Maternal/newborn experiences - page 2

Hi all. I am a junior nursing student working on a class project for a Maternal/Newborn nursing class. Please share any of your personal experiences or words of wisdom from your clinical... Read More

  1. by   BCA4478
    Has anyone had a clinical experience related to L&D, NICU, or post partum that allowed them to witness the "downside" to working in these areas that they would be willing to share? How did you handle a difficult situation & do you have any advice for other students who may find themselves involved in a negative mother-baby experience?
  2. by   jenrninmi
    Quote from BCA4478
    Has anyone had a clinical experience related to L&D, NICU, or post partum that allowed them to witness the "downside" to working in these areas that they would be willing to share? How did you handle a difficult situation & do you have any advice for other students who may find themselves involved in a negative mother-baby experience?
    The only bad thing that I experienced was when I was doing my post-partum rotation and one of my patients was experiencing post-partum psychosis. It brought back my experiences with post-partum depression and I was crying during my clinical. Not in front of the patient, but about an hour later. I'm sure it was also other stressors going on in my life, lack of sleep etc. But besides this I have always had positive experiences in OB and NICU etc. Good luck!
  3. by   NewEnglandRN
    I am an ADN student in my second semester. I went into Nursing school specifically to specialize in L&D or NICU after graduation. I am currently completing my Maternal/ Child Nsg rotation and I am absolutely certain this is what I am meant to do with my life.

    During our rotation we spent 7 weeks in Pedi, 4 weeks on L&D and 4 weeks on PP/Nursery. We were also able to spend a day in NICU and as an optional rotation we could go to a local Birthing Center.

    So far I have seen:
    • a vaginal birth; the baby was born face up & her shoulders never rotated. The midwife who attended the birth told me it would be a long time before I saw a baby being born in that specific position.
    • a C-Section; her husband could not attend, so I was her support person during the surgery. After the baby was evaluated, I was allowed to put the baby on the Mom's chest for the first time. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
    • an Indonesian Mom in early labor; it was very interesting to see the cultural differences during labor.
    • Under the supervision of an RN, I have performed nurmerous NSTs
    • I have performed a complete Newborn assessment immediately after birth & administered Erythromycin ointment, Vit K and Hep B.
    • I have taught a class on infant baths & safety to a group of new parents
    • I spent the day in NICU and was able to take VS & feed 3 "growers"; I also spent many hours comforting a Methadone baby.
    Next week I will see another C-Section, help recovery the Mom and follow her up to our PP unit. I am also going to the Birth center soon

    So far, all outcomes have been good, though I am very realistic that terrible situations can occur in all areas of Nursing.

    I love L&D and NICU even more than I ever dreamed. I will literally relocate almost anywhere to get a position in one of these areas after graduation!
  4. by   LauraLou
    Quote from BCA4478
    Has anyone had a clinical experience related to L&D, NICU, or post partum that allowed them to witness the "downside" to working in these areas that they would be willing to share? How did you handle a difficult situation & do you have any advice for other students who may find themselves involved in a negative mother-baby experience?
    I have been working as an extern in postpartum for a year. During that time, I have seen some difficult situations.

    The most common is a mother having to leave the hospital without her baby, who is in the NICU. It is a very difficult time, as they often feel as if they are abandoning their baby. Other mothers leave with a baby in their arms, while she leaves empty handed. The mother needs a lot of support and reassurance.

    I had one patient who was a young teenager mother giving up her baby for adoption. She cried the entire 4 days she was in the hospital. When she finally had to turn over her baby to the adoptive parents, she began to sob uncontrollably and had to be medicated. It was absolutely heart wrenching. It was hard not to be upset with her mother who pushed the adoption despite her daughter's emotional state.

    I had a patient who had a fetal demise due to her drug use. It was a very difficult situation. She tried to break into the PCA to get to the morphine. She had a pass to go to the funeral home to make arrangements and came back to the hospital high. She ended up leaving AMA when the doctor changed her pain medication from Percocet to Lortab.

    My best advice is to listen and be supportive. Therapeutic communication is very important. Allow the patient to express her feelings. It is the difficult patients, the ones who make decisions you don't agree with that are the most challenging. I remind myself that this is a professional relationship, nurse and patient, and my personal feelings are not part of the equation.
  5. by   Mariposa19
    Quote from LauraLou
    I have been working as an extern in postpartum for a year. During that time, I have seen some difficult situations.
    I'm starting an externship this summer on a mother/baby unit. I'm a little worried because I have no experience in this area from clinicals or work. All I have is med/surg. Any advice? What do you spend most of your day doing? I am really excited about this, but am not quite sure what to expect.
  6. by   NurseforPreggers
    After graduating nursing school, I KNEW I wanted to do L&D. I was fortunate to be hired as a new grad into a high risk L&D at a local hospital. I love my job, it is very rewarding, challenging, etc. To the poster who asked about the downside of L&D, there are several things I did not think about before this position. These are things you will see and need to come to terms with in order to work in L&D: still borns, IUFD (intra-uterine fetal demise), mom's giving babies up for adoption, teenagers having babies, mom's who refuse treatment for things such as preterm labor because they are "sick of being pregnant", etc. Some of these things can just make you sick! Not to mention angry! Some of these things may be against youre moral or religious beliefs. It is very important to think about how you will handle these situations, will you be able to provide quality care in these situations.

    I love my job, there is nowhere I would rather work than L&D. But my vision of happy families, joyful births with 2 tearful parents, picture perfect babies, etc sometimes seems less of an occurence than some of the other situations I have described. I believe it is important to go into this area with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Just my .02
  7. by   LauraLou
    Quote from LaMariachita
    I'm starting an externship this summer on a mother/baby unit. I'm a little worried because I have no experience in this area from clinicals or work. All I have is med/surg. Any advice? What do you spend most of your day doing? I am really excited about this, but am not quite sure what to expect.
    I spend most of my time taking vital signs, changing linens and getting patients ice water or supplies. That is the routine stuff that fills up most of the day. I also teach pts how to swaddle their baby, help fresh c/s moms get up and ambulate for the first time, help with showers, teach how to do sitz baths and peri care, take moms to the NICU, etc.
    Compared to being an extern on med/surg, you don't get to do a lot of "nursing" things like insert foleys or start IVs. It is mostly supportive care and teaching. You really have to like talking to pts and have a very service oriented attitude.
    The only things you really have to watch for are mothers who faint or pass large blood clots and babies turning blue. In a year, I've seen two pts faint, one who had 1/2 dozen peach-sized clots and two babies who choked but were fine after suctioning, so those situations are really rare.
    Good luck!
  8. by   Mariposa19
    Quote from LauraLou
    I spend most of my time taking vital signs, changing linens and getting patients ice water or supplies. That is the routine stuff that fills up most of the day. I also teach pts how to swaddle their baby, help fresh c/s moms get up and ambulate for the first time, help with showers, teach how to do sitz baths and peri care, take moms to the NICU, etc.
    Compared to being an extern on med/surg, you don't get to do a lot of "nursing" things like insert foleys or start IVs. It is mostly supportive care and teaching. You really have to like talking to pts and have a very service oriented attitude.
    The only things you really have to watch for are mothers who faint or pass large blood clots and babies turning blue. In a year, I've seen two pts faint, one who had 1/2 dozen peach-sized clots and two babies who choked but were fine after suctioning, so those situations are really rare.
    Good luck!
    Hey thanks for the encouragement. Now I have a better picture of what my role will be, so thanks for that as well. Although I won't get to practice many nursing skills, I think the change will be good for me. I love education, and I love talking! Thanks again!

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