Next up in our news for nurses is a look at something completely opposite to our last story this week. This segment looks at how we change the culture inside a hospital regarding childbirth and caesarean sections (C-Section). In an article I found at the Center for Healthcare Journalism site, one reporter looks at ways that Marin General Hospital in California is reducing health care costs by cutting back on the number of C-sections performed in the hospital.

Limiting Outside Childbirth Process Pressures

newborn baby childbirthThe hospital looked at the patience of obstetricians. For those of you listening to this I’m talking about their ability to wait for a long and difficult vaginal birth to run its course, not the women who are the patients of these doctors. The hospital tried putting in place a core team of dedicated unit nurse midwives and physician laborists whose only job is to attend to the mothers on the unit. They don’t have external practices that put additional time demands on them. Therefore, they have the time and the patience to wait.

The hospital watched C-section rates drop from 32% of women in labor to under 25%. This is a significant drop. The article points out that no one was accusing the private physicians of doing needless C-sections. The need for C-sections at the time of active labor and childbirth was a minute by minute decision that had to be made on the spot.

The study and data seem to suggest that outside pressures have an impact, even if it is a subconscious effect. I’ll have a link to this in the show notes including to the paper written and published in the Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. Check it out for yourself over at

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Sepsis Alliance Nursing Resources and Episode 370.



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