Brandywine Valley Surgical Center Team at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Brandywine Valley Surgical Center Team

Brandywine Valley Surgical Center Team at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Ambulatory Surgical Center
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
United States
Margaret (Maggie) Antenucci, RN; Belinda Bankert, RN; Lisa Carlucci, RN; Danielle (Danni) Christ, RN; Kathy Cochlin, RN; Jeanette Lewis, RN; Shanna Smeltz, RN; Lisa Egick, RN; Wendy Fitzpatrick, RN; Barbara Ford, RN; Lauren Keating, RN; Kimberly McManiman, RN; Elizabeth Olsen, RN; Melissa Mendenhall, RN; Linda Thomas, RN; Linda Greim, MSN, BSN; Erin Hughes, RN; Louise Grim, Office Coordinator (PSR); Roberta Smith, Surgical Center Tech

This team continuously performs at a high level of excellence. With great patient satisfaction and outcomes. Their first encounter with families is during the perioperative history intake call. The phone etiquette is warm and friendly. Throughout this process, the team often needs to involve multiple disciplines to ensure the Surgery Center is the right venue. They are often recognized by peers and patient families for their collaboration, good catches, and professional dialog, all for the safety of the patients. Safe patient care requires contributions from many providers, however, this team does a stellar job bridging everyone's contributions together.

During the patient's encounter with us, each and every patient is treated with respect and kindness, all the while receiving excellent care, whether it's in the Pre Op, Operating Room or in the Recovery area. I often hear from families, how exceptional, friendly, warm and welcoming the staff are through in-person conversation, telephone calls and handwritten thank you notes sent to us. This team is powerful and productive as they have open communication with each other that leads to an environment of trust and respect. The team holds themselves accountable and responsible to strive to be the best they can be.


I have worked for CHOP since November 2006, fulltime as a Perioperative RN in the Pre and Post-op area under the leadership of Linda Greim BSN, MSN. I have been a Registered Nurse working fulltime for 32 years. I started at the CHOP Exton Surgery Center, November 2006, two and a half years ago Exton moved to the Brandywine Valley Surgical Center in Glenn Mills, PA.

The Brandywine Surgical Center Staff delivers superb care to their patients every single day. It all starts with the preoperative assessment of our patients which begins with the families about 2 weeks prior to their day of surgery on the phone. This is the beginning of our relationship with the families. We do a full history of the patient via the phone, asking many questions regarding their current health status and past history. We look for any irregularities that may exist that may be a red flag for the patient to have anesthesia at an ambulatory surgical center, all according to our very strict standards. We work with the families and collaborate with many services i.e. Cardiology, neurology, genetics, just to name a few, and most importantly, consult our Anesthesiologist regarding whether or not the patient is an ambulatory surgery candidate. We communicate with all disciplines with our focus on Patient Safety and Family-Centered Care. We initiate a Pre-anesthesia evaluation of each patient in EPIC in their chart for the entire team to review on the day of surgery. Our team does this with confidence and experience, teaching the families about preoperative feeding instructions, possible nebulizer treatments, what to bring on the day of surgery and ultimately, what to expect on the day of surgery. The parents are well prepared before they step foot into the facility and are confident that their child will be well taken care of from start to finish. Why? Because our nurses are empathetic in their tone and approach on the phone. We take our time, answer their questions, and reassure them, as many are very nervous about their child having anesthesia and compassionate rending care to their child.

On occasion, a child will be canceled in the preoperative area by the anesthesiologist for fever, wheezing, or possibly the new onset of a heart murmur, just to name a few examples. Today, two patients were canceled for surgery for their compromised respiratory status in the preoperative area. Although the anesthesiologist explains to the parents why their child was canceled, often the parents are confused, upset, some didn't even know their child was sick. Our nurses are here to support the decision and to help the family cope with the cancelations and support our culture of safety. We offer them drinks and snacks because the child has been fasting and give them direction on what to do next in helping their child get well so that they can have the surgery in a few weeks. And sometimes this is done by the team calling their pediatrician to help further explain the circumstances of illness presented on the day of surgery and to be evaluated for further follow up and treatment as deemed necessary. Families have expressed great gratitude with the nursing team on the extra attention during this difficult/ frustrating process of being canceled and rescheduled. Families go through a lot when planning for their child's surgery. For example, time off of work for the parents, care of other children at home, school-age children with busing schedules and transportation.

This staff is not only a "Team" they are like a close-knit family, led by our leader, Linda Greim. This team consistently goes above and beyond every single day, I could give you hundreds of examples.

Their passion for providing exceptional care and confidence shines through in our outcomes. In addition to caring for our patients, we all have additional assigned responsibilities. One of my monthly responsibilities is to collect, evaluate, collate and produce a monthly document of the patient family satisfaction survey results. I report monthly to the team our results. I'd like to share with you direct quotes from some of our families and their satisfaction with our team. "The experience was overall great. Everyone was so helpful, kind and professional, thank you!", "Every single professional we encountered was extremely courteous, helpful, informative and caring!", "Excellent, a well-oiled machine!", "Impressed by the friendliness and kindness of all staff". Of course, with the positives, there is sometimes a negative comment, which we try and address the issue while the patient is still within our care. We like to be informed of any situation good or bad and allows us the chance to learn, grow, and improve.

This amazing team is educated, many have their certification CPN or CNOR, a few RNs are currently studying for the certification exam. Three of the RNs just became PEAK 1 RNs at the encouragement from our leader, Linda, to apply. We do SIMS training and debriefing after SIMS to learn and always prepare for emergencies. We attend conferences, and all have PALS and BLS certification, ACLS certification as well for the PACU staff. We had a patient, 8-year-old girl went to the Operating Room for a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. During the procedure, there were complications and the patient lost about 60-70% of her blood volume within a few short minutes. The staff worked together seamlessly and we were able to stabilize her in the post-anesthesia care unit, start her blood transfusion (the first ever for a surgery center), and communicate with CHOP main regarding her transport to the hospital via helicopter, all while including the parents and keeping them informed and calm during this emergency. The patient was transferred to CHOP, where she spent several days as an inpatient. On this day, the team, worked side by side using all their talent and a collaborative effort with multiple parties: fellow teammates, anesthesiologists, surgeon, transport team, OR board runner and the receiving team at CHOP main for this very successful air transport. After the child left the facility, the entire staff stayed to debrief about the emergency to discuss what worked well and where can we build more capability. This was a great opportunity for the team to discuss openly and honestly because of the culture we have created.

Our Manager, Linda Greim, leads by example; on our busiest days she works alongside us in the PACU so that we are able to provide the best patient care possible. She has a pulse on the entire surgery center from registration, preoperative area, operating room, to PACU, at a moment's notice she is available to us. She encourages us to be the best that we can be. She is transparent with us and keeps us informed of everything that we need to know to do our jobs to the absolute best of our abilities. Most importantly, she supports us and keeps an open door policy with all of the team. We all know that we can depend on her and contact her day or night with any issue. She is a true leader!