Family-Centred Maternal and Newborn Care - Essay Example

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Family-Centered Maternal and Newborn Care The diversity of the population that hospitals serve nowadays poses a big challenge to health professionals, especially hospital nurses who deal directly with patients. To respond to diverse needs, the Canadian government, in accordance with the latest research and current recommendable practice, has come up with guidelines for family-centered care…
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Family-Centred Maternal and Newborn Care
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Family-Centered Maternal and Newborn Care The diversity of the population that hospitals serve nowadays poses a big challenge to health professionals, especially hospital nurses who deal directly with patients. To respond to diverse needs, the Canadian government, in accordance with the latest research and current recommendable practice, has come up with guidelines for family-centered care. This paper reviews some of these guidelines for maternal and newborn care. Real-life experiences are cited in order to reveal whether health professionals, especially hospital nurses really comply with these guidelines. Family-centered maternal and newborn care demands that hospital nurses provide services that are truly responsive to the needs of individual patients. This implies responsiveness to the needs of every individual regardless of race, ethnicity, financial status, and other considerations. If the common practice requires nurses to treat patients equally, family-centered care differs in that it makes room for the specific needs of the patients. For example, an expectant mother of Indian origin (from India) may have beliefs that are unknown to people in the medical field. Some of these beliefs, according to the article, “Indian Ethnicity and Background” in the Queensland Government Website, include eating cold foods at the onset of pregnancy and warm foods before giving birth. When nurses learn about this fact, they should allow the mother to provide information regarding Indian practices and beliefs about pregnancy instead of them or the doctors giving direct advice to the mother. Listening is the key to knowing practices applicable to the patient. First, nurses may conduct an interview with the patient to obtain the information needed; however, they cannot expect that Indian mothers would readily relay such information due to their shy nature. Second, nurses should find a way to elicit needed information such as engaging the mother to an interesting conversation that could lead to finding out information about the Indian culture. Third, nurses should be aware of certain practices that differentiate certain ethnicities from the others. Upon knowing such information, nurses should note down the obtained information on the assessment form, and such should serve as a guide to the doctor. Moreover, family-centered care requires that health professionals cater to the needs of individual patients. This means refraining from generalizing but treating each patient separately from others. My experience in a charity ward of a private hospital is far from being family-centered. There was a struggling mother who had her check up for the first time and pap smear attended by a nurse. Lying on the bed, the mother was shaking and complaining of the pain she was feeling caused by the speculum. Despite her plea to take away the speculum because she could not handle the pain, the nurse insisted to proceed with the pap smear, saying that the procedure would take only a while and that such procedure is not really painful. This scenario evidently shows the inability of the nurse to provide family-centered care to the mother. Instead of insisting what she wanted, the nurse must have stopped what she was doing, talked calmly to the mother, and explained the benefit of the procedure. In the first place, she should have informed the mother what she would do before inserting the speculum. That way, the mother could have prepared herself for the pain, thus avoiding panic. Moreover, the nurse should have not insisted that the procedure was not painful because she was not in the mother’s situation. Nurses should respect the feelings of the patient and refrain from dismissing patients’ complaints. Family-centered maternal care for expectant mothers especially those who are first timers should be considerate of the patient’s background. Nurses should assist first-time mothers with carefulness, inform them of what to expect during their pregnancy, and provide them all the necessary information on services they can avail from a variety of service providers in the area. In this regard, attending nurses should be knowledgeable of experiences that pregnant mothers would undergo to carefully guide the patients. The service also includes recommending services outside the hospital premises as long as such services could help the mother attain a healthy pregnancy because according to the guideline, Level 1 centers should maintain connection with other centers for ‘collaboration, consultation, transport, return transport, information sharing, and education’ (“Labor and Birth, Postpartum, and Newborn Care,” 2010). It is interesting to know that under Chapter 1 of the Family-Centered Maternity and Newborn Care National Guidelines, technology should be used “judiciously and appropriately” (“Labor and Birth, Postpartum, and Newborn Care,” 2010). This means refraining from conducting an ultrasound procedure without evident need for one. For instance, some doctors would convince mothers to undergo an ultrasound test on the first trimester of the pregnancy just so to find out if the woman is pregnant. If pregnancy signs are already present, there is no need for ultrasound tests at the given time because such could only cause irreversible damages due to radiation. As regards childbirth, family-care service should provide options where the mother would give birth. Although many doctors would recommend giving birth in hospitals, the guidelines respect the choice of the patients to give birth at home. This is in consideration of some studies commending home-births under strict supervision of health professionals. (Hoff & Schneiderman, 1985; Campbell & MacFarlane, 1986; 1994). Many women of ethnic cultures prefer to give birth at home. Also, not all women prefer to give birth lying down on a bed. For instance, according to the Queensland Government Website, some Indian women prefer to squat or sit down. To cover the individual needs of these clients, nurses should stay close to the patient during labor, ask the patient where she feels most comfortable, and provide a stool or some space for the mother to stay. The guidelines that the Canadian government has set for family-centered maternal and newborn care do away with traditional practices that overlook the right of the mothers and prioritize the benefits of the hospital, instead. Relevantly, if nurses and other healthcare professionals comply with these guidelines, they could contribute to the beautiful experience of pregnancy and childbirth. References Campbell, R., & MacFarlane, A. (1986). Place of delivery: A review. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 93(7); 675-83. Campbell, R. MacFarlane. (1984). Where to be born? The debate and the evidence, 2nd ed. Oxford: National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit. Family-centered maternity and newborn care: national guidelines. (2010). Retrieved from Hoff, G.A., & Schneiderman, L.J. (1985). Having babies at home: Is it safe? Is it ethical? A review. Hastings Cent Rep 15(6); 19-27. Indian ethnicity and background. (n.d.). Queensland Government Website. Retrieved from Read More
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