AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Among recent dramatic changes in obstetrics is the decline in the length of a mother's stay in the hospital after giving birth. A generation ago a stay of seven days was common; today it has decreased to 48 hours or less after a vaginal delivery.
Simultaneously, research findings have shown the importance of early family interactions, and new information is constantly emerging on family dynamics, infants care and postpartal self-care. As a result, postpartal nurses are increasingly faced with the paradox of teaching more in less time. Concerns about how patients use their training to manage at home after discharge prompted a group of nurses at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago to explore a follow-up method.
The nurses identified the shortened length of postpartum stay as a problem area, noting that research has shown that a postpartum follow-up nurse clinician can help patients obtain and apply teaching in their own homes during the vulnerable postpartum period. A position for a full-time registered professional nurse for postpartum follow-up was recommended and the position was funded in 1981. The rather long title--the Family Centered Community Liaison Nurse (FCCLN)--reflects the philosophy of the maternity floor, a combined mother-neonatal unit called the Family Centered Care Unit, as well as the unit's commitment to the community.
The first responsibility of the FCCLN was to identify patients who would most benefit from the one …