Sanford Bismarck chosen as Magnet health system for 3rd time

By: Jon Berg .

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BISMARCK, N.D. — When you or a loved one stays in the hospital, you quickly become acquainted with the nurses.

Nurses make sure the patient is comfortable and taken care of during their stay. From starting intravenous therapy fluids and medications to getting a glass of water, they are the caregiver to their patients.

Sanford Health in Bismarck, North Dakota, was recently re-designated for the third time as a Magnet health care system, which is the highest quality standard a system can receive for its nurses. It’s the only Magnet-designated health care system in North Dakota.

When Magnet came to Sanford Bismarck, Cassie Sjostrom, a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit, escorted the Magnet surveyors. She cares for babies born prematurely or with health conditions that require extra care and attention after being born.

“We’re with the babies 24/7,” she said. “Every baby has their own nurse assigned to them, days and nights around the clock and so we get to see these babies go through their less stable points and we also get to see them thrive. We sometimes see some setbacks but we’re with them to go through all of their care, procedures and processes with them.”

Sjostrom cares for a lot of families who are scared and nervous after finding out their newborn needs to be admitted to the NICU. Megan and Kyle Courtney, of Oakes, North Dakota, have gotten to know Sjostrom and the other nurses in the NICU quite well during their twin daughters’ stay in the hospital. Marie and Stella were born almost 10 weeks prematurely, much sooner than mom and dad were expecting. Megan Courtney was in Bismarck visiting family when she suddenly went into labor.

“I got the phone call and ended up here and about 15 minutes after I got here, there came the babies,” Kyle Courtney said.

Since they were born, Marie and Stella have been in the NICU at Sanford Health in Bismarck. Since the Courtneys also have a 2-year-old at home, they can’t be at the hospital all hours of the day. But they said the nurses in the unit are more like family than nurses.

“It’s like a fun little daycare experience and makes you feel not so anxious about where you are,” Megan Courtney said.

“When we do leave, we’re not stressed or worried about it because we know they are in good hands and well taken care of,” Kyle Courtney added.

Although the couple’s pregnancy didn’t go as planned, they’ve developed some lifetime relationships during their seven-week stay in the NICU.

“Some of these people, we’re probably going to be friends with outside of the NICU when we do take them home,” Kyle Courtney said. “We couldn’t have written a better story. It’s been fantastic.”

And, according to Magnet, those nurses taking care of Marie and Stella are some of the best in the state of North Dakota.

“Our nurses, I’m just so proud of them because this is not easy work,” said Jan Kamphuis, chief nursing officer at Sanford Health in Bismarck. “This is something every day that you come to work and you have to put every effort into making sure that they do, that they give the best care that they possibly can.”

This is Sanford Bismarck’s third Magnet designation. The health care system was first designated in 2008, with a re-designation in 2013 and now in 2018. In order to receive Magnet designation, Sanford Bismarck passed a rigorous and lengthy process that demanded widespread participation from leadership and staff.

Executive Vice President of Sanford Bismarck, Craig Lambrecht, M.D., said nurses play a key role in a patient’s care.

“Our nurses and staff are always looking for ways to improve patient care,” he said. “I am extremely proud of our nurses and staff for a job well done.”

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