Story and photo by James Coburn, Staff Writer
Jessica Hudspeth had a good experience with the birth of her first daughter. Hudspeth had originally set her course to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health because of her passion for health education. But her successful experience of birthing her daughter inspired her to become a labor and delivery nurse.
She chose Lakeside Women’s Hospital, part of the INTEGRIS Health network.
“I love the patients that we have at Lakeside, and the community of nurses and the staff as a team,” Hudspeth said. “Our patients that come in are great, our doctors are great, and I love that it’s like a cozy home and not like a giant hospital. Also, it’s real comfortable for me and I think our patients also feel that comfort as well.”
Hudspeth joined the extern program at Lakeside Women’s Hospital during nursing school at Oklahoma City Community College. She graduated in 2019. She loved her educational experience at OCCC. Hudspeth said her instructors prepared her well for the NCLEX competency exam. Hudspeth learned a lot by listening to her instructor’s personal experiences about patient care.
“All of the teachers there were so good,” she said. “Every day I was on the edge of my seat learning with them. I highly recommend anyone to go through any of their nursing programs.”
She felt welcomed at OCCC and is a welcoming presence herself at Lakeside Women’s. Hospital.
Continuing education is prevalent at Lakeside Women’s Hospital. INTEGRIS Health educators join the nurses in simulation labs.
“We are constantly doing online education. They are big supporters here of continuing your education,” Hudspeth said.
INTEGRIS Health supported her in attaining her registered nurse certification in obstetrics.
“If I was really interested in going to a conference, they would work with me,” she said.
A typical workday for Hudspeth involves one patient in labor. However, she stays prepared for additional deliveries on any given day.
“What’s nice about labor and delivery is you never really know what you’re going to get,” she said. “And so, you might have days when you don’t deliver any babies. And some days are busy, and you get two and you’re getting new ones admitted. So, it’s nice to have that change and that up-and-down calm and then be busy.”
She begins her days getting her assignments and educating mothers and their husbands about medications and what to expect. One or more supportive loved ones are usually with patients. Every labor and delivery brings something different. Some experienced mothers in childbirth are calmer and more collected.
But the nurses still take every effort to educate them. Hudspeth updates mothers about their baby’s heart rate during the process. Afterwards, she educates mothers about their bleeding and signs to look for.
“Definitely breast feeding as well. There are so many areas of education we do on a daily basis with our patients. I really enjoy that part,” she said.
Not everyone experiences the sound of a newborn taking their first breaths. Hudspeth is grateful to be part of a team to deliver the wonder of birth.
“It’s great to see the patient’s reaction and everyone in the room. Most of our deliveries are really happy. Every time I have a good one, it kind of puts me on a high and elevates me. It’s really great, I love it,” she said.
Mothers will occasionally make a point to greet Hudspeth when they stop by for their postpartum visits. The nurses also receive joyful letters and baby pictures from parents.
“We remember their stories and their journeys in the labor process. And you always find a special bond with each patient on a different level,” Hudspeth said. “You went to the same school, or you like to eat at the same restaurant. I like to find a little connection like that with someone.”
There are nurses prepared for every specialty, and not everyone is meant for labor and delivery, Hudspeth said.
“I appreciate there are nurses that will do other things, but I love labor and delivery,” she continued. “I think it’s really up to the person.”
Hudspeth speaks with plenty of nursing students going in a field that she has no interest in doing. “I say, ‘We need people like you.’ The same goes for labor and delivery.”
For more information about Lakeside Woman’s Hospital visit: https://lakeside-wh.com/