Quote from shock-me-sane
I don't start back to school until the middle end of september. But we will be doing maternity. I am totally freaked out. I am not exactly sure why. This clinical as well as peds (following OB) have been something that I have not been looking forward to. Mainly I don't think I have a lot of interest, but also because it seems like so much could go wrong with pregnant women and I have heard that kids can go down the drain quickly.
Anyway....can anyone tell me what they actually did do during OB clinical. I realize there will probably be a lot of observing during actual delivery, but were you actually checking dialation and such?
I worked for a number of years on a 14 room LDRP unit with a Level II NICU where we had students from both LPN and RN programs. The unit housed high-risk ante-partum moms, labor patients, post-partum moms and babies, had 2 self-contained OR's, and an 8-bed NICU. The students were initially assigned 1 mother-baby couplet, 1 high-risk ante-partum mom, or a laboring mother. They worked in tandem with the staff nurse assigned to their patients, and had their instructor present on the floor.
They received their patient assignments the evening before, and were expected to be able to do a physical assessment of both mom and baby, provide routine care and teaching, (such as IV and Foley care on post-C-section patients), be knowledgable about medications, know potential complications.
No one was expected to be capable of skills that they had never been exposed to before such as checking cervical dilation (not done during this rotation), reading fetal monitor strips (only done with RN supervision), or managing epidurals (anesthesia's job).
Many students fear OB for the reasons you have stated. As long as you prepare by reading up on what is normal and what is abnormal, keep your staff nurse and instructor informed of your patient's status, request help whenever you are unsure of yourself, you will do fine. Just like any other rotation, the students who get into trouble are the ones who are overly-confident, cocky know-it-alls.
I later managed the NICU in that hospital, and asked the OB instructor to allow students to observe in our unit. I loved having them there, and invited one back to do her senior practicum. (It was a great experience for all of us!)
I only had one bad experience with a student. She was given clear instructions on how to do vitals on a preemie, who to report them to, and NOT to feed the baby or chart anything until the staff nurse had double checked her work. She didn't follow the instructions, charted an inaccurate assessment, and created a situation where the neonatologist almost cancelled the baby's discharge after reading her charting. I immediately marched her down to her instructor who later confided in me that this particular studnet had been a "problem" all along and would be reviewed before being allowed to return to clinical. My point is that things like this don't happen to conscientious students!
You will be fine! Keep us posted on how things go!