Learn about the Nonstress Test, a prenatal procedure to monitor fetal well-being. Find out how NST works, its significance, and what to expect.

By Olivia Sayson on Jul 05, 2024.


Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is a Nonstress Test?

A Nonstress Test, commonly referred to as NST, is a prenatal diagnostic procedure used to assess the fetus's well-being during pregnancy. This non-invasive test involves monitoring the baby's heart rate and movements to ensure they respond as expected to their movements and uterine contractions.

During a Nonstress Test, a specialized machine records the fetal heart rate, which usually increases when the baby moves. The test helps healthcare providers evaluate the baby's oxygen and nutrient supply and overall health in the womb.

The test is typically recommended when there are concerns about the baby's health or well-being during pregnancy. Common reasons for an NST include decreased fetal movement, high blood pressure in the mother, gestational diabetes, or if the pregnancy has passed its due date.

A specialized monitoring machine records the fetal heart rate during the test, offering a real-time glimpse into the baby's cardiac activity. It is important to note that a healthy fetal heart rate typically increases when the baby makes movements. Therefore, this test assesses explicitly whether the baby's heart rate responds appropriately to its motions and uterine contractions.

How Does It Work?

Clinical documentation software for Nonstress Tests is essential for expectant parents and healthcare professionals as it ensures a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.

Step 1: Accessing the NST Template

Commence by acquiring the Printable Nonstress Test template. This template can be obtained from a reputable medical documentation provider, like Carepatron.

Step 2: Entering Patient Information

Proceed to input patient-specific details. This typically encompasses the patient's name, date of birth, and medical record number. Ensuring the accuracy of this information is essential for maintaining proper documentation.

Step 3: Providing Test Date and Purpose

Enter the date of the Nonstress Test (NST) and specify the reason for the test. The purpose may encompass concerns related to fetal well-being, such as decreased fetal movement, maternal high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, or an overdue pregnancy. 

Step 4: Documenting the NST Procedure

In the fourth step, your task is to thoroughly document the entire NST procedure thoroughly. This entails describing the setup, which includes details about the patient's positioning and the proper placement of monitoring equipment on the abdomen.

Provide a detailed account of the monitoring process, recording the fetal heart rate and movements, typically over 20-30 minutes.

Nonstress Test Example (sample)

The Nonstress Test is a prenatal diagnostic procedure that helps monitor the well-being of the developing fetus during pregnancy. 

In the guide, you can see how to utilize these resources efficiently, walking you through the significance of NSTs and when and why they are performed. We will also provide an actual example overview of using an NST template to document the procedure. This ensures comprehensive prenatal care and accurate printed or electronic patient records. 

Download this Nonstress Test Example: 

When Would You Use this Test?

The Nonstress Test is frequently employed when concerned about the fetus's well-being. It serves as a fundamental tool for monitoring fetal health while providing an excellent means for clinical documentation. 

This test is essential in scenarios involving decreased fetal movement, maternal conditions such as high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, or when a pregnancy has exceeded its due date. 

In pregnancies where the mother has specific medical conditions or complications, healthcare providers may conduct NSTs for close monitoring and diligent clinical documentation, ensuring that the well-being of both the mother and the fetus is upheld. 

NSTs are also helpful in cases of multiple pregnancies, such as twins or triplets, where individual fetal health monitoring is crucial. These tests are for expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies, including those with a history of stillbirth or certain medical conditions. It offers them peace of mind and early detection of potential concerns while facilitating comprehensive clinical documentation.

What do the Results Mean?

The Nonstress Test (NST) results offer valuable information that guides clinical decisions and provides assurance to expectant mothers. These results typically fall into three categories, each with distinct implications.

A "reactive" NST result signifies that the fetal heart rate increased as expected during fetal movement, indicating a healthy, responsive baby. This is reassuring, suggesting that the baby receives sufficient oxygen and nutrients.

A "nonreactive" NST result suggests that the fetal heart rate did not accelerate as expected during the test. This might prompt further evaluation or additional monitoring to ensure the baby's well-being.

In some cases, NST results may be inconclusive, showing complex patterns that require further analysis or consultation with specialists. Additional testing or clinical evaluation may be necessary to determine the most appropriate action.

Our Free Nonstress Test is useful in prenatal care, offering peace of mind to expectant mothers and their healthcare providers. Understanding these results empowers expectant parents and their healthcare teams to make informed decisions, potentially ensuring a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.

Why use Carepatron as your Nonstress app?

Carepatron offers comprehensive Nonstress Test Software, ideal for healthcare practitioners and expectant mothers seeking top-notch prenatal care. This user-friendly platform makes your NST process smoother, simpler, and more patient-centered.

Our telehealth software ensures seamless remote consultations, making it easier for patients seeking specialized care or those with limited mobility to access prenatal diagnostic services.

With our robust practice management system, you can effortlessly manage the entire NST process, from scheduling appointments to organizing patient records. This streamlines your workflow, ensuring you can easily provide personalized care.

Carepatron's secure and user-friendly patient portal software guarantees the safe storage and efficient retrieval of NST data. This is essential for precise prenatal care planning and continuous monitoring.

Our innovative tools, such as the Nonstress Test app, are great for healthcare providers and patients. It gives a more efficient and patient-centric approach to healthcare.​​

Clinical Documentation Software
Who typically requests a Nonstress Test?
Who typically requests a Nonstress Test?

Commonly asked questions

Who typically requests a Nonstress Test?

Nonstress Tests generally are ordered by healthcare providers, especially obstetricians, for various reasons. They are used to monitor high-risk pregnancies, assess the fetus's response to stress, and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments for conditions like intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). 

When are Nonstress Tests used?

Nonstress Tests can be conducted at any point during pregnancy, but they are most frequently employed in the third trimester. This preference arises because, after 28 weeks of gestation, the fetus's heart rate is more likely to exhibit responsiveness to movement.

How are Nonstress Tests used?

Nonstress Test is a non-invasive procedure that uses two external monitors to track the fetus's heart rate and activity. The monitors are attached to the mother's abdomen, and the fetus's heart rate is recorded.

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