What Do Public Health Nurses Really Do During Prenatal Home Appointments?


Address correspondence to Kathleen M. Twohy, R.N., M.P.H., Ph.D., College of St. Benedict, Department of Nursing, 37 College Ave. S., St. Joseph, MN 45374.


Abstract This study describes the nursing interventions and activities utilized by public health nurses in home-based delivery of care to high-risk prenatal clients. Fourteen home appointments by nine public health nurses were audiotaped, transcribed, and coded using the Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) as the coding frame. Seven interventions accounted for approximately 83% of the nursing care during these appointments. Weak relationships were found between the interventions projected in the client's written nursing care plan, the interventions identified in the coded transcriptions, and the chart documentation of the events of the home appointment. Practice, education, and research implications are discussed.