Pediatric Simulation Essay

6744 Words27 Pages
An Overview of Shoulder Dystocia
The Nurse’s Role
Barbara Camune, CNM, WHNP, DrPH Mary C. Brucker, CNM, PhD, FACNM


Upon completion of this activity, the learner will be able to:

1. Discuss risk factors for shoulder dystocia. 2. Describe fetal position at the time of a shoulder dystocia. 3. Describe actions to be undertaken when a shoulder dystocia occurs.

Shoulder dystocia can be defined in many ways. The most frequently used definition is “inability to birth the shoulders of the infant whether it be anterior, posterior or both, after the head has been delivered” (Collins & Collins, 2001). No one will question that failure to birth the shoulders is a true shoulder dystocia. However, some providers may use the term when the shoulders are “tighter” than usual. Others employ it when they perform any change in positioning to facilitate birth. Therefore, the actual prevalence is difficult to ascertain with any certainty; however, it has been estimated to occur in 0.2 percent to 3 percent of births in the U.S. (Gherman, 2002). Because the entrapment of the infant in the birth canal is an emergent situation, it’s imperative that the obstetric team is familiar with the actions/interventions required to achieve the best outcome for both mother and infant. This article will review risk factors for shoulder dystocia and nursing strategies for managing it.

Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) Credit
A total of 2 contact hours may be earned as CNE credit for reading “An Overview of Shoulder Dystocia: The Nurse’s Role” and for completing an online post-test and evaluation. To take the test and complete the evaluation, please visit Certificates of completion will be issued on receipt of the completed evaluation form, application and processing fees. Note: AWHONN contact hour credit does not imply approval or
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