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A.L. emergency room staff practice labor and delivery

As part of ongoing training and in light of the upcoming transition of labor and delivery services to Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin, physicians and nurses who work in Albert Lea’s emergency room are making extra efforts to be prepared in the case of emergency deliveries in the coming months.

Theresa Blizzard, nursing education specialist, said though the staff have already been trained on deliveries in the past, they hope to enhance their knowledge with the additional training.

She said the 50 providers and nursing staff will go through one of the eight sessions over a week and a half period.

In addition to a classroom portion, the staff on Tuesday went through different stations set up on the second floor of the hospital about various topics, such as available resources and equipment for deliveries, checking to see how dilated the mother may be, practicing cutting an umbilical cord, conducting assessments on both the mother and newborn, and practicing delivering a baby with a simulator machine.

After going through the stations, the staff went through live simulations with one of the trainers acting as a mother coming in for an emergency delivery and how they would respond in different cases.

“Our focus in the ED is to be prepared for anything that would walk through the door,” said emergency medicine Dr. Jessica Schoen, who works in the emergency room in Albert Lea, Austin and Rochester.

Schoen, who is the director for the health system’s emergency medicine community simulation program, emphasized that all of the emergency room staff have had training on baby deliveries in the past but haven’t been able to use that knowledge frequently.

She said she helps design the curriculum for various training sessions and works with the different sites in the health system on education, with goals such as improving teamwork and medical care and identifying any systems issues that can improve the quality of care.

Blizzard said despite the training, she doesn’t want people to think that starting at the end of October when labor and delivery is transitioned to Austin, that everyone should just go to the emergency room to have their babies. She advised expectant mothers should still go to Austin and only go to the emergency room in the case of an emergency.