MADRAS, OR -- After nearly six months, officials at St. Charles hospital in Madras say their Labor and Delivery department is finally ready to re-open to expectant mothers, later this month. CEO Jeanie Gentry tells KBND News the OB department now has its own full-time nurse manager, and its 11 labor and delivery nurses are more than the facility has ever had before. "What we’re doing now, is having two OB nurses staffed at all time, with the additional backup help still available. And, making sure that we have done additional training during this time, so that all of our nurses that do OB are very qualified."
She acknowledges that this closure is the longest the department has ever seen, but she says recent moved will help prevent it from happening again, "So that we have backups to our backups; and making sure that we’ve got fully trained OB nurses throughout Madras hospital that can jump in and help when needed."
Gentry says the nursing shortage is a problem smaller hospitals are experiencing across the country."And the fear was that we would not reopen. From the beginning, we’ve been very committed to maintaining OB services here in Madras. And, the department that we have reopening is going to be better than any other point in time that we’ve had OB services here."