Nurses’ Responses to Changes in Maternity Care, Part I. Family-Centered Changes and Short Hospitalization

Authors

  • Karen Stolte R.N., Ph.D.,

    1. Karen Stolte is Professor and Sheila Taylor Myers is Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing of the University of Oklahoma, 1100 N. Stonewall, Oklahoma City, OK 73190
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  • Sheila Taylor Myers R.N., M.S.N.

    1. Karen Stolte is Professor and Sheila Taylor Myers is Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing of the University of Oklahoma, 1100 N. Stonewall, Oklahoma City, OK 73190
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  • This study was partially funded by Beta Delta Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau.

  • The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Jean McClaskey, R.N., M.N., Pittsburgh State University Department of Nursing, with data collection.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: A descriptive study was conducted to determine what changes nurses report in maternity care and how these changes affect them and their practice. The stratified random sample was composed of six female, full-time registered nurses with a minimum of three years’ maternity experience from each of 10 hospitals in central Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas. Fifty-nine interviews, using a semistructured format, were completed, transcribed, and coded. Changes related to family-centered maternity care, short postpartum hospitalization, and patient characteristics are reported here. Patients know more about what to expect than they did only a few years ago, but also seem to expect the ideal; they are both older and younger than before, and many are sick or at high risk. Nurses reported more job satisfaction overall, but that their workloads had increased as a result of these changes, with more “traffic managing” and patient teaching required. Conflicts arise from lack of postpartum teaching time, lower patient census causing job insecurity, and from the need to care for all the members of the family instead of only mothers or babies. Some interdisciplinary conflict was also reported.

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