ACLS for Labor Nurses?

  1. How many of you are required to be ACLS certified to work on L&D?
    Is the course a worthwhile investment?
    If your OB nurses are NOT ACLS, what are your standards for recovery of C/S patients?
    Thank you for your input.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   tntrn
    Where I work, and I believe it was mandated by the conglomerate that owns our hospital and many others, everybody on the entire Birth Center Floor, including only PP nurses, had to take it. I believe it's something for them to brag about, but it's already cost us some good nurses who are older and just flat out didn't want to do it.

    I, personally, put it off until the last possible moment. We were not given any opportunities for pre-study classes, there were only 4 books provided for the entire unit, it was done on a weekend dayshift (so those of us who work other shifts had to give up our regular routines) and we were not given weekend pay differential. That's just the beginning of why I was so steamed.

    The class istself was 95% full of people who were renewing, thus they knew the lingo, knew what all the abbreviations stood for, knew the meds, and well, they were reviewing. I was lost. I felt like a second class citizen. We had to raise our hands and ask them to slow down, to explain what the acronyms meant, and when they would say, "you've never heard of that?" we'd remind them we were labor nurses. It was demeaning to say the least.

    Lucky me, I'll be 58 soon and decided that weekend a year ago, I would never put myself through that again. So next year, when it's time to renew, I'll be finding something else to do. My DH will be retired soon after that and we have other plans.

    My personal feeling is that since I've had no need to use it (and I'm very thankful for that!) in a year, I'd be more of the problem than any part of the solution at this point. I know other Labor Nurses who feel the same.

    As far as recoving c/s patients, we only recover them on the unit if they have an epidural or spinal. When a general is given, they are sent to the surgical floor to recover.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Yes used to be as we did PACU type recovery on c/sections. They since d/c'd the requirement. I am mixed on my feelings on the need and usefulness of ACLS for us. See, when we call a code, the team comes up and takes over immediately. I never used it enough to be anywhere NEAR competent really---and that scared me as much as not knowing it does now. Catch-22.
  5. by   tntrn
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I never used it enough to be anywhere NEAR competent really---and that scared me as much as not knowing it does now. Catch-22.

    Precisely, except that I've NEVER been present when a code occurred, therefore I'm completely useless and very dangerous!
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    As a rural nurse, I am ACLS certified. I work OB, ER, med-surg, etc. . . .

    In fact, we had a code in the ER two days ago . . .. male, 61, collapsed on the 1st tee of the golf course . . . .

    I've never had a code in OB . . .but I'd be the one to have to run the code as the RN.

    steph
  7. by   HappyNurse2005
    I am both ACLS certified, and a labor & delivery nurse, but i came to L &D with the ACLS already, as a previous cardiac nurse.
    To work our OB PACU, you have to be ACLS, not everyone is, so only those who are ACLS are assigned to do the pacu.
  8. by   RNnL&D
    All of our L&D nurses are ACLS certified or become certified within their first year on the unit. The hospital offers a three day class that you are paid to attend, that includes a review EKG class. We recover our CS pts in our own RR.

    And, unfortunately, I have been in a code in OB. We did have the pt on the monitor, were doing compressions and had pulled meds before the code team even arrived. While we may never be completely comfortable performing ACLS, I feel safer knowing I have a basic idea of what to do in a code situation.
  9. by   tridil2000
    i have taught many l&d nurses over the years acls. I geared to their experience... ie: htn, stroke, svt.

    in doing this i have made certain that they are aware amioderone is NEVER used on a mom!
  10. by   tntrn
    Quote from tridil2000
    in doing this i have made certain that they are aware amioderone is NEVER used on a mom!
    Interesting. I don't recall that being mentioned, let alone stressed, in the 2-day course we had to take. But then, I remember very little from it. really.
  11. by   MemphisOBRNC
    We are not required to be ACLS certified and we have 24/ 7 CRNA or MD coverage in our unit. The hospital I transferred from did require it. I know I can do compressions and bag until anesthesia gets to the room. I took a basic EKG course and never using it, I forgot all I learned. I have a feeling ACLS would be the same way and there are so many changes in the drugs!
  12. by   MemphisOBRNC
    Has anyone taken the ALSO course? (Advanced Life Support for Obstetrics) It seems it would be much more appropriate for L&D nurses.
  13. by   OBSFlightRN
    I had to do ACLS when I started my flight nurse position. Otherwise it's not required on our L&D unit. It makes me feel better to have it though because the code team in our hospital (OBS, gyne, and NICU only) inludes 2 L&D RNs. A real code is very, very rare in our hospital but if I ever have to run to one, it would be nice to have some clue what's going on.

    As for post C/s, we have our own recovery room on our unit. After a general, 2 RNs stay until the pt is fully alert. In most instances, niether of those RNs would have ACLS.
  14. by   mitchsmom
    We don't have to have it, although I initially thought we did. I guess we are to make due until the rapid response team arrives.
    We had a mother code about 2 months ago (while nurses were already working on a very early, not-going-to-make-it type baby, no less). It was right before I started my job.
    We do not have 24 hour coverage for MD's/anesthesia.
    We don't recover c/s patients.

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