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Some Nurses...

... are just gross.

Now, I know nurses read my blog and there are some really wonderful ones of y'all here, but I have had to listen to clients and doulas in the last few days as they contend with nurses that make you just want to throw up.

- During an OB hospital tour, the OB nurse said to the group, "Oh, and we have this dandy little drug called pitocin... you'll just love it!"

- While a woman labored on pitocin and wasn't yet 2cm, contracting, nor asking for medication, the nurse berated her for being a martyr and not taking the epidural. When the woman disappeared into the bathroom, the tirade continued towards the doula who was so bewildered, she sat staring at the floor. (I role played with the doula how to counter such behavior with a nurse in a positive, yet power-full way.) This woman had no such issue AT ALL about epidurals, but they were so confused by her accusations, they didn't even think to tell her she'd planned to have one once the pain got her to a place where she was ready for one.

- A (different) woman with ruptured membranes (they'd been broken for awhile) was put on pitocin and found to be 2cm dilated. 3 hours later, they wanted to check her again. 3 HOURS LATER?!? What the hell did they think they were going to find?!? The head of a baby?!? When the woman was still 2cm, the nurse heaved a sigh and tsk'd tsk'd that this just might not work after all. AFTER 3 HOURS. The woman did, indeed, have a cesarean a few hours later.

- In trying to court our magnificent doctor to another hospital, the nursing staff gathered together and woo'd him this way:

"Dr. Wonderful, if you come to The-Highest-Epidural/Induction/Cesarean-Rate-In-This-City-Hospital, you wouldn't work nearly as hard as you do now! Why, we have the women come in right when they start labor, they get "their" epidurals at 2cm, we pop in a birth video for them, they play cards and laugh with their families... it's so easy! You come in for 5 minutes at the end... or, if they need surgery, you come in for 20 minutes tops. Doesn't that sound so much better than what you do now?"

He said he was staying at the hospital he was already at. He was just made Chief of OB there, too. Hurrah!

My doula friend reacted perfectly to her experiences with these nurses. Her mouth gaping open, her eyes bugging out, her face bright red, she just shook her head side to side with disbelief. Finally she screamed out, "THIS SHIT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!!!"

And so it should.

Reader Comments (8)

ARGH.....and I'll take the bet that both of my children were delied in the hospital trying to woo Dr. Wonderful....Heck, I may want his name and number....I'd love his take on the advisability (or not) of a #3....

June 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterOpening Pandora

I was at an induced labor last night (that I'm amazed did NOT end up in a section). The mother had strained something in her back during valsalva pushing (go figure) and was having a really hard time finding a way to push without causing her back agony. A nurse came on duty who did not know anything about where we were or what was going on and started to direct the mother's pushing. The mother said she can't because of her back, so the nurse said impatiently, "but you have to push to get the baby out". A little more verbal assault was thrown both directions until the nurse rolled her eyes and said, "Well, then, the baby just isn't going to come out.". The mother's mother was present and said, "Lady, that wasn't very helpful.". I was completely flabbergasted at this condescending nurse who had absolutely no idea what sort of damage she was doing. I wanted to pull her aside and tell her that women in labor remember these conversations verbatim FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. b*tch.

I tell my families that a shift-change with the wrong or right nurse can change an entire labor.

June 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

I've wondered about being a doula...I just worry my head would explode at a hospital birth.

I can remember some of the very kind nurses at my daughter's birth. But the rest of them, feh. How did things get so very convoluted?

I am so very grateful for midwives and their support teams :) Changed my life.

June 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAngel

I can understand why the doc wanted to do a cervical exam after 3 hrs - it's part of the documentation process in a hospital system - they need to document cervical change every several hours, or else the labor pattern falls off of "the curve".

What it really boils down to is doctor's impatience.

I can't tell you how many times I have begged and pleaded with docs to give the woman's body a chance to labor on their own before intervening.

Sometimes I have to tell the woman that if she doesn't want all of these interventions, simply refuse them. Because I'm certainly not pushing anything on anyone!

June 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAtYourCervix

While laboring with my third, I had a wonderful nurse. She was very respectful of my wish to go natural. She only offered encouraging words, never meds. About 8 hours into my labor, another nurse came in. (Why I have no idea!) Checked my print out, NOT me, and asked why I hadn't received my epidural!!! My nurse said, "Because she is doing GREAT!" and she shooed the wretched nurse out the door.

June 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl Q

Ugh. This post reminded me of a nasty nurse who snapped at me to be quiet during the birth of my first son 12 years ago. I had refused all interventions and I guess I was being a bit more vocal than what they were used to. To her credit, she did apologize to me when my son was born weighing over 10 lbs. Even so, she was one of the reasons I never gave birth in a hospital again.

June 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Nauseating. I see it less now that the hosp I work at has a seperate area for Labor and I forget how nauseating it is. Sigh.

June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Redpomegranate here again, yep, most L&D nurses are pretty sucktastic. Hell, even on the "midwife" unit on which I work as an RN most of the nurses are antagonistic to "goofy" people who want crazy things like low lighting, to use the birth tub and go without pain meds.

And people wonder why I have homebirths...

June 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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