OB Nurses in Remote Areas of the WorldPosted September 22nd, 2008 by Site Administrator in Uncategorized (No Comments »)
Imagine you are an OB nurse, helping deliver a baby after a complicated delivery and pregnancy. Now imagine that you are in the rural countryside of India and a hospital is not in reach of the village, nor is it feasible that the mother will survive moving out of the room she is in. This type of OB nurse is quite unlike any similar form within the United States. In fact, obstetrics on a different part of the world is an entirely different industry, one in which you are forced to think on your feet and make last minute decisions.
Some situations in other countries are not that dire; this is simply a “dramatization” of sorts, but one city in Japan has had to rely on its OB nurses more than it ever thought it would need to. The city of Tono, Japan is relatively small with a population of only 32,000, but has been without an obstetrician for five years. Despite numerous bribes and requests for obstetricians for the past years, the OB nurses of the clinics have been the sole beacon of hope to the city’s pregnant women.
The city, however, has extended this help in adopting a high-tech method of obstetrics: pregnant women are examined via real-time data which is then sent to any number of doctors through their cellphones. When the doctor determines that the woman is nearing the point of childbirth, she is taken to the nearest city and maternity ward (although the city is a treacherous drive and forty minutes away). All over Japan, citizens have seen a declining number of obstetricians as the country has begun to make efforts to cater more to the larger elderly population, nearly turning a blind eye to the many deaths during childbirth.
Due to this situation, there are fewer than 8,000 obstetricians in the country, many of whom are overworked as well. As a result, ob nurses have been forced to step in where they otherwise would not be asked to and take the place of the doctor since they are the next best thing. This is an extraordinarily difficult problem to solve, as obstetricians in the country make far less than doctors in other specialties, subsequently turning young students off the track in favor of a better-paying specialty.
Far from the obstetrics programs of the United States, which essentially allow their doctors to work less than 35 hours after they have completed their residency, obstetrics programs in other parts of the world have a long way to go. OB nurses are picking up the slack for the countries, but this is not preventing the emergence of complications that can arise without a qualified doctor present to deliver the baby. Maternity wards continue to close around the country, as pregnant women have few options now that more and more obstetricians are resigning or moving out of the country. However, until the program rights itself, ob nurses are the saving grace for the pregnant women of this country and have continued to perform to the best of their abilities with limited resources.
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