MultiCare nurse balances fatherhood and community service
Striking a healthy work-life balance is a goal that, at one point or another, we all attempt to accomplish. MultiCare Deaconess Hospital Labor & Delivery nurse Brian Barbero, RN, takes this balancing act to a whole new level. As a nurse, firefighter and military service member, Barbero’s commitment to his community is a passion fueled by selflessness.
“Knowing at the end of the day I've made a difference in someone's life with the work I do keeps me motivated,” he said. “Sometimes that work is physically or emotionally taxing, but knowing I've made a real positive difference is what brings me back.”
Yet, that passion is met with one stipulation — his obligation to his family. As a husband and a father of two, Barbero firmly believes that his familial responsibilities take complete precedent over any work or community service commitment he may have. He and his wife spend time every week developing their schedules to ensure someone is always present to fulfill their children’s needs.
“Being a father is the best job in the world. Watching them grow and knowing that this time when they’re young is finite makes the memories that much more special,” Barbero said. “I always tell the dads I meet to relish the small things that happen.”
As a MultiCare Labor & Delivery nurse, his main role is to provide a safe and supportive environment for mother and baby in order to create an individualized birthing experience. One of the most important aspects of his role is providing up-to-date information, resources and education to give new families the best opportunity for success.
“This family birth center is unique because of its strong commitment to allowing a family-centered birthing experience," Barbero said. "The education piece also sets us apart from other facilities. We offer such a wide diversity of classes for families that are both deeply integrative and widely accessible.”
As the main instructor for our popular Daddy 101 class, Barbero helps transitioning fathers build confidence by creating a safe and open forum to ask questions about anything from pregnancy and labor to postpartum. He also facilitates lessons on how to look for signs of postpartum depression and how to initiate a conversation with their partner to address it head on.
“We talk about their role in the delivery room and how to be a good support person for their partner. We touch on all the fun practical things like swaddling, diapering, feeding, bathing, etc., but a lot of the focus is on safety, safe sleep practice, as well as recognizing and dealing with stress and where to find resources,” Barbero said.
Barbero’s dedication to nursing began a few years ago when he was transitioning out of his first enlistment with the U.S. Army and figured nursing was an effective segue into firefighting — a lifelong dream of his. Upon completing nursing school, he was presented with an opportunity to serve in a medical mission abroad. Eager to get his feet wet, Barbero gladly accepted.
Suddenly, Barbero found himself with ocean mist spraying on his face as he traversed on 14 different boats to a remote island in the Philippines called Romblon. Once there, he was assigned to stay with the island’s only midwife, Inday. In what felt like just a few moments, he’d gone from a recent nursing graduate to being on call 24/7 for all deliveries on the island.
“We did all home deliveries that summer: singleton births, twins and breech deliveries," Barbero said. "It was an eye-opening experience that showed me how high risk and high rewarding working labor and delivery can be,”
“Four months with her was enough to push me in this direction. It allowed me to realize how important it is for mom and baby to have a safe environment to deliver, and for mom to have options, like cesarean.”
Although this life-altering experience was enough to propel him into MultiCare Deaconess Hospital’s Labor & Delivery unit for the past three years, he wanted to do more to serve his community. He’s currently a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves based out of Vancouver, Washington, and is a firefighter for the Spokane County Fire District 4.
“My desire to serve stems from an upbringing where service was highly valued," Barbero said. "Almost everyone in my family has worked in the medical field, served in the military, or has participated in community service,”
“There will always be competing commitments in my life, but family always comes first. It has to. I never want to miss family time like birthdays, recitals, campouts or game nights.”
About The Author
Jean-Paul Arnaud-Marquez is a Multimedia Production and Social Media Specialist for the MultiCare Inland Northwest’s marketing team. He creates multimedia products and manages the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for MultiCare Inland Northwest and women’s health and birth centers. He’s also an MBA candidate with a concentration in health care at the University of Arizona.More stories by this author