The Labor Ward

This is the horror ward for most people, and the only place in year 3 where you are most likely to spend your nights without sleep if you are in the night shift rotation(7pm-7am). I would call this the ritual of passage for O&G, or which formed the most “memorable” part of your Year 3 posting.

Located on the 1st floor of O&G building, there are approximately 10 labor rooms in the labor wards, although usually only 6 of them are actively in use. This is where you observe deliveries as well as conducting them. Apart from you, there will be midwife nurses and housemen in the labor ward, with the occasional registrars and specialist doctors. Remember to be courteous to the midwife nurses or else they can make life miserable for you. Also be nice to you’re the housemen. Greet them and ask them for guidance if you are not sure. Housemen are more willing to teach you. However, you are expected to learn more on the job, so try not to ask the same question twice. Do notify them if there are any problems regarding the patients.

In the labor room, try to familiarize with the utensils and delivery kits. Make sure you can name each and every one of them and their uses, as you’ll be using them for conducting deliveries as well. This is also the best place to learn your partograms and CTG as well as the mechanism of childbirth. This is also the place where you learn to time the contractions for 10 minutes at every 30 minutes interval.

Do understand that you need to take care of the patient from the moment the patient enters into the labor ward until she exits the labor ward. This means that you’ll need to know how to do everything (not necessarily you do everything for each patient), which includes:
  • enema insertion
  • blood taking
  • setting up IV line and saline maintenance
  • setting up the BP set and the CTG
  • urinary catheterization
  • oxygen line
  • pitocin administration (under supervision)
  • changing the pads
  • delivery of the placenta
  • cleaning up the patient post-delivery
  • cleaning up of the delivery utensils
For males, do remember to have a chaperone while performing certain procedures, although you may be spared from some tasks such as changing the clothes or wearing tampons for the patients.

Oh yes, remember to take history from the patient (advisable to take from the charts), as you must at least know your patient and what condition does she has, whether she is infectious, pre-existing disorders such as gestational diabetes mellitus or pre-eclampsia, any previous caesarean section as well as the Bishop’s score (you’ll learn later) and the os opening. You might need to present the case of your patient if there are any rounds by the specialists or consultant doctors.

The duration of taking care of a patient varies, which can take up to 8 hours (Anything beyond that would most likely result in caesarean section instead), so be patient. Sometimes, luck may leave you without any patient on your shift, which is why you should not skip any shifts. If the shift time is inconvenient, try switching shifts with someone else. Starting from the 4th week onwards, there are likely to be people who have finished conducting all 5 deliveries, so you can try your luck asking for their “extra shifts”. However, if all of the students take their own sweet time and hope for shifts from the others, this plan would backfire. Therefore, it is better to be hardworking than procrastinating.

Other venues:
  1. O&G Department Office
  2. O&G Clinics
  3. O&G Wards
  4. The Labor Ward
  5. O&G Operating Theatre
  6. First Stage Ward
  7. OGAC (Obs and Gybe Admission Center)
  8. Colposcopy room

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