Quote from AmAnRN
hi, i just started orienting in L&D at the end of february. i was just wondering how long it took a lot of you to feel comfortable "checking" patients?? sometimes i think i might know what they are and then the other nurse checks behind me and im right and other times, im wrong. i know it just takes practice...
It's going to take lots and lots of practice to start to feel comfortable. I'm going on 3 years in L&D this spring, and I still have trouble, especially in the 4cm to 8cm range. I'm much improved on effacement and station now. Effacement I usually gauge on a 0/25/50/75/90/100 basis.
I still remember my first cervical exam ... I guessed she was 2 cm (I don't think I even found her cervix), but she was actually 8cms with a bulging bag. WAY off. LOL
I've actually started feeling for suture lines and fontanelles now, and trying to guess the baby's position (I have a while to go on this - it's not easy).
Keep practicing - especially when you have patients with heavy epidurals - they are the easiest to check since you can really poke and feel around and they usually only feel pressure (if anything) when you examine them. (This is not to say to do unnecessary vag exams - only do them as needed, but really take your time when you have moms with epidurals in place).
Welcome to L&D nursing!