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Mother, Baby and Me: Debbie Biffle

This week’s edition of Mother, Baby and Me features Debbie Biffle, one of our patient care managers. Learn about her, what a typical day looks like and what drew her to labor and delivery.

How long have you worked at Abbott Northwestern Hospital? I have worked for Abbott Northwestern Hospital for 27 years! I have fulfilled multiple roles and have enjoyed every aspect of each position. I have been a staff nurse, quality management specialist, information system specialist, and a patient care manager. Abbott Northwestern is one of the best places to be a nurse. I have participated in multiple initiatives and committees throughout the years and feel strongly that I am a valued part of this place!

As a patient care manager, what does a typical day look like for you? I am the patient care manager for the labor/antepartum units for The Mother Baby Center. As a patient care manager, I am responsible to make sure that the patients and families experience an amazing stay with us! That being said, it is extremely important to me that all the staff caring for these patients feel supported, engaged, and has everything they need to provide excellent care to our patients and families. My typical day surrounds these goals. I make rounds on patients making sure that the experience we have provided them is meeting our standards. I connect with staff frequently and problem-solve barriers to care. Making sure that staffing is adequate and ongoing evaluation of what we need is also an important part of my work.  My day also entails participating in performance and quality initiatives that have been established by Abbott Northwestern and The Mother Baby Service Line.

What drew you to labor and delivery? I love being a nurse working with moms, families and babies. When I was growing up, I never envisioned myself as a nurse. Although I loved the sciences in high school, I couldn’t quite envision myself as a nurse for a career. I started off my college career going into business. After many statistics, calculus and accounting classes I quickly discovered that working only with numbers was not for me! I began interacting with other nursing students through taking science classes and discovered how much I loved pharmacology, physiology and chemistry! I then worked a summer as a nursing student and knew that this was the career for me. I chose labor and delivery because it seems like such a great fit for me. I have a great deal of passion, calm presence, strength and a love for working in an action packed environment!

What do you enjoy most about your job?  I can honestly say that I love coming to work as much today as I did on my very first day. Whether I have an absolutely spectacular day or one that is difficult and overwhelming, I will always love what I do!  I love my co-workers! The relationships that I have developed over the years are part of who I am as a nurse. I am very blessed and honored to not only be part of a fabulous staff but also have the opportunity to work within this amazing building. One of our patients said to me during rounding, “This is a world-class organization, and it is the best place to have a baby!” It is pride, compassion, passion and joy that bring me back each and every day! I take great joy in making sure that people are aware of what a positive impact they have on people’s lives through dedication to their patients.

What do you think are some of the key ingredients to a baby having a great beginning? I believe that The Mother Baby Center has all the key ingredients to making sure that the babies get off to a great beginning. We have the best facility, the best staff and leadership that support what we need. As a nurse, I need to make sure that the parents are starting off with a fabulous birth experience. We are so fortunate here that we are able to provide all the options to parents.  For babies we have specialized nursing care through neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and special care nursery (SCN) if necessary, all so close to where the birth actually happens! We also have knowledgeable nurses who can help instill the confidence and provide education to the parents so they feel at ease with their new baby.  Lactation support is also so important and we have those resources available for patients. Families need that even though they may have spent considerable time educating themselves; babies may have not read the same books! They need to know that they may not know everything, but there are resources to help them.  Many times patients and families focus so much time preparing for the birth. Then the baby is born and now what? It is our job to walk them through this most important time after birth. We give them knowledge, instill confidence, and praise them during this amazing time in their life! Their lives will be changed forever, and as we care for these families, so will ours…