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Safe at St. Luke’s: Caring for Kids in the Hospital

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Pediatric Hospitalist Dr. Carley Udland cares for a patient in St. Luke's Pediatric Inpatient Unit. 

Dr. Carley Udland shares how her team cares for kids in the hospital.

“I was already a mom when I started medical school,” said Dr. Carley Udland, Pediatric Hospitalist at St. Luke’s. “So, I’ve never been a doctor without also being a mom.”

Now having three children with her husband, John, Dr. Udland understands the experience of parenthood on an even deeper level. “I completely get it,” she said. “All the complexities, joys, fears and questions that come with being a mom – I’ve been there. I’m still there! Raising kids is like having your whole heart outside your body.”

Dr. Udland knows how important it is for parents to be certain that their kids are safe. That’s why she’s proud to be part of a team of pediatric hospitalists. By offering 24/7 specialized pediatric care, this team makes sure that every baby, kid and teen gets the care they need at St. Luke’s.


“I’ve never been a doctor
without also being a mom.”
- Dr. Carley Udland

What’s a pediatric hospitalist?
Many doctors split their time between seeing patients in clinic and in the hospital. However, a hospitalist is a doctor who focuses on caring for patients who need to be hospitalized. A pediatric hospitalist has specialized training to care for children in the hospital.

“Our job is to help kids who need to stay overnight at St. Luke’s,” she said. “That covers everyone from healthy newborns to 17-year-old trauma patients.” Dr. Udland’s team is committed to being on the leading edge of the most current hospital-based testing, diagnosis and treatment of pediatric conditions.

A pediatric hospitalist has specialized training to care for children in the hospital.

Pediatric hospitalists can be found throughout St. Luke’s. They care for patients in the Pediatric Inpatient Unit, attend every c-section, and consult in the Emergency Department as well as anywhere else a pediatric patient may be in the hospital. Much of their focus is on newborns in the Birthing Center.
 

Expert care for newborns
“One of the best parts of the job is working with new families,” said Dr. Udland. “We greet each newborn when they come into the world by doing routine checkups and talking with the parents. It helps everyone get started on the right foot.”

They provide additional care for babies who need extra attention. “We can treat complications like respiratory issues and neonatal abstinence syndrome, offer high flow oxygen therapy and administer IV medications.” This nursery is currently being remodeled with additional features and improved technology.

“We’re all really excited for the remodel,” said Dr. Udland. “One of the best features is the private parent and baby suites. So, if you come to St. Luke’s and your baby needs extra care, you won’t have to be separated from them. You’ll have a suite right in the nursery.” St. Luke’s Specialized Care Nursery is scheduled to open in summer 2022.

“We’re always adapting to what our community needs,” said Dr. Udland.

Caring for kids at St. Luke’s
After working with several other healthcare systems in different parts of the country, Dr. Udland is proud to be at St. Luke’s. “We’re always adapting to what our community needs,” said Dr. Udland, “and people notice it. I meet lots of families who feel really cared for by St. Luke’s. I really appreciate being part of something like that.”

She also appreciates the team of pediatric hospitalists with whom she works. “They are a great group,” she said. “We all work together for the good of our patients.” This group includes Drs. Jordan Blessing, Maria Obaid and Emily Korman. Each of them is a parent, and each shares Dr. Udland’s passion for caring for children.

All this means that compassionate, expert care is always at-the-ready for kids at St. Luke’s – no matter what their age. From the moment they come to the hospital to the moment they leave, they will have immediate, safe and attentive care from a specially trained pediatric hospitalist and from other expert caregivers. So, parents can rest easy knowing that their kids are safe at St. Luke’s.

To learn more about inpatient care for children at St. Luke’s or meet the team of pediatric hospitalists, visit slhduluth.com/CareforKids.

This article was published in the 2022 July issue of the Woman Today magazine

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