"Not allowed" to perform vaginal exams - page 2

by Kayla.J.RN 4,763 Views | 12 Comments

I am a new grad in Labor & Delivery and I began working in a large teaching facility in August. I was informed that nurses here are "not allowed" to do vaginal exams. While on orientation on day shift, my preceptor told me that... Read More


  1. 0
    Thanks everyone for your responses. I agree with what everyone has been saying. I want to continue to learn this skill.. so I will take the opportunity to check with the residents and doctors that are willing to let me learn.

    ndirishfanRNC, I like what you mentioned about checking the cervix on pt's with epidurals q4 hrs and before straights caths. Thanks for sharing what you've learned from working under similar conditions.


    When I was first hired as a nurse extern on L&D the summer of 2011, I didn't know that nurses were expected to perform the vaginal exams in most other hospitals. This is because I was an extern in L&D before my obstetrics rotation in my nursing program. It wasn't until a fellow student mentioned to me that she performed cervical checks during her senior residency in L&D that I realized most places don't operate the same way. When she told me this I felt cheated of a good learning experience and the opportunity to learn a valuable skill.

    Now that I'm finally an RN in L&D I want to take every opportunity to learn and grow in this specialty. So far, I really love my job... even with all the challenges and anxiety I'm facing as a new grad.
  2. 0
    I would be a nervous wreck if I had to take the word of someone else in order to manage my labors. While cervical checks alone are definitely not a determining factor on how I base my care, a baseline and changes are important to me. The strip nor the patient always gives away how close a patient is, and I personally don't like the liability when I have to deliver because the doc didn't get there in time lol
  3. 1
    What about if the doc is not readily available and you have deep, repetitive decels? You need to check for a cord prolapse immediately. Learning cervical exams are a basic assessment skill that all L&D nurses need to have. Double check with your state nursing scope of practice, but I'm sure it's within all states nursing scope. (Speculum exams are a different story though.)
    anggelRN likes this.


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