Reviewing stillbirth strips

  1. Yesterday I had an annual OB skills day and one of the things we do is review strips of interesting cases throughout the year. Every year there are a couple of stillbirths that are reviewed.

    Does anyone else hate doing that? I mean, I understand the learning potential that is offered, and appreciate how much I do learn from them....but it bothers my heart so bad to see them. Like I am "watching" a baby die. I literally just feel sick the whole time.

    I guess what I am saying is that my head likes to learn from that, but my heart just aches the whole time. Anyone else have a hard time with that?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   sirI
    Quote from Zhlake
    Yesterday I had an annual OB skills day and one of the things we do is review strips of interesting cases throughout the year. Every year there are a couple of stillbirths that are reviewed.

    Does anyone else hate doing that? I mean, I understand the learning potential that is offered, and appreciate how much I do learn from them....but it bothers my heart so bad to see them. Like I am "watching" a baby die. I literally just feel sick the whole time.

    I guess what I am saying is that my head likes to learn from that, but my heart just aches the whole time. Anyone else have a hard time with that?
    Hello, Zhlake,

    It is called compassion and genuine concern for mankind. You will make an excellent nurse.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It's horrible. I hate doing this too, but I realize there is much to learn and it's effective to do this way. Very graphic to say the least.

    Yes, It breaks my heart as someone who has had losses herself. I like to think of this way: These little souls somehow "opted out of life" at this time. They have much to teach us in their passing, however. Let not their loss be totally in vain, if there is something we can learn from the tragic situation of their passing.

    Never lose that compassion and empathy. It's what will keep you from burning out as an OB nurse.
  5. by   babyktchr
    Not to get off topic, but I was wondering what is included in your skills days? Is it testing, or practice stations or what? Just curious. Trying to re-vamp our skills day.

    Thanks everyone.
  6. by   RNnL&D
    I can understand your feelings. We generally don't review strips on stillbirths, for that reason, and especially not just for a strip review. If we do review them, it is as a case review.
  7. by   Cute_CNA
    I would be concerned if I met a person who DIDN'T have a hard time seeing something like that. I think your response is normal.
  8. by   fergus51
    Honestly, though I feel terrible sadness when parents lose their babies, reviewing an anonymous strip months or years later doesn't bother me. I feel very separated from the actual loss in that case.
  9. by   BabyRN2Be
    Quote from fergus51
    Honestly, though I feel terrible sadness when parents lose their babies, reviewing an anonymous strip months or years later doesn't bother me. I feel very separated from the actual loss in that case.
    I think that I would feel the same way. It would be very hard for me to review a strip if mom's name was included on it. I suppose at this point all identifying features would be removed. I would feel this way even if I was not present at this birth. A name makes it more personal. Although I feel like I would learn a lot from this experience, seeing a name, whether I was present at this birth or not would be difficult for me.

    Just my thought on this.
  10. by   mugwump
    I think it is an invaluable learning experience. I remember one we reviewed. Happend in our state (not at my hospital) but one of the smaller ones. Women came in lets say 8 months pregnant (really can't remember) was in a car accident. Was stable (or so they thought) was in a room (alone) being monitored (not a central monitoring) baby looked great. Then there was some zigzaging of the toco. Baby still looked fine. Then flat line on toco. (like it came off or flipped over. Then baby didn't look fine anymore. Then decels then a terminal decel. When the baby was down in the 40's the strip had these words on it. CPR initiated. Mom had probably had some sort of seizure (the zig zag lines) then basically died with the baby shortly to follow. Granted this was very sad i am almost crying while I am writing this it was a very strong message. Keep eyes on patients and strips you don't know what will happen.

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