Obstetrical nursing, also called perinatal nursing, is a nursing specialty that works with patients who are attempting to become pregnant, are currently pregnant, or are recently delivered. Obstetrical nurses help provide prenatal care and testing, care of patients experiencing pregnancy complications, care during labor and delivery, and care of patients following delivery. Obstetrical nurses work closely with obstetricians, midwives, and nurse practitioners. They also provide supervision of patient care technicians and surgical technologists
Obstetrical nurses perform postoperative care on a surgical unit, stress test evaluations, cardiac monitoring, vascular monitoring, and health assessments. Obstetrical nurses must possess specialized skills including electronic fetal monitoring, nonstress tests, and medication administration by continuous intravenous drip.
Obstetrical nurses work in many different environments, including, medical offices, prenatal clinics, labor & delivery units, antepartum units, postpartum units, operating theatres, and clinical research.
In the U.S. and Canada, the professional nursing organization for obstetrical nurses is the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nursing (AWHONN).
Certification for obstetrical nurses
The National Certification Corporation (NCC) offer certifications for obstetrical nurses. These include RNC-OB (Inpatient Obstetrics), RNC-MNN (Maternal Newborn Nursing), and C-EFM (Electronic Fetal Monitoring).
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