Listen to your intuition, but always follow the rules

In my senior year in 1975, I was in my Maternity Nursing clinical at Robinson Memorial Hospital. Incidentally, I was also a CNA who worked there on the weekends. My dream then was to be a midwife. The Labor and Delivery was very busy that day. The nurses I was working with knew me from my weekend job. Our instructor, Mrs. Landi, evaluated all of the students' abilities to assess what stage of labor our patients were in.

When I checked my patient again, something did not feel correct. I knew the Head Nurse who was present, again as a part of my CNA position, and told her I was not comfortable with my findings. She came to check and immediately placed the patient on all fours and told me to get the OB doctor who was sitting at the desk. She told the doctor the the cord was prolapsed. This was not his patient, but he immediately called the OR (one floor below us) and he and the Head Nurse headed directly there. I was not allowed to come along, but since I worked there, I knew a place I could go to see what was happening. I was relieved to hear the baby cry and that everything was alright after the C-section was performed.

Mrs. Landi was kind, but sternly let me know that this was not the role of a student to perform an exam without supervision. However, the OB Head Nurse pointed out that if I had not misunderstood my role, the baby may have died. The next day when I was working on the Post Partum floor, flowers were waiting for me from the family. I have never forgotten this. My nursing education at Kent State, and this experience, prepared me to listen to my intuition, but to always follow the rules! 

POSTED: Monday, August 14, 2017 - 10:26am
UPDATED: Monday, August 14, 2017 - 10:26am
Renee Holleran