Parkland Health & Hospital System is marking its 30th year with certified nurse-midwives playing a key role in its labor and delivery department.
The department, one of the nation’s busiest, tallied more than 12,000 births in fiscal year 2017. Parkland nurse-midwives attended 40 percent of all vaginal deliveries, or about 300 births a month.
Since they were first recruited to Parkland in 1987, nurse-midwives have attended 420,000 births there. The 36 certified nurse-midwives currently practicing at Parkland constitute one of the largest and most respected certified nurse-midwives services in the country.
Safely guiding women through one of the most vulnerable, physically demanding, and emotional experiences of their lives is more than a daily duty for them. “It’s a calling, a heartfelt commitment, and a privilege to be with a woman at such an important moment in her life,” Carol Graham, RN, said in a news release.
Janice Lankford, RN, Parkland’s Nurse Midwife Manager, said that while some people may not be familiar with the use of midwives in a modern setting, many Parkland patients come from countries where midwives are the rule rather than the exception. In all, there are more than 11,000 nurse midwives in the United States.
Added Dr. Brian Casey, chief of obstetrics at Parkland and professor of obstetrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center: “The development of this program at Parkland is a tremendous story of accomplishment. … Today our nurse-midwives provide invaluable patient care and are involved in teaching medical students, interns, family practice physicians, and emergency room residents about the labor and delivery process. We couldn’t do it without them.”