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Educating Others in Obstetrics - Raji Menon

Longtime Samuel Merritt University (SMU) faculty member Raji Menon says most obstetric providers lack experience in appropriate resuscitative measures during maternal arrests since they happen so infrequently. That’s why Menon has created an educational program to equip providers with knowledge, skills and resources to deal with these medical emergencies.

Menon, a nurse at Kaiser Permanente, hopes her plan will improve patient safety and outcomes for obstetric patients in Kaiser’s labor and delivery departments across Northern California.

Menon has taught in SMU’s Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program for the past 12 years, most recently as an assistant professor. Though she resigned as of October 1, 2013, she will continue to mentor new faculty as an adjunct faculty member. She is also currently enrolled in the SMU Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

At an anesthesiology and perioperative medicine symposium in May, Menon presented a workshop called “Current Topics in Obstetrics and Gynecological Care,” along with Kaiser physician Sreelata Maddipati. She also presented the workshop a year ago for Kaiser providers from all over Northern California and Hawaii.

“One of the goals of the project was to enable the obstetric caregivers to rapidly and appropriately recognize and respond to a cardiopulmonary arrest, which can only serve to improve outcome for both the baby and the mother,” says Menon. “Lack of awareness of the significance of the left uterine displacement, the benefits of perimortem C-section at the site of arrest may lead to unnecessary maternal morbidity and mortality.”

Menon designed a quasi-experimental study at her practice setting.

“The study itself and the results of this study were significant, as I was able to use it to refine the obstetric specific interventions and also to disseminate this information to a larger audience,” Menon says. “My capstone project may serve as a good prototype for similar situations and environments in other healthcare settings. The observations and the feedback that were gathered during the conduct of my capstone project were useful to identify missing elements, to gain insights and to direct development of multi-disciplinary training programs.”

Michelle DeCoux Hampton, SMU associate professor and interim DNP program director, says the focus of the DNP program is the application of research to practice. She says Menon’s work exemplified that by taking research-generated evidence pertaining to the resuscitation of obstetric patients and translating that into the local practice setting by training a team of obstetric care providers in a national organization.

“As a result, her work has the potential to make not only a local, but a national impact as well,” says DeCoux Hampton. “We've been so fortunate to have her both as a doctoral student and faculty member at SMU.”

pictured: Raji Menon

Read more stories in the October eNews