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Home : News : Features : Display
NEWS | Sept. 3, 2013

Four clinics; one mission - Labor & Delivery and Pediatrics

By Staff Sgt. Stephanie Rubi 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part of a series covering Women's Health, Ultrasound, Labor & Delivery, and Pediatrics.

An expecting mother is weeks away from giving birth; she's been cared for by the Women's Health clinic and seen at ultrasound, but now it's time to deliver and care for her new baby.

Langley Air Force Base Labor & Delivery and Pediatrics clinics are available to assist new parents and their baby during birth and after-care.

When a woman is experiencing contractions approximately every five minutes, she should be brought to Labor & Delivery. After being admitted, nurses and medical technicians begin to monitor baby and mom closely.

Nurses, like U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Lauren Casey, 633rd Inpatient Squadron registered nurse, will begin care at triage and admittance. The needs of the patient are met to ensure a happy and safe delivery.

"The happiness and safety of patients depends on good communication between the staff and patients," said Casey. "The patient must know what we expect of them just as much as we know what they expect from us."

"As technicians, we support the nurses through the labor process," said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jaqueline Petrakis, 633rd IPTS medical technician. "We record necessary vital signs and laboratory tests and set up all necessary equipment for delivery."

According to Petrakis, the job is extremely rewarding for everyone involved.

"The part I love most is seeing the reaction in the parents' faces when they first meet their newborn," said Petrakis. "Words cannot express the joy these parents have when they get to hold their son or daughter for the first time.

After a baby is born, both patients will be monitored closely for 48 to 72 hours. Healthy families can then expect to be released from the hospital. The first few days may be exciting and worrisome for new parents, as different types of cries and what they mean may not be understood immediately.

In cases where the father is deployed, Labor & Delivery can set up a computer that is solely dedicated for family members to talk via web cameras, allowing fathers to still "be there" for the delivery. If internet is not available, Labor & Delivery can still get through to the father through the Red Cross. The Red Cross notifies the deployed parent of mother's and baby's status.

After successful delivery, the Pediatrics clinic is available to help. New parents with concerns should contact their child's primary care doctor immediately. Doctors, physicians, nurses and technicians are willing to help in any way possible.

Senior Airman Edelyn Rodriguez, 633rd Medical Operations Squadron cardio-pulmonary technician, takes her son routinely to the Pediatrics clinic.

"I've had such a great experience with the staff," said Rodriguez. "They've helped my son and me with everything we needed. I'm more confident knowing he has been taken care of."

The Pediatrics clinic's doctors, physician assistants, specialists, nurses, practitioners and medical technicians care for more than 8,000 patients annually.

Patients will first meet with a technician. Their duties include asking preliminary appointment questions, taking vitals, performing any required tests, administering shots and preparing the patient for a doctor or nurse.

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Roxanne Beckman, 633rd Surgical Operations Squadron clinical nurse, is a member of the nurse staff at Pediatrics. Her duties include patient triage, prescription refills, patient referrals and assisting with the strep walk-in clinic every day from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.

"I've always loved taking care of people, so this job is perfect for me," said Beckman. "I enjoy what I do and I love my patients."

According to Tech Sgt. Jana Pratt, 633rd Medical Operations Squadron pediatric flight chief, the entire staff feels exactly the same.

"I work with the best staff anyone could ever ask for," said Pratt. "We work well as a team, we promote great customer service to our patients and above all, we care."

For questions or to schedule an appointment with the Labor & Delivery or Pediatrics clinics, contact the Langley AFB Hospital at 764-7630.