(Closed) Would you let a student nurse observe your delivery?

posted 7 years ago in Pregnancy
  • poll: Would you allow a student RN to observe your delivery?

    Yes, of course!

    Yes, but only if I was having a vaginal delivery.

    Yes, but only if I was having a C-section.

    Nope! No students for me!

    Other (specify)

  • Post # 46
    11735 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    To add – for a csection I wouldn’t care since it’s more clinical procedure. I’d also be okay with a student coming In intermittently during cervical checks etc but not there for the pushing part. Any other medical procedure I’m totally cool with students. there’s just something different about birth to me. It was more then just a medical procedure.

    Post # 47
    9541 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I would absolutely let a student observe. I train genetic counseling students and I can’t imagine what we would do if people didn’t let students observe. How else are nurses supposed to get experience?

    Honestly, I would feel selfish if I didn’t allow a student observer. I would feel like I was basically saying that I think someone else should be responsible for letting a student get experience. That being said, there are always extenuating circumstances: working at the facillity/situations where the baby isn’t going to live/anxiety disorders/etc. But for normal deliveries – I would feel really guilty turning down a student. Because if everyone did that then they’d never be able to train. 

    Slightly different but my policy with students learning to do blood draws/IVs is that they get one try, two if I’m in a good mood, then they get someone who knows what they’re doing.

    Post # 48
    75 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I’m a physician so I’m 100% fine with it since I know how important it is for education and I honestly don’t care who watches as long as my husband does not move below my shoulders. I feel that if you go to a teaching hospital, you implicitly agree to be part of the teaching. People like to go to big academic medical centers, but the reason they are good, is because they are teaching hospitals. You may need people to help hold your legs and offer physical support and a student who has been holding for 10 births is probably better than your family members. I don’t think they have to do 10 cervical checks, but letting them watch is pretty benign. That said, I’ve seen over 100 births and I’m not someone who finds the experience magical. L&D is my least favorite place in the hospital. The only thing I care about is that the baby comes out breathing and has good apgars. 

    I will be delivering at the hospital I work at so it’s fairly standard to limit med students and such since it’s a little odd for me to be their supervising attending 6 months later. I’ll be fine with OB residents and fellows since I won’t run into them much, though if there are issues where the NICU/peds team need to come, I’ll probably ask for the attending only since I spend time in the NICU consulting and work with the residents on a regular basis. But to be honest if it comes to procedures, the 3rd year NICU fellow has probably done more umbilical catheters in the last 6 months than the attending in the last 10 years, so if the baby needs any interventions, I’m fine with the fellows doing them. 

    Post # 49
    2909 posts
    Sugar bee

    I said “Yes, of course,” but would add that if the nurse exhibited behavior or an attitude that made me uncomfortable, I’d ask that they no longer be allowed to observe my delivery.

    Post # 50
    543 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Very interesting discussion. I have (and will continue to) allow students to observe all of my medical procedures, but for my husband and I, our baby’s birth is a sacred, private event and we don’t want anyone in the room who doesn’t need to be there to ensure the safety of my baby and myself. I will welcome students after the birth and would gladly talk about it if I’m able and I’d allow students to be involved in my baby’s exams before we leave the hospital. Due to my insurance the only hospital in town I can deliver at is a university hospital. My only other option would be to have a homebirth and as a first-time mom, its not something I want to do. 

    Post # 51
    679 posts
    Busy bee

    I second the bee who said that as long as they are introduced early on and not right before the baby comes out my vag, I’m ok with it. I was in the emergency room once for dehydration and was asked to have residents check me. I didn’t mind it and honestly it was hard to tell who was a resident and who was not since I had 2-3 nurses that night, a doc or two and the insurance lady coming in. The residents were very respectful and professional. 

    Post # 52
    1684 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I am a RN and during my rotation in maternity I did observe a vaginal birth. I actually held one of the woman’s legs while she pushed. It was an amazing experience and she was so great to me through it. I really enjoyed the experience.


    THAT SAID- I didn’t learn much during that. It was a whirlwind experience and a bit jolting for little ol’ me. However, I know students that chose their specialty based on that experience.


    Unless it was a high risk birth, I would be ok with students. Someday they might be helping my daughter give birth 🙂

    Post # 53
    7457 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    Absolutely! I think it’s obviously everyone’s right to say no, but I’m a little surprised at how many people would deny them! No one would want an under experienced nurse to be taking care of them, and they aren’t going to get the experience getting denied. I guess maybe becuase I’m not super modest, but also because even though they’re a student I do see them as part of the “medical team” – so no different than any other nurse. Now I don’t have kids, but all my friends do. Every one of them (including one that just had her baby a couple of weeks ago) all said the same thing – in the moment, you honestly couldn’t care WHO is in the room.

    Post # 54
    4673 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I wouldn’t mind.  My clinic/ hopsital is affiliated with a medical college, so I always expect a student or intern to be working or observing.  And as an education student I understand that being in the field, and observing real situations is very important.  

    Post # 55
    2947 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 1998

    View original reply
    PaisleyMedic:  I had no problem with this when a student nurse watched my second delivery however I wouldn’t have done it for my first delivery.  

    Post # 56
    1470 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    I had a student doctor at my delivery (so obviously I consented) and generally liked the experience. She was really nice and was so sweet, and I think I got more info/narration from my doc than I would have had if she wasn’t there, which was cool. In fact, she then started a pediatrics rotation and did our 1-month check-up for my son, too, so that was really neat.

    I would have said yes to a student nurse, too. I also had a male someone (not sure if it was nursing/doctor) at an annual exam once where I talked about how my new birth control pill was killing my sex drive–ha!

    Students need to learn somehow, and I’d rather they learn in a “hands-on” way, so have at it! I can’t think of any procedure I’d not consent to having a student observe, although like a PP said, if there was something I didn’t like about the student’s behavior, I’d speak up.

    Post # 57
    1837 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    i struggle with this question b/c i’m a nurse and obviously had to do a maternity rotation. on the other hand, i don’t think i want a stranger in there other than the doctor/nurse/whoever is necessary. i hope i don’t get in this situation honestly.

    Post # 58
    1837 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    View original reply
    Jw1724:  i agree, i don’t feel that i learned much from observing a delivery.

    Post # 59
    2807 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    i’m not pregnant (and we don’t plan to have kids for another few years), but i’m perfectly fine with students. my mom’s a nurse, and i remember when she went through all of her clinical rotations in school. without being able to experience things, she wouldn’t have learned. everyone has to learn.

    plus, it’s not like i would know the student personally. it’d most likely be someone i’d never see again.

    Post # 60
    1805 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    No. For two reasons. First, this is my first baby and I’m nervous as is and don’t want to deal with anyone other than my doctor and nurse. Secondly, I once went to see a cardiologist and they had to do some scans on my chest, obviously with my top off and they asked if a student could observe and I decided to agree … it was the most awkward situation ever. I just wanted them to hurry up and let me put my clothes back on, but instead she kept asking questions, then wanted to try it out herself, then would look away really fast if we made eye contact. I was really annoyed with the whole situation so I can’t imagine how I’d deal with that kind of uncomfortable situation while I’m giving birth!

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