Need Help...Physical Quailifications Standards for OB nurses

  1. Need help with finding written standards especially with national focus on what nurse should be physically capable of in what we call the OB-eval center. This is where we have any woman over 20 weeks pregnant be evaluated with any kind of pregancy issue..and sometimes medical ones too. For example vaginal bleeding, preterm labor workups, labor status before admitting, abdominal pain, hypertension, . The area is on the same floor of the hospital as our labor and delivery rooms but has its own desk area and is through a door, it is also not on the same call bell system. We have five exam rooms-two with exam tables, two with stretchers, and one with a bed. These are spokes around the central desk. Anyway, I am restricted in lifting and moving patients and also in bending or squatting etc..due to a back injury at work when I was moving a bed. I have voiced my disagreement over being assigned to this eval area because I don't think it is safe. I am told that I should just call for help if I need it..although at times I KNOW that even if I called no one could help me immediately. I can't adjust the head of the exam table or assist the patient to put their legs into those stirrups but can just tell them what to do. I have had to wait in one of the bathrooms wiht a patient who was about to pass out for five minutes until someone else came to help. I have had people who needed stat cesarians and I couldn't help move them. I had someone have an eclamptic seizure. IT's JUST NOT SAFE!! But I need something in writing, so if anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it. There is nothing worse than having someone be at risk, knowing what you need to do to help, and being either unable to do it or unsure if it is worth hurting myself worse to do what needs to be done. You'd think the hospital would be afraid of the liability involved since I am on record as stating that I feel it is unsafe..but I think they're trying to drive me to quit... Anyway, would appreciate your help.
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   HappyNurse2005
    Anyway, I am restricted in lifting and moving patients and also in bending or squatting etc..due to a back injury at work when I was moving a bed
    but wouldn't this also limit you in working with laboring patients as well? what if they are heavy, have a good epidural and can't move themselves and start to decel and you need to change their position? or your patient needs a stat section and you have to move the bed? or she falls when getting out of bed for first time? or lifting her legs up to put in stirrups?
  4. by   jserrano
    Don't you have a medical note from your back dr? I also have had a back injury(ruptured disc) and I had a note from my doc with detailed specifications on what I could not do with my injury. I eventually had back surgery(which was fabulous and well worth it) and after the surgery had specific limitiations for about 6 weeks. I also work in labor and delivery(at a smaller hospital) so we do our own triage. We can have a laboring patient and also be seeing someone for an evalutaion of labor, pre-term labor, PIH etc. I wasn't able to do Labor and delivery for a few weeks after my surgery(couldn't lift more than 10 pounds at first) so I worked in post partum for awhile, then gradually I could lift up to 25 pounds( which I felt barely lets me work in labor but I love it so much) I always ask for help when needed(never want to go through a back injury again) I don't see how you can safely work in labor and delivery at all if you can't even put someone's legs in stirrups?neither in your triage area. Maybe you should consider another area of nursing that is less physcial while your back heals?
  5. by   lyceeboo
    If anything bad happens to a pt the hospital lawyers will make it look like you are at fault. I've seen this happen many times.
  6. by   deehaverrn
    I do have written restrictions but they (administration) dont follow them. They tell me that I should just call for help if I need to do something above my restrictions. I am never assigned to the labor rooms, however I often have laboring moms in eval who are waiting hours for beds. They've also told me to start pitocin on inductions when they are short on beds and must leave them in eval., also we do cervical ripening in the eval area. As you can see there's the potential for disaster which is why I need help. I personally feel that I should not have a patient assignment, but should help out or be assigned to something else. I am often given a complete assignment in postpartum or high risk, which has the potential for problems but not usually as much. The problems there are usually from when they pull my help (aide) or we are short staffed and I am so busy that I am on my feet the whole time which is also against my limitations as written. Of course, they say that I should just sit down and take a break when I need it..which isn't realistic. This is all compounded by the attitude of some people who won't help me at all and actually give me grief when my problems cause them to do more work. The only thing I have been advised by nursing organizations that I've contacted is to report the situation to the Public Health Dept. or to JCAHO as a patient safety violation...but I'm trying to find a better alternative to FORCE them to give me a modified job. I could gladly work in our clinic, testing, or preadmit areas or do chart audits or anything like that, or even just help everyone else as needed.
  7. by   jserrano
    I am so sorry for your situation and can not believe what idiots the hospital risk management are at your hospital? Most places are so careful with work or other injurys they are actually the opposite and you are begging to start work again. Wish I could help you more. Good Luck.