SWMC RN earns lactation consultant board certification

July 27, 2018

Southwest Medical Center is proud to announce OB nurse manager, Tammie Thompson, RN, C-EFM, has recently earned certification from the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants.

Thompson has worked for Southwest Medical Center since 2009, with all her years of service taking place on the OB floor. After working in LNP, RN, charge nurse, preceptor and various instructor roles, she began working as interim OB nurse manager in November 2017 before formerly accepting the OB nurse manager role in February.

Thompson says she began a more formal study of breastfeeding initiatives back in 2012, with education funding assistance from the Liberal Area Coalition for Families and encouragement from her manager, Robin Allaman, RN. Over the years, her interest in helping mothers breastfeed continued as she learned more about how to engage patients in following evidenced-based practices.

“In 2016 I attended a Breastfeeding 101 class, and it made me realize that there is a bigger need than I thought for breastfeeding education and support in our community.  After this class, I visited with Robin about the possibility of pursuing to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant,” Thompson said. She added that, “Working in an environment with a nurse manager and doctors who expect a high level of care and encourage you to learn was a great motivator for me.”

An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) specializes in the clinical education of breastfeeding and lactation. An IBCLC can help with resolving common concerns and questions, in addition to helping mothers with strategies for breastfeeding and lactation after returning to work, milk storage, and breastfeeding in challenging medical situations.

Thompson explained the Southwest Medical Center OB team provides education about the importance of breastfeeding, immediate and sustained skin-to-skin contact, rooming in so that newborns and mothers remain together, and about breastfeeding support available in the community after a family leaves the hospital. She says the OB team encourages moms to ask questions and seek support as needed to meet their goal of breastfeeding.

“It is our honor to be a part of one of the most memorable days of your life,” Thompson said. “Breastfeeding is a precious way to not only bond with your newborn, but it provides the newborn with optimal nutrition and many other benefits to the whole family.”

Southwest Medical Center Vice-President of Patient Care Services, Robin Allaman, RN, explained that having Thompson in Liberal is a great asset to the medical community, as there are less than a handful of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants on this side of the state.

“We are so proud to have Tammie on our team and our patients are fortunate to have her team so focused on providing the very best care services for their growing families,” Allaman said. “Southwest Medical Center truly encourages our team members to increase their skills through continued education and learning, and Tammie has set a wonderful example of what it means to go above and beyond to provide excellent care for our patients.”

While working, Thompson is also currently attending Oklahoma Panhandle State University where she is earning her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.