One hundred percent of my ER nurse colleagues signed a petition stating our concern over Ashtabula County Medical Center’s decision to close the OB unit. Though changes are coming to ACMC, the fact pregnant women will continue to come to the emergency room won’t. Pregnant women frequent the emergency room often for a variety of pregnancy-related complications and to know we will no longer have the in-house experts to care for these women during emergencies is a disservice to our community.
The hospital knows pregnant women will continue to show up at our hospital. The nearest OB will be approximately 50 miles away, leaving women with limited transportation and those in emergency situations with little choice, and ACMCM ER nurses filled with worry.
Just like doctors, nurses train for specialties to provide the best care for patients in certain situations. I am a trained ER nurse who has assisted with only a handful of emergent deliveries in my 28-year career, and always with the support of trained OB nurses who would immediately assume the care of the newborn and mother. This care falls within the expertise of an OB nurse.
Instead of keeping the OB, ACMC would rather send my ER nurses to observe birth simulations for the next time we have a pregnant woman in need. That is extremely limited training as we approach the unit closure August 1. For ACMC to suggest that this is sufficient to prepare us for the monumental responsibility of caring for pregnant women is disheartening.