Customer satisfaction is an essential element in any given business enterprise and the medical sector is no exception. Although the fate of undergoing pain during delivery is inevitable for expectant women, reducing such pain to the lowest possible levels increases the satisfaction of patients. Hawkins (2010) reported that psychological stress or pain could increase maternal plasma levels of epinephrine by 25% and decreased uterine blood flow by 50% which may in turn prolong the period of labor.
Therefore pain management is important in ensuring patient satisfaction during delivery. In a study conducted by Moore et al (2010), it was found that positive doctor- patient relations increases the obstetric patients’ perceptions of physical competence of the doctor or nurse. In addition good nurse patient relationship decreases the patient’s perception that adverse medical outcome could have been caused by negligence, carelessness and poor services by the doctor or nurse. Murray (2009) notes that labor support may help in shortening a woman’s labor and reduce the need for an operative vaginal or cesarean delivery. Consequently, labor support increases the overall patient satisfaction during the delivery process.
Pain management and other ways of increasing satisfaction
There are various options that can be used by nurses to achieve effectively relieve patients of pain. Such options include the use of systematic opioids and alternative non pharmacologic options such as sterilize water injections, acupuncture and assistance from a doula and water therapy in showers or whirl pool births (Hawkins, 2010). Hypotension could similarly be reduced by engaging in good practices by patients. Hawkins adds that although there is no precise way to prevent hypotension during delivery, options which include uterine displacement, fluid administration and treatment with pressers may help in reducing the severity of the problem. Hawkins (2010) records that although severe pain is not life threatening in healthy parturient women, such pain can have neuropsychological consequences. Therefore such pain must be minimized at all costs.
Interestingly, men are also affected by labor pains of their partners. For instance, Hawkins reports that a survey of first time fathers revealed that men whose partners received an epidural felt three times as helpful and involved during labor and delivery and experienced less anxiety and stress as com[pared with men whose partners did not receive an epidural. Therefore, a woman centered care must incorporate the role of the patient’s partner in achieving maximum satisfaction.
Although several studies have focused on analyzing various ways through which pain could be relieved in the delivery rooms, other factors that affect patient satisfaction such as friendly communication between the patient and the hospital staff and the mitigation of disruptive behaviors within the hospital rooms have not been given adequate attention by researchers. There exists a significant information gap about the extent to which language barrier between patients in delivery rooms and nurses affects service delivery and patient satisfaction during the process of child delivery. Bucker et al (2013) noted that interpreters are always not available in health facilities, often forcing medical practitioners to use gestures and sign language in communicating with the patients. However, such approaches are usually unsuccessful, reducing the overall customer satisfaction. In other words, opportunities for offering pain management are always pass without being exploited because of language barrier. In addition, discrimination based on race or ethnicity is also another factor that reduces the satisfaction of patients. Although discrimination of any form is against the code of conduct in the medical industry, Bucker et al (2013) found out that patients who had different skin color or cultural background were always very sensitive to any remark made by nurses that appeared discriminatory. Consequently, their overall level of satisfaction was often affected by any kind of discriminatory remarks, behaviors or moves they experienced in the delivery rooms. However, research practitioners as well as medical scholars always underestimated the impact of discriminatory behaviors on the overall satisfaction of patients. More studies should therefore be conducted so that nurses and other medical practitioners may be equipped to handle patients who may not be sharing the same cultural background with them.
On the other hand, the use of modern technological advancement and the careful harnessing and utilization of data is core to the achievement of patient satisfaction during delivery. Murray et al (2009) emphasizes that nurses must show competence, confidence by having an open mind, an accepting attitude, and have a broad understanding on how to handle cases related to pregnancy. He further adds that the latest technological advancements must be employed for maximum client satisfaction. Proper care requires the use of evidence based information technology to improve services and ensure peak patient care. Murray (2009) adds that a comprehensive data acquisition, attention to detail, adequate knowledge to properly understand and interpret the meaning of the data collected from patients and integrate the ideas collected with the latest information technology practices. For instance, if a report shows that patients have complains regarding the slow rate of hospital service, the nurses must exhaustively analyze all aspects of the problem, including the factors that contribute to the slow rate of customer service and the implications of using other available alternative options in mitigating the problem.
Unfortunately, little research has been done on finding ways that may help nurses to understand, adapt and cope with the traumatizing working environment in the delivery rooms. Murray et al (2009) emphasizes the need to understand the role of nurses as masters of natural birth, supporters of natural child birth and monitors of safety practices, that is, they are the immediate agents of defense in preventing and reducing the patient’s injury. Therefore a comprehensive nursing policy that gives priority to patient satisfaction during delivery must encompass an all round training to the nurses and the provision of mental and psychological safety nets that boosts their morale and shields them from mental hiccups that may result from the traumatizing scenes that they are often exposed to at their work places.
Another important aspect of patient care during delivery is the prevention of disruptive behaviors within the hospital and delivery rooms. Rosenstein (2011) notes that disruptive behaviors in the health care setting can have a significant negative impact on staff relationships, team collaboration and communication flow within any medical institution. Unfortunately, all these factors can have negative impact on the satisfaction of the patient. Although most health workers engage in unintentional disruptive behaviors, for instance, through provocative verbal responses and actions, the impact of such behaviors often result to serous dire consequences on the satisfaction of the patient. Some of these provocative responses are however brought about by the stresses associated with the nursing profession. The study by Rosenstein did not adequately address the causes of disruptive behaviors in the nursing profession. This is because efficient administration of delivery services needs a collective approach that coordinates various players such as nurses, patient and other parties such as the family. In addition, evidence based medicine complements personal judgment so that the general clinical recommendations from researchers and hospital managers are considered in the context of an individual patient. In addition it is important to note that women undergoing delivery needs enough information during delivery, a sustaining presence during labor and contact with their babies after birth (Stone et al, 2013).In Addition, teaching the patients increases their satisfaction since it helps them to make informed decisions regarding the type of medication and facilities to use (Bastable, 2005). Furthermore, the legal aspects and ethical values in the nursing industry requires nurses to adequately educate the patient on different kinds of nursing options available and the benefits and costs of each.
On the other hand a comprehensive training must be complemented with the availability of high tech machines that provides efficient services. For instance, a fetoscope may be necessary when there is a power failure or in a situation where a patient feels uncomfortable to use the fetal monitor (Murray et al, 2009). In addition, more research needs to be undertaken on the ways in which nurses may adopt to the cultural dynamism that exists in different parts of the globe. This is because of the variation in cultural beliefs and values across the borders of countries. Murray et al (2009) records that the norms, attitudes, values assumptions, customs and behaviors within the sub culture of labor and delivery affect the quality of and quantity of communication. Therefore, effective communication skills are core to the achievement of optimum patient satisfaction during and after delivery.
Although several studies have focused on effective pain management as a way of achieving patient satisfaction during delivery, more research needs to be done on the importance of friendly communication within delivery rooms, good inter-personal and cultural relationships with the patients and avoiding the use of harsh, discriminatory or provocative language in complementing good pain management in achieving an all round patient satisfaction.
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