Messages from AWHONN

UPDATE: April 2, 2020 

To our AWHONN community:

First, let me begin by thanking you for all you are doing to provide optimal care to our communities during this global health crisis. We know every day brings new information and challenges. Your dedication has not gone unnoticed.

At this time, we would like to share with you the status of the 2020 Annual Convention. With the safety and welfare of our members, staff, sponsors, and vendors our first concern in conjunction with new restrictions on travel and group gatherings, the AWHONN Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to postpone the Annual Convention in June.

Currently, the Board and AWHONN staff are looking at alternative solutions to meeting options, including but not limited to rescheduling Convention later this year. We ask for your patience as there is a tremendous amount of work that has gone into the conference planning and staff are now evaluating new plans and schedules. As communication during this time is paramount, we plan to provide another update for our membership and other stakeholders by the first week of May or sooner if feasible.

For those who have already registered, your accounts will be refunded within 45 days or you can opt to have your registration transferred to the new dates when available. Hotel reservations made through the Convention online registration service will have any deposits refunded. New hotel reservations can be booked when the Convention is rescheduled.

Contact the registration company at 240-439-2554 or 800-310-7554 for information or assistance.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank you for your understanding and for your continued support of AWHONN.

Stay safe and be well.

Rebecca Cypher, MSN, PNNP
President
AWHONN Board of Directors

 

UPDATE: April 2, 2020 

To our AWHONN community:

First, let me begin by thanking you for all you are doing to provide optimal care to our communities during this global health crisis. We know every day brings new information and challenges. Your dedication has not gone unnoticed.

At this time, we would like to share with you the status of the 2020 Annual Convention. With the safety and welfare of our members, staff, sponsors, and vendors our first concern in conjunction with new restrictions on travel and group gatherings, the AWHONN Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to postpone the Annual Convention in June.

Currently, the Board and AWHONN staff are looking at alternative solutions to meeting options, including but not limited to rescheduling Convention later this year. We ask for your patience as there is a tremendous amount of work that has gone into the conference planning and staff are now evaluating new plans and schedules. As communication during this time is paramount, we plan to provide another update for our membership and other stakeholders by the first week of May or sooner if feasible.

For those who have already registered, your accounts will be refunded within 45 days or you can opt to have your registration transferred to the new dates when available. Hotel reservations made through the Convention online registration service will have any deposits refunded. New hotel reservations can be booked when the Convention is rescheduled.

Contact the registration company at 240-439-2554 or 800-310-7554 for information or assistance.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank you for your understanding and for your continued support of AWHONN.

Stay safe and be well.

Rebecca Cypher, MSN, PNNP
President
AWHONN Board of Directors

 

UPDATE: April 1, 2020 

AWHONN’s Update on Multimodal Pain Management after Birth

Some early reports suggested NSAIDS may worsen the course of COVID-19. However given the lack of data, the WHO and the FDA have not advocated for a restriction on NSAID use. A multimodal analgesic approach to pain management may help to decrease or eliminate the use of opioids, specifically after cesarean birth. We recommend taking an individualize approach to consider the use of acetaminophen and ibuprofen for pain management in the post-birth period. Patients with certain morbidities may not benefit from the use of ibuprofen.

https://twitter.com/WHO/status/1240409220916432899/photo/1

UPDATE: March 26, 2020 

Dear AWHONN Members,

In a matter of days, COVID-19 has impacted our country and the healthcare profession in ways we could have never imagined. Every day, I am inspired by the examples of what our AWHONN members and their colleagues are doing as we move through this uncharted territory. I want you to know that AWHONN’s commitment to our members, patients and other stakeholders remains the same, especially in difficult times like these. We are here to support each and every one of you during this critical time.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to personally express our gratitude to all our members. Regardless of your specialty, job title or location, we are on the same team and we will navigate through this crucial period to the absolute best of our collective abilities. Our front-line caregivers are bearing the brunt of this work while dealing with increased patient acuities and a lack of adequate personal protective equipment. Administrative leaders are confronted with maintaining adequate staffing, acquiring much needed equipment, and following daily changes in regulatory guidance. Our academic faculty are being challenged with how to teach the next generation of nurses. Educators are working hard to keep staff up to date. Retired members are offering their expertise by volunteering at the local and state level.

The pandemic has created a myriad of questions and concerns including how to care for the patients we serve while taking care of ourselves and protecting our families and friends. This increases the need for timely and accurate information for our members. AWHONN is listening and will be keeping our members up to date via our website and social media platforms.

The health and well-being of our AWHONN staff remains one of our top priorities. While our physical headquarters office remains closed to protect our staff and visitors, staff continues to work remotely for their safety. I personally want to thank all of them for continuing to tirelessly manage all of their responsibilities during this difficult time.

Again, thank you for your continued partnership with AWHONN and our shared mission of caring for women and newborns. Our hearts and thoughts are with you.

Stay safe.

Rebecca Cypher, MSN, PNNP
2020 AWHONN President

UPDATE: March 26, 2020 

AWHONN’s Update on Oxygen Use for Fetal Resuscitation during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Perinatal nurses routinely initiate interventions to maximize fetal oxygenation, including maternal position change, decreasing uterine activity by adjusting or administering medications as ordered, administering intravenous fluids, assisting with amnioinfusion, and modifying pushing techniques. When some or all of these measures have not resulted in improvement of the fetal heart rate pattern, maternal oxygen therapy has been suggested as an additional step. However, consensus on maternal oxygen administration as an intrauterine resuscitative measure is lacking. Since oxygen therapy may aerosolize COVID-19, consideration should be given to not initiating oxygen for fetal resuscitation. Oxygen therapy should still be considered to improve maternal oxygen status, if needed.

UPDATE: March 26, 2020 

AWHONN’s Update on the use of Nitrous Oxide (N2O) in Perinatal Settings

Perinatal teams are encouraged to consider the needs of the patients they serve during the COVID 19 pandemic to determine the best options for pain management.  AWHONN encourages those facilities currently offering N2O to check with the manufacturer of their N2O equipment for recommendations for use during the pandemic.  The Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) has published this statement as part of their COVID 19 Toolkit: “There is currently insufficient information about the cleaning, filtering, and potential aerosolization of nitrous oxide in labor analgesia systems in the setting of COVID-19. As such, individual labor and delivery units should discuss the relative risks and benefits and consider suspending use.”

UPDATE: March 25, 2020 

AWHONN’s Update on Nursing Support in Labor during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary situation that is severely increasing the demands on perinatal nurses and hospitals throughout the country.  To promote the health and safety of healthcare personnel and patients, perinatal units may be limiting or excluding support persons for labor and birth. While these limitations will likely help to minimize the spread of COVID-19 among childbearing women, their families, and those providing their care, the limitations can cause concern, anxiety, and even fear for women who have planned for a support person to be with them during labor and in the postpartum period.

Advice to Share with Women:

  • Share the temporary restrictions on support persons as soon as they are in place so women can process this information and make arrangements for virtual contact options.
  • Acknowledge that they may be anxious or scared and reassure them that there will be continuous support from a labor nurse.
  • Recommend and allow women to use a laptop, tablet or phone to connect virtually with their support persons. Be prepared to field requests for assistance in this endeavor and give a response that is reassuring, helpful and reminds them that your first priority is their health and the health of their newborn.
  • Acknowledge the woman’s strength, courage, and bravery as they labor and give birth in the midst of a pandemic.
  • Recognize this may not be the labor and birth they expected or planned for, but it will be memorable in so many ways.

AWHONN Recommendations for Leaders:

Do not schedule elective inductions of labor so that the intensive nursing care (1-to-1) that is required for women receiving oxytocin can be avoided.

Continuous support in labor has been shown to improve birth outcomes for mothers and newborns. Therefore, AWHONN recommends that, whenever possible, attempts be made to provide one-to-one nursing care for laboring women when a unit is not permitting support persons.  However, AWHONN acknowledges the dynamic nature of nurse staffing during the pandemic and acknowledges that hospital administrators and nurse leaders are facing unprecedented challenges ensuing safe nurse staffing for childbearing women as well as all other inpatients.  Adequate nurse staffing is critical to providing safe care to mothers and newborns. AWHONN recognizes that everyone is doing their very best under extremely stressful conditions and has the best interests of mothers and newborns in mind.

UPDATE: March 23, 2020 

AWHONN Update on Hospital Staffing during the COVID-19 Pandemic

During times of healthcare crisis, nurses and providers may be asked to help staff other areas of the organization. Currently, there is no national standard for perinatal and mother/baby nurses floating to other areas. Therefore, it is up to each organization to determine how to best support staffing on a shift to shift basis. We understand you are concerned about transmission of infectious diseases, and it may be helpful to check with your state and county health departments as well as work with your infectious disease team internally. It will be important to review the national recommendations for healthcare workers from the CDC as this situation progresses.

UPDATE: March 23, 2020 

AWHONN’s Position on Doulas with Patients During COVID-19 Outbreak

AWHONN recognizes that doula services contribute to the woman’s preparation for and support during childbirth and supports hospital policies that allow for the presence of a doula during a woman’s active labor. AWHONN supports doulas as partners in care and acknowledges their ability to provide physical, emotional, and partner support to women. Each hospital must make decisions that are in the best interests of the health of the hospital team, patients and families. AWHONN nurses are on the frontline of delivering care, and we support those decisions and ask that nurses do all they can to protect themselves in this time of national crisis.

UPDATE: March 16, 2020 

It’s imperative that our members keep abreast of the critical information our physician colleagues are sending to their members.  AWHONN supports this recent statement to suspend elective surgeries until further notice.  “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists joins the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Urogynecologic Society, the Society of Family Planning, the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the Society of Gynecologic Oncology in providing the following recommendations for obstetrician-gynecologists regarding the American College of Surgeons’ statement on elective surgery and the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendation that hospitals suspend elective surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Read the Joint Statement on Elective Surgeries.

UPDATE: March 13, 2020 

Dear AWHONN Members:

As you know, the last week has seen a dramatic shift in the national response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response. The situation is extremely fluid and changes day to day. Given that, we would like to give you another update regarding AWHONN activities.

We continue to track the latest news from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, as well as state and local health organizations regarding this pandemic. We encourage you to stay up to date by visiting the CDC website.

In addition, you can see updates specific to AWHONN, including all national and section meetings in real time at awhonn.org/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/.   We will also continue to post updates on Member Central.

Yesterday, we made the painful decision to convert AWHONN on Capitol Hill into a virtual event. We know this is a special event that many members look forward to, but once again we are persevering in difficult circumstances. Please visit the link above for details about canceling your reservations. If you need further assistance you can reach out to AWHONN’s customer service.

In addition, many of our section leaders had to make the difficult decision to cancel their very important educational meetings. We are working with them to find ways to share their education virtually or through other methods so their great work will not be wasted.

Our national convention is to take place in June. At this point we are planning to see all of you in Phoenix. Should there be any changes, we will let notify everyone in as timely a manner as possible. Our hope is that circumstances will allow our meeting to go on as scheduled.

The well-being of AWHONN is always our main priority. Our staff members are now working remotely and will continue to do so next week and possibly longer. We appreciate your patience as our office staff transitions to this work plan and assure you that staff will continue to provide high quality service.

As health leaders, our communities are looking to us for guidance and comfort and your actions and leadership are paramount at this time. I implore each of you to keep your health, as well as the health of your loved ones and friends, at the forefront of your decision making over the coming days and weeks.

We will continue to monitor this situation carefully. We will immediately inform you of any changes to the AWHONN schedule. In the meantime, please stay informed by visiting the CDC’s website, your state’s health department messaging and by watching your respective media outlets. Once again, I ask that you use your best judgment when making decisions regarding your health.

Thank you for all that you do for your patients. And please be safe.

Rebecca Cypher, MSN, PNNP, President

UPDATE: March 13, 2020 

Update on Fetal Heart Monitoring Program

AWHONN recognizes the need for flexibility in teaching our fetal monitoring programs during this critical time. We also recognize the importance of keeping our front-line nurses healthy, so they are able to care for their patients.

The Fetal Heart Monitoring Task Force is working on solutions-based guidance to share with our fetal monitoring instructors on how, and which parts of each course may be conducted in a virtual manner. More detailed guidance is coming soon. Thank you for your patience.

  • 2021 Convention Program Committee Meeting – POSTPONED
  • AWHONN Annual Convention – POSTPONED
  • AWHONN Board of Directors March Meeting – VIRTUAL
  • AWHONN on Capitol Hill – CANCELED and will be rescheduled as virtual event. Please see our message below.
  • Fetal Heart Monitoring Task Force – POSTPONED
  • Colorado Section Conference – CANCELED
  • Kansas Section Conference – CANCELED
  • Michigan Section Conference – CANCELED
  • Minnesota Section Conference – CANCELED
  • North Carolina Section Conference – CANCELED
  • Oklahoma Section Conference – CANCELED
  • Rhode Island Section Conference – POSTPONED; rescheduled to May 21, 2020
  • Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties & LA Valley AWHONN Chapter Conference – POSTPONED
  • Southern Arizona Chapter Conference – CANCELED
  • Syracuse Chapter Conference – POSTPONED; rescheduled to April 22, 2021
  • Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi Sections Joint Regional Conference – CANCELED
  • Utah Section Conference – POSTPONED; rescheduled to September 24-25, 2020
  • West Virginia Section Conference – CANCELED