Empathy and teamwork keeps mom and newborn together despite heart problems


When a Labor and Delivery patient at Dixie Regional Medical Center started to feel chest pains and had to be moved to the Cardiovascular Unit (CVU), a team of caregivers worked quickly to keep the new mother and her baby together.

Suzanne Richman, RN, from L&D called House Supervisor Jeff Clark to get the transfer process started. Then Jeff and Holly Broadbent, RN, from Women and Newborn Care met with Stephanie Howard, RN, and Caitlin Robison, RN, from the CVU to identify potential issues, arrange supplies and patient support, and ensure clear lines of communication and expectations. Kamill assigned Caitlin to care for the patient since she has experience with post-partum mothers.


Caitlin Robison, RN

“I finished nursing school only a little over a year ago where I did heavy obstetrical rotations,” says Caitlin, “I also had five babies of my own. I thought how scary it would be to have a new baby and within an hour get transferred to another unit, worried that you might not get to see your baby or even survive, so I was glad to help.”

The first plan was to keep the baby with the father in a room on the Women and Newborn unit, but Caitlin offered to take the baby as a patient on her unit as well in order to keep the family together.

“I felt like our cardiovascular unit was a safe floor for the patient’s family to be on,” Caitlin says. “She was isolated from everyone else. I felt like I could keep the mom and baby safe while still supporting their holistic care and emotional health.”


Holly Broadbent, RN

The baby had to be assigned to another room on CVU due to iCentra programming, but the team arranged a safe way to keep the newborn physically in the same room with mom and dad.

When the mother and baby were transferred to CVU, Holly and Health Unit Coordinator Mary Benally provided initial assessment and cares alongside Caitlin. They got the patient set up with charting bands, a baby scale, and other necessary resources to document care. Cardiology caregivers said the mother would need to stay on telemetry for 24 hours and then could transfer back to Women and Newborn if no problems surfaced.

Over the next 24 hours, Caitlin with her care team provided support to the patient — along with a blood pressure cuff and machine used during each shift. Central Staffing Women and Children’s nurse, Betsy Carlson, RN, cared for both the mother and her baby Sunday night. Then, Caitlin volunteered to come back on Monday to offer continuity of care even though she wasn’t scheduled to do so.


Stephanie Howard, RN

Caitlin says, “I felt like it took so much coordination to bring the care team together that it would be in the best interest of the mother and baby to keep that continuity of care so they wouldn’t have to meet yet another nurse and explain more things and risk losing a piece of information that’s vital to their care. I wanted to limit her stress which would possibly translate to the baby.”

By Monday afternoon, the patient and baby were doing well and the family transferred back to Women and Newborn.

“This was an excellent example of collaboration to provide the right care in an appropriate setting in an unusual circumstance,” Jeff says.

“Everyone’s top priority was the safety and health of the mom and baby,” Caitlin adds. “Plus the love and empathy that everyone had for the patient was inspiring to me. People all across the board were willing to jump in and help. I was super blessed to be part of that group. Because we had our hearts in the right place, it was easy to coordinate, work together, brainstorm, and figure out solutions to an unusual situation.”

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