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OB department Covid concerns

by LandDGeorge LandDGeorge (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Labor and delivery. Has 16 years experience.

So I work in a rural hospital where we do 20ish deliveries a month on a mother baby unit. When we have no patients or low census our OB/nursery nurses are being repurposed to screen all patients, visitors and employees for covid at the only door open at the hospital, but then expected to immediately leave to care for a laboring Mom and her newborn. We have repeatedly expressed concerns of contamination and spreading illness to Moms and babies to management and administration with no success. At a loss because the answer is to be sent home and someone who is willing to do it will replace us. Wondering what other small hospitals are doing to protect the vulnerable, while able to 'justify' staffing in a low census. Trying to advocate for my patients, but also help out with this pandemic. Any advice is appreciated. What are your hospitals doing?

I also work at a community hospital in Labor and Delivery/Post-partum(30-40 deliveries a month), and I have been sent by my nurse manager to Med-Surg(I am supposed to return to my OB floor April 1st) to learn assessment, time management, prioritization, see more/do more since I am a new grad. Of course, I am a bit concerned about Covid-19 since part of the med-surg floor I am working is the designated Covid-19 floor for the hospital, and I don't want to get my mommies sick! My OB floor doesn't generally like their nurses floating to other units due to risk of contamination-we wear street clothes into work, and change into either hospital laundered or self-laundered clothes when we are on the unit to prevent the spread of germs to mommy/baby.

Running a rural/community hospital's OB floor is challenging in that you want to always have the staff you need that are adequately trained to do their job, but sometimes you physically do not have the census to allow them all to work their hours and thus you put them on call for deliveries/flex staff. As with any hospital it is a business, and it needs to be profitable in order to be sustainable.

My hospital has been extremely supportive of their OB nurses(several with 20+ years with the unit) and never stop employing OB nurses, even when monthly births were zero due to losing our OB group multiple times so they floated to peds/med-surg/tele during that period, but there wasn't a virus capable of causing respiratory distress going around at that time. Either way, I will be praying it turns out well for you as you continue to advocate for your patients:)

babynurse5x, ASN, RN

Specializes in nursery. Has 9 years experience.

I work nursery in a small community hospital—about 30 deliveries/month. Our dept manager and DON are doing everything in their power to allow us to be a “locked” unit during this outbreak with the understanding that we will be flexible and available to cover all shifts needed for our dept. Our plan is to continue with our normal staffing and have an on-call nurse available for each shift that will come in and care for the isolated patients. Our normal staff is 1-2 L&D, 1 post partum, 1 nursery, and a tech.