Friday, February 10, 2012

Elk Regional Employee is the Region’s Only Certified Lactation Consultant

Elk Regional Health Center is proud to announce that it is home to the only International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in at least three counties.

Diane Young, RN, BS, IBCLC, an employee of The Family Unit at Elk Regional, recently passed the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant examination and renewed her certification.

“In The Family Unit, we are very big proponents of breast-feeding,” said Sara Myers, RN, the nurse manager of Elk Regional’s Family Unit. “As we tell our patients, ‘breast is best.’ Being able to rely upon Diane’s expertise when it comes to breast feeding offers our patients peace of mind, and that’s important for new mothers. We are all very proud of Diane. It has taken a lot of effort on her part to earn this re-certification.”

Nurses hoping to earn IBCLC certification must undergo a rigorous process that includes degrees in nursing, hundreds of hours of continuing education and hands-on training, and a passing grade on a five-hour examination.

Ms. Young first earned IBCLC certification in 2001. Before Ms. Young was allowed to take the initial IBCLC examination, she was first required to earn a nursing degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in a related field. She was also required to undergo 90 hours of continuing education about human lactation and breast feeding and earn several hundred hours of clinical experience working with breast feeding mothers.

“When I was notified that my exam results were available, I actually had to work up to it before I could open them up on the computer,” Ms. Young said. “I cried when I found out I had passed.”

In five years, Ms. Young must either earn her IBCLC certification again by passing the five-hour examination or complete an additional 75 hours of continuing education related to breast feeding. She is required to take the five-hour examination every 10 years.

As an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Ms. Young works to correct any problems encountered by new mothers who are breast feeding. Five nurses in The Family Unit who are certified lactation counselors are able to provide follow-up care to patients who have already met with Ms. Young.

“It’s very important to us that we are able to provide the full spectrum of care to new mothers who are breast feeding,” Ms. Young said. “We’re available to help even after our patients leave the hospital with their newborns.”

Ms. Young earned her nursing degree in 1973 from the School of Nursing at the Ohio Valley Hospital in Steubenville, OH. In 1987, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in individual and family studies from Penn State University.

She is the only International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in Elk, Cameron and McKean counties.

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) is a non-profit organization established to develop and administer the certification examination for lactation consultants. Founded in 1985, IBLCE administers annual examinations, in multiple languages and at numerous sites around the world. For more information, visit them online.