Dedicated Education Unit
Our affiliation with Michigan State University (MSU) College of Nursing is unique in that we also have an organization agreement to work closely together in various areas. Collaboration has been strongly encouraged by an executive group led by the presidents of both organizations. This affiliation has resulted in the creation of a Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) on 4 Foster. The DEU identifies Sparrow Nurses as clinical mentors and they are paired with MSU nursing students for an entire semester. The student works with the clinical mentor for 12 hours each week. DEUs are used in other parts of the nation with a goal to promote team building, leadership, and improve educational and patient care outcomes. Sparrow and MSU have synergized and created a wonderful learning opportunity, while improving health care in the community.
“This innovative academic partnership between Sparrow and MSU is the first-of-its kind in the region,” said Carol Dwyer, MSN, MM, RN, CENP, Vice President, Nursing. “By having these students learn side by side with a clinical mentor, we create an environment that elevates the practice of the mentor and student, with a strong emphasis on improving the clinical outcomes for our patients.” “Working closely with a Sparrow nurse mentor will enrich the clinical education of the students,” said Martha Scheckel, PhD, RN, Director of Undergraduate Programs at the MSU College of Nursing. “This relationship will help the students experience all aspects of the RN role in creating a safe quality care environment.” The DEU was planned by a joint team of Sparrow nurses and MSU College of Nursing faculty.
Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (RNICU)
Michelle Kittendorf, RN, NIC
Sparrow’s Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (RNICU) uses the latest technology to give even the highest risk babies the care they need. The RNICU staff cares for babies who are born prematurely, experience birth defects, or may have trouble breathing. It provides a family-focused atmosphere while offering state-of-the-art treatments and therapies for the smallest of Sparrow’s Patients. The team includes specially trained RN bedside Caregivers, neonatologists, Neonatal Nurse practitioners, Physician Assistants, Neonatal Fellows, Residents, Pediatric Clinical Dietician, Pediatric Rehab Therapists, Respiratory Therapists, and more.
The unit also provides care to surrounding community hospitals who deliver infants, transporting ill or preterm infants from the referring hospital to the RNICU. RNICU Caregivers work on providing care through evidence-based best practices to the babies of mid-Michigan by participating in both a state and national collaborative for key initiatives in Neonatal care issues.
Clinical Decision Unit
Anna Schroeder, BSN, RN
Sparrow’s Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) opened in spring 2012. This unit is comprised of physicians, mid level providers, registered nurses and technicians to provide rapid diagnostic testing, treatment and timely discharge. The goal is to expedite care in a clinical setting to optimize care outcomes. Collaboration is key, whereby the interdisciplinary team ensures patients are discharged, on average, within 15 hours. The CDU has made a significant impact on the reduction of length of stay of the observation patient in its first year.