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Once a baby is born, parents could use all the help they can get to take care of their baby’s health. If you work in the maternity ward, you understand the roles and responsibilities of working with the mother and her baby. You will use your skills and knowledge to monitor their vitals and ensure the baby is healthy and safe to go home and come back for their routine checkup.
There are many kinds of nurses working in the ward. Here’s a list of different nurses and their professional responsibilities:
Delivery and Labor Nurse
When a mother goes into labor, these nurses step in to ensure the mother is doing well and is ready to deliver her baby. They do it in the following ways:
- Provide Emotional Support. When a mother goes into labor, it is natural for them to get scared and panic. As a nurse, you must ensure they are comfortable and reassure them their baby is doing well. You may even make informal conversation with the mother to keep her calm, such as any name she picked for the baby.
- Provide Medical Support. You must ensure you monitor the fetal vitals using a Doppler ultrasound device. It helps you check the fetal heart rate during labor. You may also fasten an ultrasound probe around the mother’s belly, and the computer will log in the baby’s heart. You must also check the mother’s vitals’ such as her blood pressure and her heart rate.
You will also monitor her strength and timing between each contraction. In case an emergency occurs, you must assist the doctor in delivering the baby right away safely. If needed, give them the necessary medication, such as an epidural. In case you are wondering if you can form the team of nurses, you most certainly can. These days nurses gear up their skills by opting for skills such as online DNP programs, and you can have the skills to help new mothers and their babies start their journey together.
- Check The Baby Post Delivery. Once the baby is delivered, you must ensure the baby is doing well. Check the baby’s breathing and heart rate, as well as the baby’s body temperature. Check for any abnormalities such as an irregular heartbeat etc. Finally, make sure the baby goes for a bath and teach the mother how to hold and feed her child.
2. Pediatric Nurses
When a baby is born, parents need guidance to make sure their baby is doing well. A pediatric nurse can help in the following ways:
- Inform the Parents. A pediatric nurse knows about the developmental stages of a baby. It helps parents understand if their baby is growing as they should or they need to be concerned. You may also reassure parents how their genetics may cause a variation in the baby’s size. You can help parents by informing them what they can do for their child and supplementing their diet.
- Test The Baby. You will notice a baby’s behavior and physical features. It can be checking for swellings and nostrils flaring in case the baby is not breathing right. You may take appropriate vitals and refer a baby to a doctor in case of an emergency.
- Have The Skills For An Emergency. Your skills may help you administer care in disease management and take swift decisions to help the child right away. Such as getting them to the NICU if they struggle with essential functions such as breathing or an irregular heart rate.
3. Neonatal Nurse
As a neonatal nurse, you will perform quite intensive duties such as life-sustaining roles for a newborn until they are at least a month old. Their roles include:
- Monitoring the Baby. Babies in the NICU need an extensive amount of monitoring. Their vitals can drop dangerously low, and they need immediate medication or machines to help them. You need to update their charts and inform the attending doctor if the baby needs close attention. You will also need to measure their lung development and assist in making treatment plans.
- Guide Parents. When the baby is ready to go home, you need to educate the parents on what they need to do at home. It may be modifying the house to make it optimal for the baby. Add medical supplies such as a cannula if the baby needs medication or needs a constant oxygen supply.
What Responsibilities Do They Share?
Even though these nurses occupy different hospital sectors, there are some responsibilities they share across the board. Which includes:
- Ethical Responsibilities. You need to make sure patients understand their baby’s ailments and what possible treatment routes are there. You cannot withhold any information that is vital for the baby’s and the mother’s health. It is essential to make sure the baby and the mother are cared for properly. They get the right dosage of medications while they are in the hospital.
- Emotional Responsibilities. Some babies will unfortunately not survive their medical issues. You may need to help them deal with their grief through appropriate consolation and counseling. You may need to help them find closure. You may also need to educate them about the potential chances for these medical issues from recurring. You may even refer them to see a professional psychologist through such troubled times.
As a nurse, you will be exerting physical and emotional labor in taking care of your patients. Your job revolves around new parents and babies. As a labor nurse, you must make sure the baby and the mother are doing well while delivering the baby.
Any emergency case doesn’t occur. As a pediatric nurse, you will make sure the baby is growing appropriately. As a neonatal nurse, you will be looking after babies with severe medical issues. You will also ensure the parents know all possible treatment routes and help them through their grief.