Obstetric emergency preparedness among staff nurses working in obstetric care units

Namitha Subrahmanyam, Jisha Joseph, Rinu Abraham


Background: Pregnancy and child birth process heralds some risks at every point of time. Being primary health care provider nurses have key roles in identification and prompt management of obstetric emergencies. The aim of this study was to assess the obstetric emergency preparedness among staff nurses working in obstetric care units of a tertiary care centre.

Methods: A descriptive survey was carried out among all staff nurses (n=117) working in obstetric care units of a tertiary care hospital in Ernakulam district, Kerala using a structured questionnaire that contain items on personal and professional characteristics and obstetric emergency preparedness.

Results: The percentage of nurses reported attendance to obstetric emergency drills at work setting (28.2%), Familiarity with procedures for staff call up systems during emergencies (44.4%), Familiarity with emergency crash cart at work setting (50.4%) and being acquainted with correct triaging of obstetric emergencies (57.3%) were found to be low in the study. The overall emergency preparedness score showed significant association with age (p=0.003), educational qualification (p=0.002), type of employment (p=0.001), years of experience (p=0.016), experience in handling obstetric emergencies (p=0.015) and attendance to Continuing Nursing Education(CNE) on obstetric emergencies (p=0.001).

Conclusions: The areas where the nurses lag obstetric emergency preparedness need to be strengthened through appropriate empowerment strategies in order to ensure competency in managing obstetric emergencies among staff `nurses.


Obstetric emergency preparedness, Staff nurses

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