Patient Preference Experience
As a nurse that floats within my hospital’s women/children service line, I have worked in labor and delivery and have aided in the insertion/management of an epidural in laboring patients. The choice to have natural labor versus medicated labor has been a debate for years, with benefits and drawbacks to each. Expecting mothers usually always have a specific delivery plan; however, rarely do all of the plans go perfectly according to that plan.
One patient experienced I have personally been involved in is a woman who said she wished to not use any form of pain medication as a part of her delivery plan. As it is a woman’s right to make this decision, this wish, of course, was granted if the baby and mom remained safe throughout the delivery. Sometimes in medicine, there is no “correct” option, and delivering a baby naturally or medicated is one of those choices. What we do know is that patient-centered care has a direct correlation with evidence-based practice; without involving patients and their loved ones in their medical decisions and treatment plans, we are not providing good care at all. (Fineout-Overholt, Long, & Gallagher-Ford, 2018). The expecting mother, in my experience, valued her choice of natural birth, and staff worked to try to provide every option of care to make this happen; however, in some cases, patient safety trumps patient preference.