Application of Intrapartum Electronic Fetal Monitoring-A Nursing Perspective Abstract

Lai Fong HO

Cardiotocography (CTG) has become the most important and popular method of fetal monitoring. Currently, the CTG is used for both antepartum and intrapartum fetal surveillance in most of the obstetric departments in Hong Kong. As frontline workers in the provision of obstetric care, nurse-midwives are usually the personnel involved in the application and the initial interpretation of the CTG, particularly in the management of labour. Thus competency in the performance and interpretation of CTG should be a standard requirement for nurse-midwifes, especially the intrapartum nurse who is responsible for the ultimate welfare of the mother and fetus under her care. In this new millennium, it can hardly be considered professionally acceptable if the intrapartum nurse is unable to identify the normal and abnormal fetel heart rate patterns, or to convey the correct information to the obstetrician appropriately and in time for interventions where necessary. Continued nursing education will help the nurse-midwife to be familiar and confident with the application of technology. More time needs to be devoted to participate in the interpretation of CTG because this is now the routine practice. Enlightening the pregnant women on the application and limitation of CTG also helps to enhance mutual understanding and generate rapport with them.

Hong Kong J Gynaecol Obstet Midwifery 2002; 3:48-53

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