"I find it very rewarding to take care of
neurologically-challenged patients, because every gain is like a gold medal in
the Olympics. I've always found I get back far more than I give because I've
seen miracles happen. That's the reward: to see patients start to get back their
-Joyce Baudino, RN
Within seconds of post-operative recovery from brain or spinal surgery, the
patient takes the next step on the recovery journey - the Neurointensive Care
Unit. Each patient has a private room, and is observed continuously by
telemetry, and rounding by nurses, neurosurgeons, and when appropriate, by
physical therapists, and speech and language pathologists, medical social
workers, and other care providers.
It's important to maintain quiet in the NICU's low-light environment. In the
first 24-48 hours post surgery, it is critical to keep stimulation at a minimum.
Families are encouraged to be part of evaluations and consultations that can
offer their loved one the most optimal recovery possible.
nursing requires nurses to have specialized knowledge, experience, and unique
skill sets in order to provide a high level of quality care to this very special
Ronda Cunningham, Clinical Nurse Specialist at
McLaren Bay Region, has worked closely with the nursing staff, physicians, therapy staff,
management and administration to develop order sets, protocols, and clinical
pathways to ensure that best practices and standards of care are attained.
Through collaboration with a variety of professional organizations, including
the American Association of Neuroscience Nursing (AANN), American Stroke
Association (ASA), Michigan Hospital Association (MHA), and the Michigan
Parkinson's Foundation (MPF), many educational opportunities have been offered
to staff and the community.
The stroke performance improvement team has worked diligently to create,
develop and streamline our processes in delivering stroke care. McLaren Bay Region has
earned awards from the Heart & Stroke Network for community efforts in
stroke education and prevention.
Although many new and exciting changes
have occurred in a short time, the nursing staff has embraced these challenges,
and has taken the initiative to pursue the necessary education and expertise to
care for this population.
Jan Tardiff, BSN, has been at Bay for 37 years, and is Nurse
Manager of the Neuroscience Inpatient Unit. "We set high standards for
ourselves, so there is a proper nurse to patient ratio. It's fast-paced, and our
nurses have to respond in seconds if a patient experiences any difficulty. Our
nurses are attuned to notice subtle changes in a patient that might not even be
picked up on telemetry.
"Because our patients are usually bed-bound for some period of time, we are
very particular about keeping patients turned to prevent skin breakdown. Nurses
take part in patient rounds with the neurosurgeons. Nursing assessments are
critical as the neuro team decides 'next steps' in the plan of care. We have
found our care practices, under the physician's direction, have shortened
lengths-of-stay for some patients."
Joyce Baudino, RN, is a nurse with specialized training in
neurological care. She has been on Bay's NICU for many years. You can see the
compassion in her face, with a touch of humor so important in the intensity of
care required by NICU patients.
All patients are monitored continuously, and nurses respond in seconds to
subtle changes that may occur. The post-operative recovery process is individual
to every patient, as recovery is a gradual process.
Families are included in patient care and are educated on the surgery and how
they can best help their family member to achieve the best possible outcome. "A
multidisciplinary team approach in which all care providers work together is
absolutely necessary to attain the highest optimal outcomes for these
neurologically challenged patients.
"I find it very rewarding to take care of neurologically-challenged patients,
because every gain is like a gold medal in the Olympics. I've always found I get
back far more than I give because I've seen miracles happen. That's the reward:
to see patients start to get back their lives.