School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Vickie Moore


Intermittent Auscultation, Birth Satisfaction, Continuous Electronic Fetal Monitoring, Labor Support




Knowledge and implementation of intermittent fetal auscultation (IA)and labor support mechanisms in the hospital setting are becoming a lost art. Nurses are well-trained on how to utilize technology and perform medical interventions for laboring patients, but are losing the confidence and skills necessary to promote normal, physiologic births for low-risk women. In order to address these concerns, an evidence-based practice project was piloted in a hospital in Virginia. Nurses were trained on the science, clinical application, and outcomes of both intermittent auscultation and continuous electronic fetal monitoring for low-risk women; education was also focused on labor support mechanisms and the effects of the birth environment on laboring women. The program was structured in a pre-test/post-test format, and nurses were given a three-month implementation period to apply learned practices. Nurses also filled out a survey to measure self-efficacy of labor-support mechanisms; the survey was administered prior to the seminar and following the three-month implementation period. Results from the surveys demonstrated an increase in nurse’s self-efficacy after implementation, as well as an increase in labor support knowledge following the educational seminar. To obtain patient views, all patients who gave birth were given a birth satisfaction survey during the three-month implementation period; patients were asked to specify if they had continuous fetal monitoring or intermittent auscultation, and whether any medical interventions were needed during labor and birth. Overall program results suggest that nurses benefit from continued education on normal labor and birth practices, but that the culture of the hospital unit, beliefs and values of individual patients, and provider practices affect the implementation of IA and the potential reduction of medical interventions in labor.

Included in

Nursing Commons