by James Coburn
Kyla Dufrene says Mercy Family BirthPlace is family centered, which is why Dufrene and the other nurses on staff feel they are working beside their extended family.
As a safe path nurse, she provides education at Mercy Family BirthPlace to make better nurses and to improve labor and delivery outcomes. As a registered nurse, she serves as the safe path quality nurse at Mercy’s Family BirthPlace in Oklahoma City.
“It’s fun nursing. It’s happy nursing,” she said. “People who come here are having a baby so everybody’s excited about it.”
Dufrene focuses on safe sleep and educating parents about the shaking baby syndrome. She helps parents to understand how to best care for their babies after the mother and baby are discharged from the hospital.
Her process improvements and quality measures for the hospital focus on ensuring it is following the best practice for not inducing labor to early in delivery without a viable medical reason. Charts are audited by her to ensure the care provided at Mercy Family BirthPlace aligns with the hospital’s professional standards, Dufrene said. Even if the standard of care is being met, Dufrene delves into what can the nursing staff do to make the standard better for patients and nurses.
“I make sure that everything we do here is meeting the latest guidelines and standards so we can provide the best care possible for the moms and babies, too,” Dufrene said. “So I am constantly reading journals, updating our policies.”
She attends meets with other nurses in the state sharing her field of nursing. They discuss the latest standards of practice and how they assimilate the best care.
Dufrene has worked her entire nursing career at Mercy Family BirthPlace on the campus of Mercy Hospital. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at OSU/OKC in Oklahoma City.
“I worked at Mercy when I was in nursing school actually,” Defrene said. “As a CNA I floated all over the hospital and then I started working at the Family BirthPlace right after graduation,” she said. “I’ve been at the Family BirthPlace for seven and a half years and Mercy for nine years.”
She has been in her current position for four years come April.
She understands the dimensional layers of labor and delivery nursing and puts them in context in order to keep the already competent nursing staff alert for best practices.
Dufrene believes this is her purpose as a nurse. She believes learning is relevant to a better life and that having a baby is one of the most important times in a mother and father’s lives.
“We are always improving,” Dufrene said. “Our nurses bring a lot of process improvements, too. What I do at the Family BirthPlace has a lot to do with our nurses.”
Nurses are primed to do the best job that they can so that they can educate mothers and fathers with the best up-to-date information available.
Nursing school only provides a snippet of obstetrics nursing, Dufrene said. Labor and delivery nurses at Mercy are trained from the moment they are hired about comprehensive labor and delivery care.
“So we meet on a regular basis. We try to do it daily depending on how busy we are,” she said of the nursing staff. “So we have a big color board up there and they put ideas or issues up on the board. We talk about if there is a problem with anybody and what we can do to solve it.”
A lot of patients come to Mercy Family BirthPlace feeling uncertain about what is going to happen. Their uncertainty fades as Mercy Family BirthPlace nurses walk them through the process step-by-step.
“When they’re trying to deliver natural without medication, we’re the support base for them,” Dufrene said. “It’s a privilege walking them through the most important day of their life.”
Dufrene and other managers step out during times of a high birth census to take patients when needed, she said of the interwoven team process.
“This is a second career for me. I was a teacher before I became a nurse and the experience I had when I had my twins was so amaziing, I thought I could see myself doing that. And when I decided to go to nursing school my kids were age 2.”
“I went back to nursing school and I knew I wanted to be an OB nurse,” she said.
Dufrene enjoys spending her leisure time with her twins.
“So a lot of our activity on weekends centers on what they’re doing,” she said. “Baseball, swim team and things like that. I love summer. It’s my favorite season and we are fortunate that we have a pool.”
“My favorite thing to do is to go home, kick back, watch the kids swim, read a book and workout.”