I work at a level IV large teaching hospital. I work on the antepartum unit, and we get anything from gestational diabetics at 30wks, to hyperemesis at 8wks.
We also unfortunately get a lot of incompetant cervixes, PPROMs and run of the mill preterm labors at 25 weeks and earlier. Each pt over
21 weeks gets a NICU consult--basically a NICU resident comes in and gives a rushed "What if your baby is born now. What about next week" speech, then an RN from NICU comes in and answers other questions.
There is one RN who comes up frequently, and she gets on my nerves. She always complains about being there-meanwhile they are paid extra (and volunteer) to do this. That's not my issue.
My issue with her is she implants false hopes, IMO. I completely understand the importance of maintaining a positive outlook on life, but...not to the point of misleading patients who may very well not survive, or suvive with multiple problems...let me give you an example of what she's told Pts in the past
~21.3 weeks who PPROMed at 20wks--severe oligo (has no
pockets of fluid). Was told that if she makes it to 22 or 23 weeks, her baby will live, get help breathing and then go home.
~24weeker with inc. cervix. Told by this RN that the average NICU stay for a 25weeker is one month. Not true.
~23.3wks Twin gestation with IUGR of baby B. Told that since she passed the 22 week mark, and this is a "great hospital" she's "pretty much out of the clear for the babies".
And this is an experienced nurse, not a hopeful new grad. I just can't understand why she's telling our patients this. Now, I've never heard it from her mouth, BUT, my patients only mention this crud after she's vistied them. I work nights, so I rarely see her, but when I ask my Pt's "How'd the NICU consult go?" and they smile and gush about how the nurse explained that the baby's going to be fine, I can see it's her
who signed the consult papers.
Not that other NICU nurses are all doom and gloom, but they paint a more realistic picture, according to my patients, who tell me things like "Well, she said that the baby will most likely have trouble breathing and may need to be on one of those breathing machines for a while, and he probably won't be able to eat for a few weeks, he might need a tube to feed him in his nose. And if he makes it, he'll be in here probably 2-4 months" Or "Well, she has a good chance of surviving delivery, but will probably need 2 or 3 risky surgeries before she turns one. We have a long road ahead, but she's a fighter" or something like that.