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Birth Plan Basics: FAQ about Elective Inductions of Labor

Q.  Should I have an elective induction of labor?







Q.  I want to make sure that my OB is there for my delivery, should I schedule an elective induction?




Q.  My mother is flying in this Saturday, can I schedule an elective induction for Friday?







Q. It is my first baby and I am already dilated to 1cm.  I want to schedule an elective induction.






Q.  I am 38 weeks and I am contracting 4 times an hour, I would like to schedule an elective induction.







Q. My ultrasound said that my baby was already 6 pounds at 37 weeks.  Should I have an elective induction at 39 weeks?








Q. I really want my baby to be born on 1/15/15.  Should I be induced electively?








Q.  What about an elective primary cesarean section?










Q. If I have no medical reason to have an induction, should I let my baby choose his birthday?









I do not recommend an non-medically indicated elective induction of labor or cesarean section.

Inform yourself about the risks of inducing labor early.

Go the Full 40!

Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) 

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Nurse Burnout: 12 Ways to get Your New-Grad Happy Back

Nurse burnout happens.  No nurse is immune.  If you are a nurse you are at risk for burnout.











Remember how it felt to be a brand new nurse?

The only thing more shiny than your new stethoscope was your happy face.

happy dance












I diagnosed myself with nurse burnout when I started thinking that driving my car off a cliff sounded better than going to work.











I was able to get back to my nursing happy place and I am in love with nursing again.

Here are some ways to get you back to happy-dancing your way to work.



1.  BLOG!  I love it and I’m not the only nurse on the interwebs!  If you are not a writer then read nursing blogs.  There are all flavors of nursing blogs, from informative to hysterical.

Some suggestions to get you started: Mine of course!   Adventures of a Labor Nurse   The Nerdy Nurse     Nurse Together     Mighty Nurse     Scrubs     Digital Doorway













2. Go back to school.  Getting your BSN, MSN or DNP will make you more marketable and open up more options.

Going back to school will reenergize you about nursing.

You will read a LOT about new nursing research, which will get you out of a nursing rut.

You will be so busy making powerpoint presentations and writing discussion posts, you will have no time to think/complain about work.










3. Get certified in your specialty.  If you are burned out then you probably have been a nurse more than 2 years.  Congrats!

That means that you are qualified to become certified in your specialty.

There is a certification for just about everything nursing related.

Look for your specialty on ANCC or NCC to start.  You will be recognized for your knowledge and add to your credentials.

Maintaining certification means that you will need to keep up continuing education in your speciality, which will prevent you from becoming stagnate.












4.  Take your vacation days!!  Everyone needs a break.  Nursing is stressful.

If you don’t take vacation for yourself, then take it for your patients.  Being a relaxed and refreshed nurse will benefit them.













5. Celebrate wins.  We are always focused on what we need to improve and what we are doing wrong.

When you or your team have a win, celebrate!

raise the rooof













6. Take some time for yourself.  Nurses know how important self-care is, but its difficult to find the time. Find it!

me tume













7. Join a committee.  Make changes.  Give your input.  Does your hospital have shared governance or unit representation to make decisions?  If yes, join.  If no, start it! You can change nursing practice.

















8.  Be active.  Exercise can help improve mood and is a great outlet for work frustrations.















9. Go to a Nursing Conference.  

There is nothing better than going to a conference full of nurses.  People think that ComicCon is weird, but they have never been to a nursing conference! We have crazy nurse fun!

It is a great time and it is a place where you are reminded why the heck you became a nurse.














10.  Spend some time with your work buddies away from the call lights and nurse rounds.

You know you love your team.  An out of work activity can remind you that your work pals are awesome.










11. Attend a continuing education course or webinar about a topic that interests you.

Will you be inspired by experts talking about the topics that they love.











12.  Quit.  Not nursing, but quit your job.  Sometimes you really don’t have nurse burnout, but job burnout.

One of the best things about being a nurse is the vast opportunities you have for employment.

If you need a change of pace, location or specialty do it.  Give a proper notice and leave on good terms.

You never know when you may work with those nurses again.  (It will happen.)















Nursing is a rewarding profession.  If you feel yourself getting disenchanted, actively try to get the magic back.


If you are successful you will be back to the new grad feeling which is good for you and your patients.











How do you beat the nurse blues?  Leave your suggestions in comments.


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Birth Plan Basics: Chaperones During Sensitive Procedures

I have heard many women talk about their lack of modesty in labor.  The intensity of labor and birth often breaks down social and cultural norms of privacy and modesty.  It is acceptable to be less modest during birth if you feel comfortable.  You do not have to give up your modesty.  You can work with your care providers to ensure as much privacy and modesty as you need and want.

Another thing to consider is if you would like a chaperone during sensitive examinations such as cervical exams.  If your nurse or physician is male, a second care provider will commonly accompany him during the exam.  This does not always occur, but you can request a second person at any time.  You may request a chaperone no matter what the gender of your care provider.  Routinely female nurses will not seek out a chaperone. You will need to make your wishes known.  Women do not need to explain the reason they feel uncomfortable with only one provider at the exam.  Empowering women to request a chaperone is supported by the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN).  AWHONN’s position statement details who is an appropriate chaperone.   Factors that contribute to the decision to have a chaperone are also included.  It is up to you if your support people are present during these sensitive times.

My advice:  Read the position statement.  What are your preferences?  Discuss your feelings with your support person.  Include your preference in your birth plan.

Remember that you can change your mind and modify your birth plan at anytime.  If you did not plan on having a chaperone and during labor discover that you would like one, speak up!  If you planned on utilizing a chaperone and once you are in labor you decide that extra person is not needed, let your nurse know.  Some hospitals require a second provider to attend during sensitive exams.  If this is not acceptable to you then accommodations can be made.  For example, ask for the second person to stand behind the curtain.  Communication with your physician and nurse will be key to your experience.  Speak up, ask questions and let your preferences be known.



Happy birthing!



Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Carrie Halsey
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The 5 Worst Nursing Errors I’ve Made


I, like many of my fellow RNs, have been appalled at the treatment the nurses with Ebola have been getting online and in the press.  Nursing is hard.  Nursing is scary.  Nursing is sad.  Nursing is stressful.  Nursing can kill you and not just from Ebola.  There are lots of dangers to nurses from the smallest bacteria up to corrupt corporations or governments.  Even the patients that we are caring for sometimes kill us.  These nurses have had their reputations trashed and blamed for contracting this terrifying disease.  In support and solidarity with my fellow RNs I am sharing my top 5 nursing errors.

1. The first year I was a nurse there was a huge outbreak of Rotavirus in my community.  Nursing homes were shutting down in quarantines and the med/surg floor was overflowing with vomit and diarrhea.  Everyone was on contact precautions so I should have been safe, right?  NOPE.  I got rotavirus two times that winter.  All the nurses were taking turns being sick at home and sick at work.  As careful as I was I couldn’t help catching the nasty bug.

IV2.  I was inducing a woman’s labor and I had started her oxytocin at 0800.  Two hours later she wasn’t having any contractions.  I had increased the drip every 20 minutes.  When I got her up to use the restroom I saw the problem.  The IV tube had never been connected to the patient and there was a puddle of oxytocin on the side of the bed.  I was so embarrassed to tell the patient and the doctor I had wasted two hours and we were just now starting.

3. I was askmed2ed to be the labor nurse by a patient that I knew.  Her delivery was   beautiful and I was honored that she had asked me to be her nurse.  I was watching her husband cut the cord and smiling like a goober.  Cord blood squirted right into my eye.  I had to leave the delivery and wash out my eye.  We both had to be tested for bloodborne pathogens and thankfully were negative.  I felt terrible and wished that I had just held the blanket up higher or looked away or wore my stupid glasses.

4.   One time I was trying to start an IV on a patient that was admitted for preterm labor.  I didn’t hit the vein on the first stick which is bad enough.  I forgot to hit the retractor button on the needle and poked the woman in the abdomen with it when I reached across her for a bandage.  It barely scratched her belly, but I was devastated that I had hurt that poor mama.

5.  If there is one smell nurses loathe it is the odor of a GI bleed.  I was taking care of a patient with this condition and became overwhelmed by the aroma.  I stepped into his bathroom and puked into the trash can.  I returned to his bedside, after cleaning up the mess in the bathroom, looking pale and remorseful.  That man broke my heart when he asked if I had been sick and then apologized for his smell.

We all make mistakes.  No one regrets those mistakes  more that the nurse whom made them.  I don’t know if these ladies made mistakes that allowed them to get Ebola.  I can’t imagine that they would take the situation lightly.  I assume that they would take every precaution that was afforded them, just as I would have.  Sometimes no matter how careful you are, it is not enough.  While so many people are criticizing these ladies, I will be joining those that are praying for their full recovery.  I also pray that I don’t ever have to live a day in their scrubs.