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    fertility treatments

    7 ways in which your Fertility Nurse will be your Best Friend during Infertility Treatment

    • 4.7   (5 Votes)

    Fertility nurses are a vital member of hospitals, fertility clinics, and IVF counseling programs. Fertility nurses hold professional degrees, experience, and organizational skills. During infertility treatments, keeping a good relationship with a nurse forms a positive impact on the patient's health.

    Fertility nurses or fertility midwives are responsible for creating a vital connection between a medical specialist and a patient. They work as caretakers or custodians during the IVF medical journey of patients. They spend more time with the patient when compared to a specialist doctor. A nurse turns into a friend of a patient and a potential staff for a doctor during infertility treatment. Generally, people first prefer to clear their doubts from a nurse rather directly approaching IVF specialist doctors. Nursing is also acknowledged, as one of the most entrusted professions around the world. Apart from doctors, nursing is the only occupation, which includes good knowledge and experience about medical care. (1)

    A nurse serves as a primary source of providing information about the IVF treatment process, hospital or fertility center, and a doctor's professionalism when a patient seeks treatment. Nurse prioritizes every patient throughout the medical process and signifies as the face of a medical center. These fertility nurses have to report a doctor about the variations in the improvement of a patient during the IVF procedure. (2) Fertility nurses try their best to provide the best facility and care during the medical procedure. Nurse Practitioners (NP) are tender towards the dilemmas of a patient and suggest mild medications and IVF treatments according to the case of the patient. A fertility nurse supports them to deal with an emotional breakdown even in case of the IVF cycle failure. Many nurses have stated that the proudest and happiest part of their job is to say 'your results are positive because your struggle has paid off' whereas the toughest part is saying 'the results are negative because your IVF cycle has failed'. Besides working at a fertility clinic, a nurse shares a strong bond of empathy with patients. It is tougher for them to be stern and tender at the same time because ultimately, they have to handle both the situation and the patient.

    In this article we will find out some essential aspects associated with the role of fertility nurse during infertility treatment:

    1. Who is a Fertility Nurse?

    Fertility nurse specializes only in infertility treatments. They advise the patient about the complete fertility procedure, its complications, and possible outcomes. They educate a medical service seeker about conceiving issues, matching (sperm or egg) donor, and choosing the best infertility treatment option for the respective case. The nurses who specialize solely in infertility treatments, work with big hospitals and fertility clinics. Some of the expert nurses are a prominent part of stem cells related researches held at the research centres. (3)

    Who is a Fertility Nurse

    2. What are the important duties of Fertility Nurse?

    Specialized fertility nurse duty comprises of several responsibilities at one point of time. They have to work as a support team for fertility physicians and empower patients by educating them about required infertility treatments. They might also support infertility NGO groups in the field of reproductive medicine to provide suitable donors to the required patient. Below are some of the crucial roles of a fertility nurse which she performs throughout her career. (9)

    • Take care of patients with infertility: Maintaining a healthy relationship with a nurse may help you in taking timely appointments according to a doctor's schedule. A nurse may answer a few extra queries, which one may hesitate to ask directly to a doctor. Fertility nurse will explain the procedure of taking medicines as per the description, and which diet chart will help your body in adopting the treatment. (5) Proper support and assistance are given through a nurse which prepares the patient for each of the steps in the infertility treatments. The nurse has to continuously encourage the patient to feel stress-free in balancing the hormones. A fertility nurse has to provide the patient with the below services:

    Where do Fertility Nurses work

    a) Timely appointments 
    b) Elucidating the uses of drugs
    c) Support and assist during infertility treatment
    d) Boost courage and motivation to be positive during treatment.
    e) Take follow-ups for health issues.

    • Support womanly patients going through menopause: During menopause, women stop ovulating. But one needs to know that this phase in the menstrual cycle is not a disorder or disease. In menopause, a woman's body may reflect severe changes due to reduced levels of reproductive hormones like estrogen. A fertility nurse may detect the problem early from the symptoms. Accordingly, a diet and health care routine is opted to eliminate any other type of associated problems.
    • Advocate patients and their dear ones on fertility awareness: A fertility nurse helps in counseling the patient and its family. She helps them in learning treatment procedures and to accept the new infertility treatment technology. There is a difference in the explanation by an ordinary person and a professional. A nurse may explain the infertility treatment procedure more effortlessly with facts and results than the patient himself.
    • Work with researchers on the most recent reproductive technology: Nurse is the only person who coordinates from beginning to the end of the IVF process. A highly qualified nurse can be a good support resource for a researcher in his research. Therefore, many scientists prefer hiring nurses in the first place. Through them, they can verify their research and provide new facts directly to a doctor and patient undergoing infertility treatment. A nurse has to keep her knowledge up to date in order to survive in the medical field throughout her work years.
    • Support patients in understanding procedures and medical terminology: When an IVF specialist is explaining the treatment, she might use some complex medical terms. A nurse simplifies those terms and explains their meaning to the patient in ordinary and understandable language. Sometimes researching on the internet is not helpful and at that point of time experienced professional advice is required. A nurse, according to her duties will maintain an active relationship with the patient to keep them updated about advancements in infertility treatment and other possible procedures without any doubt.
    • Suggest patients non-judgmental emotional support: A nurse treats their patients as friends and provides unbiased suggestions to the patient throughout a medical process. It is complex for a nurse to promise wrongful and fake commitments about the IVF success rate of the treatment. A nurse has to fulfill each and every responsibility in conveying true and genuine advice throughout the infertility process, which ensures that patient trust in the fertility clinic.
    • Offer support in In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment: IVF treatment presents a process of fertilizing the eggs and sperms outside the body. (8) In the result-oriented IVF procedure, required injections and medications are given to the patients undergoing the procedure. The patient goes through physical and mental stress during infertility treatment. Support from a nurse may reduce stress and develop positive energy in the pregnant woman.
    • Prepare patients to manage IVF treatments: IVF treatment follows distinct steps, and each step is critical for a patient and doctor as well. A nurse offers her experience in explaining step by step IVF procedure and their outcomes for the patient and their family members in the best possible manner. This helps the patient in preparing herself for the new medications, injections and their reactions in the body.
    • Matching couples with donors in the course of the infertility treatment: When a donor is required during the IVF procedure, the patient or their family may find it difficult to arrange the appropriate donor for the fertilization process. In this case, a nurse undertakes the responsibility to fulfill the requirement of a donor by coordinating with different eggs and sperm banks. Once a donor is selected, he or she will be instructed about the donation procedure for better understanding the significance of their reproductive capability and how they are restoring the pregnancy of the needy ones.
    • Inform patients about other available treatments and the positives and negatives of each: It is not necessary that treatment will always produce favorable outcomes. Depending upon the patient to patient, the same treatment may result in different outcomes. The patient should equally identify the positive and negative aspects of every IVF procedure performed at the respective centre. They must know all the aspects and outcomes before commencing the process. 

    3. Qualifications of Fertility Nurse: 

    Nurse education background can be of two types, Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioners (NP). A nurse needs to be multi-tasking and need to possess keen organizational skills to maintain patient data. She spends her maximum time in the hospital providing assistance to patients and help doctors. Both types of nurses require different qualification background. (4)

    Registered Nurses: Registered Nurses (RN) has to work as per the instructions of a doctor or a Nurse Practitioner (NP). Principle hospitals and nursing centers prefer nurses with more degrees. In India, to be a registered nurse one can hold below degrees:

    What qualifications your nurse should have

    • The 12th pass in the science stream.
    • Diploma in nursing known as GNM, general nursing, and Midwifery.
    • Degree in B.SC. Nursing (Bachelor of Science in Nursing).

    Nurse practitioner: A Nurse Practitioner (NP) tends to have certification where she can independently diagnose, prescribe medication, and medical tests to the concerned patient. NP works as an in charge of the registered nurses. One should have the following degrees or experience to become a nurse practitioner.
    Minimum one-year experience practicing as a Registered Nurse in India. 

    • B.Sc. Nursing degree or a Nursing Diploma.
    • Registration with the State Nursing Council.
    • She has to complete a Master in Nursing (M.Sc. Nursing) degree, where she will select a field of specialty to pursue her expertise. This could include specialties such as cardiovascular critical care nursing, gastroenterology nursing, obstetric and gynecological nursing.

    A fertility nurse posses a lot of knowledge and experience to assist a doctor and a patient in sensitive infertility cases. She will always recommend the best possible treatment for an infertile couple to have a successful pregnancy. In fact, maintaining good terms with the nurse will add a personal attachment to one's case. She might also give some extra advice on personal care during infertility treatment.

    Scientific Facts to maintain a healthy relationship with nurses:

    As per psychiatric nursing,  exchanging mindset and positive feeling between nurses and patients can show improvement in the health of a patient. A nurse not only assists the treatment, but she also provides mental strength to every patient. She has to maintain a balance between professionalism and providing personal care for building the trust of a patient on a fertility clinic. Due to complications, some patients face problems during their chosen treatment which generate trust issues with the doctor and fertility clinic. In these cases, nurses have to counsel the patient to be positive and build trustworthiness with the patient and their families to believe in the efforts made by the doctor and his team. In Japan a study was held, where changes in a patient's emotions were examined as per nurse attitude. The study was named as "Nurse Attitude Scale (NAS)". The test was held on around 189 nurses' behaviors with patients. The study was based on three key factors- Positive Remark, Criticism and Hostility. (6)
    Below are the scale rate for a positive attitude and negative attitude of nurses:

    • Positive remarks - 0.685 and 0.44
    • Criticism - 0.848 and 0.65 
    • Hostility - 0.845 and 0.77

    It was observed that sharing expressed emotions and building a personal relationship with nurses may help the patient to feel secure and stress-free during the ongoing infertility treatment.

    Nurses today have excessive demand in every field of health care. From large hospitals to the smallest fertility clinics, a nurse has the capability to assist every medical treatment on an individual basis. The work of the nurse comprises of explaining the medical procedure, listening to the complaints, and answering to the basic queries of the patients. They also explain the medical procedure with complete details in simple language for a better understanding of patients. It is said that an effective and efficient health care support team is the best tool for a doctor in achieving the success of any medical treatments. It is a nurse duty to stay with the patient and monitor their condition throughout the healthcare procedure. She keeps the track of health diagnoses, provides timely medication, and monitors improvement during medical procedures. Hence, their behavior is more important than anyone else in the infertility treatment.

    4. Where do Fertility Nurses work at?

    Fertility nurses are the most important part of hospitals and fertility centers. They have the capability to handle the patients with medication as well as having organizing skills to maintain the data of patients. They also help the patient in providing required care and timely checking their health improvements. Following are the places where these nurses work in respect of IVF treatment:

    5. What are the Effects of Nurse Care on Patient Recovery?

    In a hospital or fertility clinic, only limited nurses have the capability to handle multiple patients at the same time. They understand the urgency of medical treatment a patient requires and limited time a doctor has to check all the patients for that particular day. Nurses working in the front face advocate the patient with all the necessary medication and timely scheduling their appointments to provide patients equal attention from the doctor. The success of the patient's recovery on time and successful treatment also determines the success of a nurse. An educated nurse will always keep all the aspects of the patients in mind while attending them at the respective medical centre or hospital. This assistance requires a keen awareness of the dosage of medicines and knowledge of medical tests. A nurse with friendly behavior will always keep in mind the social, physical, and mental aspects of treating a patient. This needs to be focused well because a wrong dosage or carelessness in this treatment may lead to the health of the patient in the long term. Patients must respect fertility nurses and make sure that they take their advice in the best possible manner. Thus, fertility nurses whether fresher or experienced ones need to be valued during infertility treatments and even after the completion of the ongoing infertility treatment. (7)





    Vidya Jha

    I had my laparoscopic surgery by Dr. Vaishali Sharma. She is very knowledgeable, trustworthy and polite doctor. She guided me well and we are still on talking terms.

    Oct. 3, 2018, 2:52 p.m. 4.5


    Khushboo Chandra

    I remember, I had a repetitive miscarriage case and I came across Dr. Shivani via OVO Health. She took care of me very well and the delivery was completely normal. Many thanks to her.

    Oct. 2, 2018, 4:13 p.m. 5.0


    Trishna Sahpathi

    IVF is a complicated treatment where so many emotions are attached. It's good to have somebody whom we can rely on during our tough time.

    Aug. 26, 2017, 4:32 p.m. 4.5


    Michelle Bahre

    While going through IUI treatment, a nurse can let you know everything step by step. Especially when your husband is busy and cannot spend time with you.

    Aug. 26, 2017, 4:31 p.m. 5.0


    Zelda Engelbrecht

    IVF treatment is a complex procedure. You need to keep lot of patience with it. In such case a nursing is the best option.

    Aug. 26, 2017, 4:29 p.m. 4.5

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