OB nurse home for 13 years, thinking of going back to hospital.
I have been home for 13 years and have been thinking about going back to the hospital. I must admit, after lurking for many months I feel nervous about returning. It sounds like hospital nursing has really changed in 13 years. The patient loads and working conditions sound like they have gotten terrible. I wonder if I need to hit the gym to be in excellent physical condition and learn Spanish just to be able to communicate with patients. If you didn't have to work as a nurse, would you?
- 0Quote from MulanGood question! I am not exactly sure. I wanted to be a nurse when I was six years old and never gave any other occupation a thought. I am glad I became a nurse and I don't think I would be good at anything else. The shifts seemed to fly by and when I was home I looked forward to going back to my unit. I was younger then and had boundless energy and minimal family responsibilities. I felt I was able to practice nursing the way I wanted to (give patients time and attention, pay attention to details, and leave work usually satisfied with the job I did). Maybe I need to spend more time on the "positive" threads and not on the "negative" ones. Nursing seems to have changed drastically in thirteen years.but what would you do instead?
I decided to stay home after my husband's job took off (20 hour days and lots of travel), it seemed like a good idea to stay home with my newborn and then later my son (who was vaccine injured and had special needs). By not nursing for so many years I feel like something has been missing in my life. I am fortunate that my husband earns enough that I might not ever have to return to work. I know many women do not have that option. For me and I am sure most other nurses, it was not just a job but very fullfilling. I would like to go back part-time or even four hour shifts. (I have never heard of a hospital that does four hour shifts though I think it would be a good idea to have someone cover for lunches and breaks or take an admission.) Anyway, I continue to be very proud of you nurses who work everyday in very tough situations. My heart, and my prayers go out to you all.
- 0Jun 19, '07 by angel337we all have choices. why do you say "if you didn't have to work as nurse..."???. we are all educated professionals that went to college and chose to be nurses. your working conditions are very dependent on where you choose to work...like any job. do you feel you "have to work" as a nurse or are you generally interested in going back into the work force. if you feel forced to do it, then maybe right now isn't the right time.
- 0Quote from angel337I am sorry that came out wrong. Most people after four years of college might not have the option (or time) to switch careers and go back to college again for another four years. I should have written "if you didn't work as a nurse"...we all have choices. why do you say "if you didn't have to work as nurse..."???. we are all educated professionals that went to college and chose to be nurses. your working conditions are very dependent on where you choose to work...like any job. do you feel you "have to work" as a nurse or are you generally interested in going back into the work force. if you feel forced to do it, then maybe right now isn't the right time.
If I did go back to work, it would be as a nurse. As a matter of fact there is nothing else I would rather do. I often wonder how someone could get through a nursing education without REALLY wanting to be a nurse.
- 0Jun 19, '07 by MulanYou'll have to take a refresher course, I would think, after being out for so long, and that should help you get up to speed.
Some places have only 12 hour shifts, some have 12 and 8 hour shifts and those places do sometimes utilize someone for just 4 hours to fill in a spot.
- 0Jun 19, '07 by DeLana_RN6 months ago I returned to hospital nursing after nearly 2 years at home with young children and 7 years away from the hospital (I had worked in a dialysis clinic after leaving the hospital).
I can't say it was easy; I felt that if I had been away from nursing for any longer than 2 years, I would have needed a refresher course. I'm in an acute dialysis unit, and that part (dialysis) wasn't hard since I had the experience; however, we also have to deal with hospital charts, orders, Pyxis (the med dispensing system that didn't exist 7 years ago), and other "hospital stuff".
In general, hospital nursing hasn't changed that much. To be honest, I'm glad to be back in a hospital - it gives me more options (chronic dialysis was too specialized).
After 13 years, it may be harder - you may have to take a refresher course. But I encourage you to give it a try. As for patient loads, this varies a lot from department to department. In OB (L&D) it may be 1:1, as it is in acute dialysis. And no, you don't need to know Spanish
Good luck, let us know what you decide to do.
- 0Jun 20, '07 by returningnurse2006I had been an orthopedic nurse almost 18 years out of the hospital before deciding to dive back in to med-surg. I took a refresher course at a community college. Was very helpful in getting my brain back in gear. I had the option of going through a preceptorship, but I decided against it, mainly because the hospital wasn't local to me. I was fortunate to get hired interviewing at two different hospitals. I received an 8 week orientation with a preceptor. Med-surg was alot different now than when I left. Pt's sicker. More paperwork, We didn't even do pulse 02 back then..12 hour shifts...I personally had a hard time adjusting in the beginning... after 8 weeks I wanted to quit. I was encouraged to stick it out... that my feelings were normal and it takes a few years for a new grad to adjust.. and basically that's what it was.... again... well I made it to 9 months, doing a bit better but not really liking it...I was offered a new position that they were experimenting with..6 hour shift 5 days a week. as an admission nurse. This has been a blessing to me. I really like it.. I am able to help the other nurses on the floor. My stress level went way down... My health got better.
I think OB probably hasn't changed as much as med-surg... alot less variety, but I am sure none the less challenging in it's own way. If you loved it before, you will love it again. I have to admit.. I hated med surg when I left... and I swore I would never do it again... oh well.. I am actually liking what I do now. Sometimes it's just finding the right fit.
Best wishes on your decision.:spin: (sorry for the lengthy post)
- 0Jun 20, '07 by dcampbellThank you ladies for your encouraging responses. Mulan you are right about me needing a refresher course. I think that would give me alot of confidence about going back to work. DeLanaRN thank you for being so candid about your experience starting back after being home for a awhile. Returningnurse2006--your honesty was very much appreciated, thank you for sharing the good and bad about going back to the hospital after so many years. I am glad you found a setting and hours that work for you. You Med-Surg girls are my heros. Your knowledge base has to be very diverse and the work load sounds impossible at times.