A survey of intrapartum fetal surveillance education practices in Victorian public hospitals

Mark Beaves, Valerie Jenkins, Euan Morrison Wallace

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BACKGROUND: The inappropriate use or interpretation of intrapartum fetal surveillance (IFS) continues to be a major contributor to adverse obstetric outcomes, suggesting that training in IFS is deficient. What professional education in intrapartum fetal surveillance currently exists in Victorian public hospitals is unknown. AIMS: To map the current formal IFS education and competency assessment practices in Victorian public hospitals. METHODS: A structured survey comprising 25 questions was developed and mailed to both a senior obstetric and a midwifery manager in all public maternity hospitals in Victoria. Non-respondents were followed up at 2 months. RESULTS: One hundred and twenty surveys were sent to 60 hospitals, of which 103 replies from 58 hospitals were received, representing a 97 hospital response rate. Only 19 (33 ) of respondent hospitals had an existing education program. Hospitals with > 2000 births per annum were more likely to have a program than those with <1000 births per annum (86 vs 23 , P=0.004). Of the 19 existing education programs, only nine contained any fetal physiology. All respondents thought that IFS education should be compulsory for relevant staff. Only six (10 ) of the hospitals had any assessment of competency but 90 of respondents thought that such an assessment should be compulsory. CONCLUSIONS: These data reveal important deficiencies in the provision and quality of current IFS education practices in Victoria, particularly in smaller and rural hospitals. However, these deficiencies seem to reflect a lack of opportunity rather than a lack of interest
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95 - 100
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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