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Obstetrical Nursing

Obstetrical nursing, also called perinatal nursing, is a nursing specialty that works with patients who are attempting to become pregnant, are currently pregnant, or have recently delivered. Obstetrical nurses help provide prenatal care and testing, care of patients experiencing pregnancy complications, care during labour and delivery, and care of patients following delivery. Obstetrical nurses work closely with obstetricians, midwives, and nurse practitioners. They also provide supervision of patient care technicians and surgical technologists. Obstetrical nurses perform postoperative care on a surgical unit, stress test evaluations, cardiac monitoring, vascular monitoring, and health assessments. Obstetrical nurses are required to possess specialized skills such as electronic fetal monitoring, nonstress tests, neonatal resuscitation, and medication administration by continuous intravenous drip. Obstetrical nurses are also expected to be detailed and organized because they usually have more than one patient to deal with at a time. Their mental and physical strength is important because the nurses work long hours usually standing and must be able to perform tasks expertly. Nurses should be emotionally stable because they will have to cope with emergencies and loss. Lastly, they need to have critical thinking skills because the patient's health could change in an instant and they must be ready to know what to do quickly and accurately.