Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Spinal and epidural anesthesia have long been a popular choice for anesthesia in the obstetrical population, whether for a laboring patient or a patient undergoing a cesarean delivery. Anesthesia providers caITy out the placement and delivery of these blocks. After the block is deemed successful and the patient is considered medically stable, the anesthesia provider may then leave the side of their patient, trusting that the care given by the labor and delivery nurse will be the best possible care available. However, it is a well know fact that risks are present anytime an invasive procedure takes place. Complications can arise with the placement of spinal or epidural anesthetics, and they may occur during, immediately after, hours after or even days after placement of a spinal or epidural anesthetic. If the obstetrical patient does experience complications, the obstetrical nurse must have an adequate knowledge base regarding regional anesthesia in order to provide the most competent care available

The method used for this independent project was a review of literature utilizing PubMed, CINAHL and SCOPUS databases. Current thoughts on educating labor and delivery nurses on regional anesthesia and possible complications were organized according to a physiological framework. The plan for this independent project was implemented by educating labor and delivery nurses regarding regional anesthesia and possible complications using a Power Point presentation. Main topics of discussion included basics of spinals and epidurals and how they differ, complications that may arise from spinals and epidurals, and appropriate interventions that may either prevent or treat these complications. It was anticipated the nurses would have a better understanding of spinal and epidural anesthesia and possible complications after the Power Point presentation. Results from an evaluation proved the presentation was successful in increasing the labor and delivery nurses overall comprehension of spinal and epidural anesthesia in the obstetrical population