Emergency Obstetric Training Needed in Rural Hospitals Without Obstetric Units


In 2014, 54% of rural counties nationwide did not have hospital-based obstetric units. This trend of loss has continued; between 2014-2018, approximately 3% lost hospital-based obstetric units. Hospitals that remain open after obstetric services close may encounter challenges providing emergency births or managing other obstetric complications. As part of a larger survey to understand local capacity for emergency obstetric services, nurse manager and emergency department administrators from rural hospitals without elective labor and delivery care were asked to describe the types of trainings and/or resources that would be needed to help better prepare their hospitals to handle obstetric emergencies. In this policy brief, the types of training identified by respondents and how those trainings may or may not meet the needs of those managing emergency obstetric situations in rural communities are discussed.

University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Mary Gilbertson, Mariana Story Tuttle, Kristin DeArruda Wharton, Katy Backes Kozhimannil