Perspectives of Nurses, Nurse Leaders, and Women Regarding Anticipatory Rounds in the Postpartum Period

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Abstract

Objective

To obtain the perspectives of staff nurses, nurse leaders, and women with regard to the relevance and timing of nursing interactions during anticipatory rounds in the postpartum period.

Design

A qualitative descriptive design using focus groups.

Setting

A hospital with 405 beds that serves a Midwestern U.S. community of approximately 256,000 people.

Participants

A purposive sample of 12 staff nurses, 6 nurse leaders, and 15 women attended a total of 10 focus groups.

Methods

We conducted 10 semistructured focus groups: 6 with staff nurses, 1 with nurse leaders, and 3 with women. Each participant attended one focus group. Sessions were recorded and transcribed. Investigators independently coded transcripts and identified themes collectively.

Results

Participants identified one overarching theme, Taking the Whole Picture Into Account, and five subthemes that were reflective of relevant nursing interactions: Help With Newborn Feeding, Managing Patient Comfort, Appreciating the Need for Safety, Being There, and Knowing Ahead of Time. Participants agreed that conducting rounds once every 2 to 3 hours was the most appropriate time frame.

Conclusion

Participants identified important nursing interactions and their timing. Moreover, anticipatory rounding for women after birth includes more than completion of simple tasks or checklists. These findings indicate beginning evidence for what should occur during anticipatory rounds on the mother–baby unit. Timing of rounds can be flexible based on each woman’s unique needs, thus reinforcing patient-centered care. However, interactions and timing should take place only when the whole picture is taken into account.

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