Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Reimund Serafica

Abstract

Successful maternal and infant outcomes are the most important safety goals for all obstetrical units providing care for low and high-risk patients. The purpose of this research study was to describe how the implementation of the "Perinatal Safety Nurse" position in the Labor and Delivery setting effected fetal outcomes as well as provided an added level of safety. This study proposed that a direct correlation exists between fetal outcomes and fetal safety initiatives. The research design chosen for this proposal was a retrospective study that utilized a descriptive design. The data compared one hundred deliveries from January 2009 to December 2010 prior to the implementation of the perinatal safety nurse position, and one hundred deliveries from January 2011 to March 2012 after implementation of the perinatal safety nurse position. Outcome measures used to compare deliveries are as follows: delivery methods of vaginal vs. cesarean section; operative deliveries (forceps/vacuum); and unscheduled admission to the neonatal intensive care unit. C-section rates experienced a slight reduction from 31% in 2009-2010, to 28% in 2011-2012. NICU admissions data did reveal a statistically significant difference from 11% in 2009-2010, to 5% in 2011-2012. Operative deliveries also revealed a statistically significant difference ranging from 19% in 2009-2010, to 9% in 2011-2012. All three fetal outcomes measures revealed some improvement after the implementation of the perinatal safety nurse. Further research related to electronic fetal monitoring in the labor and delivery setting is needed, and should focus on the interaction between the nurse and client, health, environment, and the use of the nursing process to produce positive outcomes through innovative safety improvements.

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