To OB or not to OB?

  1. I'm a nursing student that will graduate in May and I am wanting to get a job on OB (postpartum, L&D, etc...)

    Would you nurses out there reccommend jumping right into a specialty area? I know I like OB, but I'm wondering if it's unwise to specialize right away.

    My ultimate goal is to become a Certified Nurse Midwife someday so I feel this has a bearing on my decision...

    Love to hear your input....
    Last edit by jen.sn on Jan 22, '05
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   mitchsmom
    If you search you'll probably find old posts regarding this... I know there is a big thread somewhere on the L&D forum. Basically you'll find opinions both ways, people happy with their decision both ways.

    Like you, I plan on becomming a CNM and at this point I am planning on going straight to L&D when I graduate, if possible. I can see the value in getting broad experience in med-surg too but I'm impatient and by that time I will have already put in many years toward the goal (and I'm not young either), so....
  4. by   fergus51
    I went pretty much straight into L&D and have never regretted it. It isn't med surg, it's completely different. We don't have 10 patients, we have 2. Some of our patients have health challenges, but how they are managed in L&D is not the same as how they will be managed on a medical floor. Med surg is its own specialty in my opinion. Some new grads will not do well in L&D and others will. A year in med-surg could be a time for you to get your feet wet and gain some time management skills, but it could also be harmful if it isn't a supportive environment. A lot of new grads in med-surg get little orientation time and are subjected to ridiculous staffing, so they don't have much time to learn there anyways.

    The real question is what do YOU want to do? If you know this is where you want to be, I don't see any reason to put in a year in med-surg. You can learn all you need to be a good L&D nurse in L&D.
  5. by   AgentR
    Can I add on to your question, since I'm in a similar situation?

    Is post-partum the "med-sug" for L&D? I'm considering doing a year or so in post partum before L & D. As a matter of fact, I will be doing my externship in post-partum, since they do not take externs in L & D. Can the experienced nurses tell me if it's common to do PP before L & D?
  6. by   fergus51
    I think that is common AgentR, and a great idea in my opinion. PP is a great place to start as a new grad. A few hospitals I worked at actually always started new grads in pp/antepartum then trained them to low risk L&D, then to high risk L&D, then to women's OR or NICU/special care nursery.
  7. by   jenrninmi
    I'm going straight into OB. I haven't decided if it will be L & D or mother/baby - we'll see after my preceptorship. Good luck with your decision!
  8. by   profjanmc
    After much study (and a dissertation on this as well) I think postpartum is the place to start. 1. More predicable, you can plan your shift, in L&D it is IMPOSSIBLE to predict what will happen next. 2. You get to know normal postpartum, newborns and teaching. 3. You get to know the physicians so they can learn to trust you, an important concept in Labor where you are responsible for the outcome. After 6-12 months, transition to L&D and you will do better, less stress, etc... I LOVE MY L&D job, but it can be very stressful and intense, where postpartum is rarely that way, good luck!
  9. by   hospitalstaph
    If you go to pp first do your patients a favor and learn a lot about breastfeeding first. I am shocked at the misinformation that I here from some of our local hospitals.

    Good luck to you!

    Tracy

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