perspective, their choice of Brookwood allows them to practice in their area of interest.  Our labor and delivery nurses are passionate about caring for families through this cherished event. Brookwood’s important commitment to one-on-one nursing care for women in active labor and during delivery assures your nurse that she will be able to provide the quality care and support you need. My feeling is that this environment attracts very talented nurses. Applicants find positions in our women’s care areas very competitive, and the result is the amazing nursing staff that I work with each day.

As we care for our patients, we physicians and nurses are also thankful for the immediate availability of world-class obstetric anesthesia and neonatal intensive care, if needed. We appreciate that our medical staff includes a maternal-fetal medicine specialist as an additional resource for high-risk pregnancies. With this support, we have confidence in our ability to provide the care a patient may need in both routine and difficult situations.

I am indeed thankful to these nurses for their commitment to our patients. I would also extend my appreciation to the Executive Staff of Brookwood Baptist Medical Center for providing this amazing women’s care environment.

Best wishes from our physicians and staff.

Dr. Jimmy Sparks