Deborah S. Walker is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the University of Michigan School of Nursing's Nurse-Midwifery Education Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Walker completed her nurse-midwifery education at the University of Minnesota in 1989 and received her Doctorate in Nursing Science from UCLA in 1994. She has practiced as a CNM for 12 years, most recently at North Campus Family Health Services in Ann Arbor. Dr. Walker currently serves on the ACNM Board of Directors and is a member of the Division of Research. Dr. Walker's coauthors were all labor and delivery nurses and students in the graduate nurse-midwifery education program at the time this project on labor and delivery nurses' attitudes toward intermittent fetal monitoring was conducted in partial fulfillment of their graduate degree requirements.
Labor and Delivery Nurses' Attitudes Toward Intermittent Fetal Monitoring
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2001 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 46, Issue 6, pages 374–380, November-December 2001
How to Cite
Walker, D. S., Shunkwiler, S., Supanich, J., Williamsen, J. and Yensch, A. (2001), Labor and Delivery Nurses' Attitudes Toward Intermittent Fetal Monitoring. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 46: 374–380. doi: 10.1016/S1526-9523(01)00195-7
Susan Shunkwiler graduated in 1999 from the University of Michigan's Nurse-Midwifery program and currently practices as a CNM at Oakwood Health System in Detroit, Michigan.
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
Fetal monitoring is a routine procedure overseen by labor and delivery nurses and upon which they exert considerable influence. There is a discrepancy, however, between the type of fetal monitoring routinely used and the evidence provided by current research and professional organization recommendations. This study provides the first look at labor and delivery nurses' attitudes toward fetal monitoring in more than 20 years. A descriptive, correlational study was conducted at five southeastern Michigan hospitals to evaluate attitudes toward intermittent fetal monitoring and the effect of selected demographic variables on their attitudes. Of the labor and delivery nurses who participated (N = 145), 72.4% agreed that intermittent fetal monitoring should be the standard of care. Although 87% of the respondents stated that they were willing to provide intermittent monitoring, 53.9% indicated that nurse/patient ratios were a problem in providing this service. Nurses' attitudes were significantly influenced by education level (P = .004), and 48% were unsure about current research findings related to intermittent auscultation. Nurses have a positive attitude toward intermittent monitoring, although safe nurse/patient ratios and clear policies need to be addressed. Lack of knowledge regarding the current evidence and other barriers may contribute to intermittent auscultation not being used routinely, despite the fact that its use for women of low obstetrical risk is supported by current research and professional organizations.