New Grad in L&D

  1. I am a new grad starting out in labor and delivery. I am excited about this new job and I know this is where I want to be- but I am just overwhelmed, everything is so different from nursing school- all I ever did was cardiac and med surg til now. I have been on the L&D unit 3 days so far, I am hoping with time I will catch on to things, I really want this to work out. But right now I feel I am just in the way when everyone is running around and delivering babies Any nurses out there who started out in L&D? Would love some advice. Thanks.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    Just take a deep breath! As long as you have a good orientation, you'll be fine. I think you would be wierd if you weren't scared and overwhelmed as a new grad. It was a good year before I could drive to work without feeling like I was going to throw up I was so nervous So just take a breath, and try to relax and remember all those L&D nurses all started out as scared newbies. It will also help you to learn more while you're there!
  4. by   sbic56
    You can do it! It takes at least 6 months to feel like you know what you are doing, but you'll get there. Just be a sponge...soak up all that experience around you and through it all you will develop a style that fits you. Good luck!
  5. by   LuvaNurse04
    Quote from orchid
    I am a new grad starting out in labor and delivery. I am excited about this new job and I know this is where I want to be- but I am just overwhelmed, everything is so different from nursing school- all I ever did was cardiac and med surg til now. I have been on the L&D unit 3 days so far, I am hoping with time I will catch on to things, I really want this to work out. But right now I feel I am just in the way when everyone is running around and delivering babies Any nurses out there who started out in L&D? Would love some advice. Thanks.
    Hi Orchid! I have no advice at this time, just well wishes. I'm interviewing next week at a hospital for which I applied for L&D. I hope I will be offered that position. If I do, maybe we can give each other support as newbies. What do you think?
  6. by   webbiedebbie
    What you are feeling is normal. If you weren't nervous, I would be nervous. Because you feel this way, you are in a position to remember things better. I started in L&D as a new Grad. After two years, I sat for the certification and passed. Give yourself some time...keep notes, or cheat sheets...and you will do fine.
  7. by   peaceful2100
    Did you read my post in this section about It has been one year since I have graduated. I did not start in L&D. I am on a med-surg floor but I was feeling exactly the way you were feeling. It was so overwhelming and when I started having 8-9 patients that I had to be responsible for literally on my own that was defintely overwhelming. Well, it has been 7 months since I have been licensed and it is still a little overwhelming at times but It has defintely gotten MUCH better. Nearly every new nurse no matter what area they start in share the same feelings you do. Some may not admit it but deep down they really do. If they say they honestly don't then I would personally be very afraid for them. Good luck to you. I'm sure you will do great. Make sure you get a good orientation. Do NOT let them cheat you out of one either. You can put your foot down. They tried to cheat me out of my orientation because they thought I was doing so well and was trying to put me on my own after 5 weeks when the normal orientation is 9 weeks on med-surg. I told them no I don't think so in an assertive but polite way and they respected that.
  8. by   PCGrad06
    congrats!!! you have my dream job.
    :hatparty: :hatparty:
    i am just starting nursing school this fall so no advice. however, as you grow and learn maybe you could share yours with us.
  9. by   nekhismom
    the best thing I can share with you is to encourage you to try to learn one thing each day, and learn it well. FOr example, if today you learn how to document during a delivery while everyone else does the running, then you've met your goal. If you learn how to sign on/off the computer, you've met your goal. If you learn how to operate the birthing bed, you're doing well. Just try to learn something each day, and don't stress yourself too hard about things. Fact is, you're a newbie, you don't know how to do things yet, and you will need TIME to learn. Don't beat yourself up over not knowing what to do.

    When I went to my first vag. delivery, I just stood there looking stupid. literally. Then since I had worked with babies before, someone yelled at me to go do the baby work. Well, I had NO IDEA what that consisted of, since I never attended deliveries. SO, I just cleaned baby up, bulb suctioned mouth and nose, and wrapped in one blanket, and handed baby to mom. Seemed logical to me.

    Well, I forgot to take footprints, to put ID bands on baby and mom/dad, take APGARs officially, etc. Plus, I didn't put a hat on baby, and we are supposed to wrap babes in 3 blankets. I didn't sign a single paper saying I was taking care of baby, so on paper, it looks like baby was ignored for about 15 mins after birth. I felt really stupid after that, but I realize that I did the best I could with no direction. So I feel like this: at least I did something, ya know??

    Advice?? Get along with your preceptor! Get along with everyone, and don't be afraid to ask. If you have techs, be extra friendly to them. THey can literally save your butt in sticky situations. Plus, if you're nice to them, they will be more likely to help you keep your inexperienced butt out of trouble.
  10. by   skanded
    Congrats. You are where I want to be but our hospital doesn't hire new grads for L&D.

    I am sure you will do fine, you have gotten lots of good advice here.
  11. by   rpbear
    I am just finishing up my 12 week orientation in L&D as a new grad. I love it, I am a little nervouse at times, but overall I got a GREAT orientation and I feel comfortable enough not to thow up and nervouse enough to ask questions.

    The most important thing to know is when to ask for help!!!! If you know when you are in over your head you will do great! Everyone starts out feeling the way you are feeling.

    Good luck you are going to love L&D!
  12. by   orchid
    I just want to thank everyone who replied to me- you are all so wonderful! Its nice to have this support, it really is. I am hanging in there, and I come to this board all the time and read your replies over and over again- it helps to keep me going. Thank you all for your advice and support! Orchid
  13. by   is this heaven
    I am in the same boat...hired into L&D,and overwhelmed.One of my preceptors made a major mistake yesterday,and i lost it.(cried at break)

    She proceeded to tell me (at the nurses station with other people around)that she didn't think i was progressing in my orientation as far as i should be;given the length of time i'd been there.Her comment didn't bother me,but the fact that she said it front of other people did.

    Although I was hired for L&D I have been orienting to pp also,and am not getting as many L&D pts.(low census) as i might otherwise have. I've only worked with her a couple of times over 5 weeks,she really has no clue where i am at in terms of skill attainment.

    Since I'm new i don't feel comfortable confronting her about her 'public' critique,and i'm scared to work with her again.
    Best wishes to you...I think the suggestions made here were good.
  14. by   orchid
    That is rough and I'm sorry you had to go through that with her. Try not to be discouraged. Some people are just not good preceptors/teachers and thats the bottom line. No patience. You are new and trying to learn and absorb so much, I am in my 6th week now- it is HARD. I have just caught on to the routines and computer stuff, getting comfortable with id'ing the tracings, able to feel a couple cervix's-still have along way to go. But anyway, you are right- she should discuss your progression and other orientation stuff with you one on one. She is wrong no matter what- try not to feel bad. However, I do think that you should talk to whoever is in charge of your orientation about how you are feeling- perhaps you and this preceptor just dont click. It happens, and they should take that into consideration. Hang in there!



    Quote from is this heaven
    I am in the same boat...hired into L&D,and overwhelmed.One of my preceptors made a major mistake yesterday,and i lost it.(cried at break)

    She proceeded to tell me (at the nurses station with other people around)that she didn't think i was progressing in my orientation as far as i should be;given the length of time i'd been there.Her comment didn't bother me,but the fact that she said it front of other people did.

    Although I was hired for L&D I have been orienting to pp also,and am not getting as many L&D pts.(low census) as i might otherwise have. I've only worked with her a couple of times over 5 weeks,she really has no clue where i am at in terms of skill attainment.

    Since I'm new i don't feel comfortable confronting her about her 'public' critique,and i'm scared to work with her again.
    Best wishes to you...I think the suggestions made here were good.

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