“I took a CALS Course in Fall 2022. I then had the privilege to put my newly acquired OB skills to use in February! The patient presented to our small rural ED in active labor. A language barrier presented another challenge. She thought she was about 30 weeks along so I was very concerned the baby could be born in respiratory distress.
Luckily, I had the CALS skills refresher and began calling within our hospital for help. There was a seasoned nurse working the floor that had once worked in Labor and Delivery many years ago; we immediately got her involved and she became the mom’s coach and advocate as the ED RN and I gathered what we thought we would need. When I did the pelvic exam, the baby was already in the vaginal canal and quickly approaching. Within an hour of her arrival to the ED she had her baby. We had another room set up in case the baby was in distress, but luckily, he did just fine. I was very happy that the delivery was her third and her body knew what to do. It was “textbook.”
She delivered the placenta, we massaged the fundus and already had NICU transport en route. Transport arrived 30 min after delivery and both the baby and mother were transported to a hospital with a neonatologist. I found out mom and baby were discharged within a couple of days. I hope if that ever happens again it goes as smoothly as my first delivery. I was later told our hospital has a “baby box” for if someone comes in active labor. We later found it and when we opened it, but a lot of the contents had expired in 2006 (which tells you how long it had been since a baby was born in our ED!)
The repetitive skills course and hands on practice definitely helped me to personally feel like I was in control and had a plan. Also, the amazing, seasoned nurses and respiratory staff we had in the ED that day saved the day for sure! CALS was the best skills CME I have ever attended.
-CALS Participant, APRN