Amy Schroder, RNC, MSN, CCE, manages the parent education program at Hartford Hospital. It is one of the most extensive in the region, offering more than 600 classes annually at six different locations throughout the state. Parent Education also helps organize support groups for new parents. We produce an online newsletter specifically targeted to each new mom’s due date. We also publish a comprehensive Guide to Parenting in both English and Spanish.
“We do have something for everyone,” says Mrs. Schroder. “We’ve touched more than 7,000 people through our programs, and more than 2,000 families receive our newsletter.”
Mrs. Schroder has expanded the program tremendously since taking the helm ten years ago. To standard offerings, she added innovations such as a prenatal yoga class and a pre-delivery question-and-answer session with an anesthesiologist. She is constantly in touch with participants and instructors, looking for creative new ideas for programs.
“Amy’s strength is that she understands that education is evolutionary,” says a colleague. “She’s always looking ahead to see what she can bring to parents and families that will make the process even more enjoyable. It’s one of her greatest strengths.”
Mrs. Schroder also had the wisdom to offer programs not only at the hospital’s main campus, but at its suburban satellite facilities, including the newest one at West Hartford’s Blue Back Square. For people who prefer not to travel, she recently introduced an online childbirth-preparation class that includes one optional “practical” session at the hospital.
Originally a labor and delivery nurse, Mrs. Schroder went on to earn a Master of Science in nursing—with a concentration in patient education—and become a Certified Childbirth Educator before moving into her current position.
“The two parts of my career blended well to prepare me for this role,” Mrs. Schroder says. “I have the clinical experience to understand what women are facing, as well as the background in education. The two pieces fit together very well in this job.”
Although she has built the Parent Education Program into a model for other institutions, Mrs. Schroder is quick to share the credit.
“It’s important to have the creativity to know what classes to offer,” she says, “but the success of the program really lies in the talented nurses and other educators who teach in these programs.”
Mrs. Schroder understands the complexities of parenting. She has three boys of her own, ranging in age from 11 to 18.
“Every day,” she says, “we’re learning how to be parents.”
Check out Amy’s latest posts.