Type of Project


Document Type


Publication Date



Obstetrics & Gynecology, Cardiology, Endocrinology & Diabetes

MeSH Headings

Labor, Obstetric, Critical Care, Empathy, Pregnancy, Female


Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and Obstetrical Critical Care (OB CC) education for high risk Labor and Delivery nurses in caring for growing population of high risk patients

Tracey E. McMillan RNC, BSN

Clinical Nurse III

Labor and Delivery Unit Coordinator

BACKGROUND: Many studies show that an increasing number of pregnant women in the United States have chronic health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and chronic heart disease. The factors that place a pregnancy at risk can be divided into four categories: existing health conditions, age, lifestyle factors and conditions of pregnancy. The recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are also showing that about 700 women die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications. The CDC has also documented data that maternal mortality is on the rise.

Education and training are the groundwork to successfully prepare staff for a medical emergency. In caring for the obstetrical patient, the American Heart Association has identified unique challenges providers and nurses have when the rare event of a cardiopulmonary arrest happens in the pregnant patient with the different modifications that must be done. Challenges have also been identified with the growing population of obstetrical patients with serious pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. cardiomyopathy, diabetes, chronic hypertension [CHTN], asthma, NICU graduates, advanced maternal age [AMA], assisted reproductive technologies). Developing a program will increase staff knowledge, increase skill set, and create a more advanced awareness of patients changing status.

PICOT: In Labor and Delivery at MMC how will ACLS and OB CC education for nurses affect staff confidence in caring for our growing population of high risk patients?

DESIGN/PLAN: Developing a Critical Care OB Program with ACLS certification for Labor/Delivery RN’s at Maine Medical Center. Data will be collected pre- and post-training to show the significance of job satisfaction.