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  1. Goodwin, Linda RNC, MEd


Multiple randomized clinical trials have been unsuccessful in providing evidence of efficacy of electronic fetal monitoring; thus, there is renewed interest in intermittent auscultation during labor for women with low-risk pregnancies. Auscultation must be used with palpation or external or internal electronic monitoring of uterine contractions. Auscultation and palpation require education, experience, and competency validation at regular intervals. Institutional policies and standards of care are mandatory for intermittent auscultation. Concerns exist regarding the personnel costs for auscultation; however, these costs may ultimately be shown to be offset by significant benefits in improved outcomes and patient satisfaction.