Intersecting identities: labour and delivery nurses' experience of pregnancy and childbirth

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Reger, Megan Ashley
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Health Sciences
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Health Sciences
L&D nurses play an integral role in the childbirth experience. With a predicted shortage of nurses and an increasing number of women experiencing complications in pregnancy, it is essential that the needs of L&D nurses are understood so they can continue to meet the growing demands of their profession. Although research pertaining to midwifery and L&D nursing is growing, studies pertaining to pregnant registered nurses working on L&D are limited. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to begin to address this gap. My primary research question was: “What is the pregnancy and birth experience of a registered nurse working on L&D?” To address this question, data were collected through individual, semistructured interviews completed via videoconferencing with nurses who worked while pregnant on L&D units. From these data, thematic analysis resulted in one overarching theme of transformation. The thematic arc of transformation captures the transitions of a pregnant nurse’s identity as she becomes pregnant, experiences her own birth story, returns to practice, and views birthing with new eyes because of her own journey. The theme of transformation is supported by three categories, with each category representing unique transitions the nurse goes through: (a) balancing act, (b) the power of the sisterhood, and (c) becoming a mother. Providing a description of an L&D nurse’s pregnancy and childbirth experience can inform how human and professional resources are allocated and implemented for L&D nurses who work while pregnant, which may increase the retention and well-being of these skilled healthcare providers.
labour and delivery , nursing , childbirth , occupation , pregnancy , emotional well-being , Labour (Obstetrics) , Delivery (Obstetrics) , Pregnancy--Psychological aspects , Childbirth--Psychological aspects , Maternity nursing--Psychological aspects , Obstetrics , Pregnant women--Employment , Nurse and patient , Nurses--Attitudes , Nurses--Job satisfaction , Employee retention , Experience , Dissertations, Academic