Learning From Experience: Development of a Cognitive Task List to Perform a Safe and Successful Non-Rotational Forceps Delivery

Andrea N. Simpson, David Gurau, Michael Secter, Eva Mocarski, Richard Pittini, John Snelgrove, Ryan Hodges, Rory Windrim, Mary Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Increased rates of delivery by Caesarean section have resulted in a reduction in rates of instrumental deliveries This has led to a new educational challenge for teaching and development of skills In teaching trainees, there are subconscious tasks that the supervising staff may not review because they are automatic This study aimed to create a new tool to meet this challenge: to identify the core steps required to perform a non-rotational forceps delivery safely and successfully.Methods: Labour and delivery nursing staff of three large teaching hospitals were asked to identify clinicians they considered to be particularly skilled in non-rotational forceps deliveries Obstetricians who were identified consistently in this way were invited to participate in the study After providing written consent, participants were then filmed performing a non-rotational forceps delivery on a model Two clinicians reviewed all videos and documented verbal and non-verbal components of the assessment. Thematic analysis combined findings into an integrated summary The initial summary was then circulated to all participants for their approval .Results: Seventeen clinicians were identified and consented Themes identified included the need for careful assessment of suitability for operative delivery, the role of the multidisciplinary team, the need for careful and appropriate communication with the parents, the technique of delivery itself, and postpartum care and documentation.Conclusion: In the core steps identified, the clinicians balanced respect for the "elegant technique" of non-rotational forceps deliveries with careful assessment and knowing when to stop if safety criteria were not met.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-597
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • EducationCompeting Interests
  • Non-rotational forceps
  • Operative delivery

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