Article by Yemi Olufolabi, MD
In October, Kybele had the opportunity to sponsor three NICU nurses/nurse managers from Ridge Regional Hospital in Accra, Ghana. Partially funded through a multi-year grant from the PATH organization, nurses Rebecca Agyare Asante, Vivian Koffie, and Fauziya Rabiu were able to spend a two-week observership at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., and they definitely packed a lot into their visit. The women were able to visit the Duke Neonatal Unit and all related wards, the Duke simulation center, the education center, and the maternity operating room. They attended clinical meetings, a neonatal resuscitation training session, in-service training for new staff nurses, and safety rounds. They also visited with Dr. Lisa Washburn from Wake Forest Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where they discussed current protocols and improvement potential at Ridge Hospital. In addition, they visited the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill maternity center, which is operated by midwives.
During all of this observation, the Ridge nurses had extensive exposure to a system that prevented and treated infection in babies. Given that new breathing methods (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure - CPAP) were recently introduced at Ridge Hospital, a special session with nurses and respiratory therapists on the CPAP machine proved highly educational. Other important observations involved infant feeding techniques, customer care best practices, and the environmental factors that nurture optimal brain development. The Ridge nurses were impressed by the dedication of the Duke nurses and their intensity of focus while caring for babies. The meticulous and attentive approach in the management of each baby really stood out for them.
The Ridge nurses returned home excited and reassured that they could further raise standards of care at Ridge Hospital. They resolved to make changes that would improve outcomes. As a result of their visit, they planned to incorporate changes by sharing their experiences with their colleagues and ensuring infection prevention became a priority, because it is one of the major causes of maternal and infant mortality. The nurses promised to improve customer care practices by engaging parents and improving communication among staff through the use of technology and by refining old protocols or developing new ones.
While their visit was jam-packed with educational experiences, the nurses also had the opportunity for some fun by attending a local festival, shopping, and visiting with local nurses and Kybele team members. They said they were grateful to those who made their stay such a memorable experience, especially the Duke NICU nurses, Christine Phillips, Dr. Ron Goldberg, Kybele and Yemi and Lola Olufolabi, who hosted them in their home.
See MORE PHOTOS of the Ridge nurses' trip to North Carolina.