An obstetric technician is an indispensable member of the obstetrics team. From assisting doctors when they examine patients to actual delivery room procedures, she is there every step of the way. She is in charge of preparations before and after the medical procedures, and she also takes care of patients from when they are admitted right up to the time they are discharged.
The obstetric operating room runs smoothly because the obstetric technician is on the scene. She makes sure that the room is always ready for emergencies. Before procedures, such as cesarean deliveries, she breaks the seals of sterilized surgical instruments and lays them out along with the other supplies for the obstetric surgeon. And, after the procedures she makes sure the delivery room is clean, sterilized and fresh. She keeps detailed records of activities in the operating and delivery room and makes sure they’re stocked with essential supplies.
Care of Instruments
Obstetrics involves oxygen tanks, inhaled anesthesia and suction equipment, lung ventilators, blood pressure and pulse recorders and fetal and heart monitors. The obstetric technician checks every one of them regularly to verify that they all work efficiently. If necessary, she calls in a repair person or replaces the equipment well before the next procedure. All external cables, monitors, and other exposed instruments need to be cleaned and disinfected after the every procedure, and the obstetric technician makes sure that sterilization procedures are taken care of properly.
The obstetric technician is a people person, so she takes care of patients after their procedure. She checks their vital signs by taking body temperature and blood pressure readings. She also maintains charts that track her patients’ recovery progress. Obstetric technicians educate mothers and make sure they are knowledgeable about caring for their babies. They must be supportive at all times, and whenever a patient rings for assistance, they answer the call and help with whatever their patients need.
Some obstetric technicians are trained to perform ultrasounds. This means they get to confirm pregnancies, figure out the date of conception and estimate the delivery date according to the growth of the fetus. They also perform ultrasounds to make sure the fetus is growing and developing normally. Through ultrasounds, they can detect multiple pregnancies and ectopic pregnancies, in which the fetus develops outside the uterus. Obstetric technicians also perform ultrasounds to check for congenital defects, which can occur if the woman is a high-risk patient.
Handling Desk Work
Obstetric technicians also work at a desk, handling paperwork such as incoming patient registrations and patient files. They make photocopies and place orders for necessary supplies. When patients drop off samples for testing, they make sure the samples are labeled in accordance with the facility’s regulations. While at the desk, they answer phone calls, reply to inquiries and forward messages to administration or the medical persons in charge.
- Ultrasound Schools Info: OB/GYN – The Ultrasound Tech’s Role in Pregnancy
- Diploma Guide: Becoming an OB/GYN Technician
- World Health Organization: Surgical and Emergency Obstetrical Care at First Referral Level
- Chicago Tribune: Become an OB/GYN Nurse
- MedicalAssistantHQ.net: What Does a Medical Assistant Do in a Hospital?