Carolyn Y. Davis, RN, MSN, CPNP, Doctoral Student
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Por Vida Academy
Each year approximately one million young women under the age of 19 become pregnant. Pregnant teens and adolescent mothers become vulnerable to a variety of health and social problems related to their pregnancies. The provision of health, social, and education services becomes essential if these young mothers and infants are to experience healthy outcomes and to remain in school.
To transform evidence into a Care Path that provides coordination and documentation of evidence-based, interdisciplinary care and services implemented in a school based health center in an alternative high school.
Evidence has been evaluated regarding current practices and care paths for delivery of prenatal services for adolescents in school based health centers. The discovery phase revealed that no such instrument is currently available for the school based setting. This Care Path is an evolving document with ongoing evidence discovery is being conducted regarding the various aspects of the Care Path.
Outcome measures are related to mother’s and infant’s health outcomes (ie. gestation 38-42 weeks, maternal/fetal complications, infant birthweight) and the mother’s education outcomes (remaining in school prior to and after delivery). Since implementation of the program, the young mothers enrolled in the clinic have experienced term deliveries with infant birth weights greater than six pounds, and the mothers have all remained in school.
Recommendation for practice: The development and implementation of a Care Path for pregnant adolescents aids in coordination of multidisciplinary services.
Recommendations for development of the Care Path:
The development of an evidence-based, multidisciplinary Care Path requires a commitment of time and effort by a team that is willing to investigate the multiple aspects of the care necessary to insure desired outcomes for both mother and baby.