Date of Degree

2-2022

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Nursing Studies

Advisor

Juan Battle

Committee Members

Stephen Baumann

Martha Whetsell

Subject Categories

Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing

Keywords

Nursing, Interprofessional, Relationships, Labor and delivery

Abstract

Research regarding interprofessional relationships on a labor and delivery unit is overwhelmingly quantitative, most of it relying on descriptors of the concepts “team” and “teamwork.” However, there is a scarcity of studies that explore the actual interactions that occur among professionals while they provide care to a laboring mother. In a labor and delivery unit at a suburban hospital, over a 14-month period, data was collected through participant observation, casual conversation, extensive field notes, informal interviews, and unstructured, in-depth interviews with 12 healthcare professionals until saturation of emerging themes was achieved. Field notes and transcribed interviews were continuously examined and coded leading to the organization of data into reoccurring patterns. Final analysis led to three themes that described and interpreted the relationships on the unit. The behavior and actions of the professionals was best understood through a lens of “waiting”—waiting for the birth, waiting for the doctor, waiting for a room to be opened for surgical intervention, waiting for a baby to cry, and waiting at the desk just talking about family, friends, and life. More specifically, three themes emerged from the data — Theme One: The In-between (Labor to Birth) aka Not Yet!; Theme Two: Controlling the Wait, Manipulated Birth Time; and Theme Three: Gendering the Generation, Honey I’m home!

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