Deborah W. van Loon, RN
Clinical Nurse Supervisor
Intensive Care Nursery
What is your fondest memory from your 25 years working at Dartmouth-Hitchcock?
When I was still in orientation, I was caring for a very sick baby and we were in daily medical rounds. We had completed presentations and made a plan for the day, but still had some outstanding issues to address as a team. The attending neonatologist opened up a discussion, and I stood and listened to what people had to say. When the conversation was done, the attending turned to me and asked me what I thought. I was so surprised to be included, as I had not experienced anything like this in my previous job. I came to realize as time went on that this was the culture of the Intensive Care Nursery (ICN), that collaboration across disciplines was—and is—the norm. This has borne out over the years and has certainly contributed to my staying here.
What about your job inspires you?
The babies and families we care for and the resilience they demonstrate as they navigate the ICN experience. Getting families prepared to go home and helping parents feel like parents when their expectations for the pregnancy and birth have been changed so completely. Nurturing a family in this way and watching them go home with their kids has been such a gift.
What do you like best about your department?
My peers. I am fortunate to work with a group of people who are eager to work as a team and exceed the expectations of the families they care for. They provide care to babies, and the families who support and nurture them, during one of the most stressful times of their lives. They are committed to giving babies expert care while finding time to be sure that families’ needs are met and personalizing the experience with little touches meaningful to parents. Our staff also nurture each other, celebrating the good days and supporting each other on the challenging ones.