Thursday, February 18, 2010

Great things nurses do

Remember when I wrote a grouchy post about unhelpful nurses? And I promised to write a post about all the great things nurses do?

Well here's an example of one!

Other great things that I have personally witnessed:

- Standing and holding the fetal & contraction monitors in place, or adjusting them over and over, without ever making mom feel guilty for being in whatever position is best for her

- Taking the monitors OFF the second they're no longer mandatory!

- Offering enthusiastic help and practical support - "Do you want a hot pad? a birth ball? what can I bring you guys?" - or offering to push on mom's back or massage her shoulders

- Nudging the doctor towards trying different positions to push in

- Doing all newborn assessments while baby is on mom's chest, even though she's the only person in the hospital doing it

- Even when I can sense that they're not personally so into unmedicated birth, never saying otherwise or being anything but positive and supportive with mom

- Getting bossy when it's hard for me to be - they must teach that special brisk, no-nonsense voice in nursing school! "Let's get you out of bed and into the rocking chair, let's go!"

- Not asking constantly for pain scores when mom is working on an unmedicated labor

- Bugging the anesthesiologist to come back and re-place an ineffective epidural

- Turning the Pit down or off as soon as they see they can

- When her shift ends, staying over if it's close to the end, or recruiting someone she knows will be supportive for the next shift

- And of course, welcoming and teaming up with doulas to help birthing women!

While it's so helpful to have the care provider (doc or CNM) be on board with what mom wants, and ultimately they will call the shots, NOTHING sets the environment of the birthing room like a great nurse! And if we're lucky, she holds sway with the care provider too!

Thank you, nurses!

1 comment:

Exie Buehler said...

I agree! Most of the nurses that I have had the pleasure of working with at a birth have been super supportive to mom, respectful of me as the Doula, and work tirelessly to balance all the demands of their jobs. While some should find a profession that is less demanding and calls for less personal contact...For the most part, in my opinion, nurses rock!