OB Rotation is Hell

  1. I am a male nursing student. I am doing well in school overall and acing my Med surg rotations--However, my OB rotation is pure hell! i feel useless and out of place. They tossed me out of a Birthing room today because I was in the way of the doctor and nurse! They make me feel like a jerk and like I dont belong there--I dont want to fail this rotation because --right now I feel like a incompetant idiot! What are your thoughts about OB and Male nurses?
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  2. 129 Comments

  3. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    I am not a male, but I am wondering have you tried speaking about this with your nursing instructor??

    Sweetooth
  4. by   Leaninstreet
    Luckily we got to choose between a peds and ob rotation at my school. I really wouldn't have liked ob, good luck to ya!
  5. by   llg
    Just for the record, I am a woman.

    Many of us survived nursing school rotations we hated. Fortunately, your OB rotation probably won't last very long and you just need to survive it and move on. I suggest you have a sit-down meeting with your instructor ASAP and come up with a plan to get you a passing grade. In your meeting, be honest and sincere. Express how you would like to learn as much as possible and have been a very successful student up until this point ... but that you just feel totally out of place in this envirnoment and would like her advice and help in passing. That may be a little humbling for you, but it is the truth and is likely to yield her support for you. She's not "out to recruit you" into the OB field and doesn't want any extra problems in her life either that might arise if she fails you. So, you're really on the same side here. Work together, make a plan to get you successfully through the course, and move on.

    As far as male nurses in OB in general ... it can be an uncomfortable fit. In my long neonatal career, I have only encountered 1 man in OB nursing. He was a staff nurse in L&D who I shadowed many ears ago when I was a student. Part of me tells me it should be more common and very possible for any man interested in the field ... but my experience tells me that our current culture is not very supportive of the idea.

    There are a few more men in pediatric nursing -- but not as many as I would expect there, either. I think the issue there is with the school age and adolescent girls who may be exceptionally uncomfortable with having a man perform intimate care. There is also the fear of pedophiles, which is totally unfair to all you wonderful men out there, but is in the minds of some people.

    However, men have played an active and very important role in the development of the neonatal nursing field. The first 2 presidents of the National Association of Neonatal Nursing were men and I have worked with many men in that field over the years. Any men interested in the general field of maternal-child nursing might want to consider a career as a neonatal nurse -- as there is a stronger tradition of acceptance and inclusion of male nurses in the NICU.
    Last edit by llg on Nov 11, '07
  6. by   Rage
    I went through ob/gyn clinical last semester. I had an advantage over you though, I'm 52 years old, and most women don't mind "older guys" in the room. The problem isn't so much with the staff or the docs but with the patient's not wanting "men" in the room which I can understand. Of the 6 other males in the class I'm the only one the patient's would allow in the rooms. I am thankful I witnessed a vaginal birth and 2 c-sections.
    Then I was lucky enough to have one of the same patients for postpartum care. It made a huge difference.

    Bottom line is that the professors understand the situation since you aren't the first male to go that rotation. Tell them about your concerns and I'm sure they will be more than understanding
  7. by   Mexarican
    OB sucks plain and simple. Although there are some rotations that we hate, female students don't have a rotation where not only might they hate the rotation BUT ALSO the patients hate that they are there as well. Only a guy in the rotation would understand. Sorry bro but it's a necessary evil...

    Mex
    Last edit by Mexarican on Nov 9, '07
  8. by   Ekklesia
    I have not made it to OB rotation yet, but I pick up some super-heavy bad-vibes whenever I go near the L&D dept where I work as a tech. They could burn a hole through my head with the way they stare at me.

    Just last night I had to go there to drop off some breast milk and as a joke I announced that I was thinking of becoming a L&D nurse...

    The only thing more deafening than the silence was when they collectively caught their breath.
  9. by   Countryboyjoe1
    Hey guys,
    I can relate to this thread, as one of the TWO guys in my nursing class, I was kind of concerned about the OB rotation. I was concerned about how the patients would feel about me, a big hairy guy, being in the room while they're suffering through delivery! And I wondered how I would feel about it. Being a gay man, I'd never even SEEN a real live vagina until my rotation through the womens health clinic, so this was all VERY new territory for me. Happily, I got through my L&D rotation with no problems with patients, and I actually really enjoyed it. Being there to help the patient feel better, more comfortable and at ease overall were just great things. And out on the postpartum floor was even better. Now do I think that my being gay might have helped the patients feel more at ease with me, well, probably. Does a purse fall out of my mouth when I start talking, well, not really, but if you have any intuition, I think you'd pretty much figure me out. And if that helps the patients be more at ease with me, well HALLELUJA!~ hehe
    As has been stated, male nurses in this field are rare, at our hospital I have seen only ONE in L&D, and I think there aren't any on the postpartum floor. So it is a rare thing. I don't know that this is the field I want to specialize in, but it definitely felt very good to my heart. The nursery was a LOT of fun too, holding babies, burping em, feeding em, it was just all good!
  10. by   Conrad283
    I liked my ob/gyn rotation. I thought that L&D was really cool. Becuase of all the assessments that have to be done I don't think I could work there. Maternity was ok, the only bad thing about that was that my instructor had to be present for my assessment, whereas the girls in the class could go do their assessments when they wanted.

    Hang in there. Don't let it keep you from your ultimate goal.
  11. by   BigMack
    Hey guys,

    Im a 22yr old male and was doing a OB rotation at one of the busiest hospitals in GA, Grady Memorial... anyways. My teacher told me that i would probably not be able to do much but i needed the hours so go through it. I hated the fact i was unproductive for the day but it was true... I got to see 2 Births and 1 stat c-section in the 6 day OB rotation at that facility. I tried to help the nurse out as much as i was able to: getting IV start kit, towels, linens anything to be productive.

    Overall my clinical instructor said I was not trying hard enough to get into the room. I told her it was simple. I was told to ask the patients if it was ok with them for me to watch or do a procedure...96% of the time it was "How old are you?...NO!" The other 4% "I don't care! Give me my epidural!"

    Was not able to insert a foley and only inserted one at a nursing home when i had rotation in LTC at beginin of the quarter. In general i guess be productive as possible and good luck. After i passesd my finals for OB/Peds I had a beer and torched my OB/Peds book...

    ps: i was able to get the assessments/Care plans by oberving and doing some of them. OB... not my cup of tea.
    Last edit by BigMack on Nov 12, '07 : Reason: r/t other post.
  12. by   bubbly
    I'm a girl and I hated my OB L&D clinical rotation. It was at a community hospital in Texas and ALL of my patients could only speak Spanish, which I could not. I found it completely boring, the nurses there ignored me and treated me like an inconvenience, and I could not communicate with my patients. I felt like a complete dope just standing there and taking vitals and watching the clock tick by. I did see one vaginal birth, which was the most exciting for me since I had never seen one before. The c-section I attended was a waste of time because I couldn't see anything with all the residents in the way and all I got to do was turn off one of the resident's pagers during surgery and empty a foley bag (whoopdy-doo). I had one guy in my clinical group who liked L&D more than me, mostly because he could speak Spanish and his wife had recently given birth to twins so he knew more about pregnancy and the birthing process than me. On the plus side, I did find my passion in the NICU during my OB clinicals. It is a wonderful field and we need more guys there!
  13. by   algebra_demystified
    This topic has me a little hot under the collar. What if a patient didn't want to be treated by a black nurse? Could they say, Hey, I feel a little uncomfortable with that black chick here, can you go get me a korean?

    I don't think that would fly.

    It's fine to say that a man can't be in the room, though.

    I'm a competent clinical performer and have received high praise from my instructors for the past year. Suddenly, I'm not qualified to work in the Bajingo Ward.
  14. by   danissa
    Quote from algebra_demystified
    This topic has me a little hot under the collar. What if a patient didn't want to be treated by a black nurse? Could they say, Hey, I feel a little uncomfortable with that black chick here, can you go get me a korean?

    I don't think that would fly.

    It's fine to say that a man can't be in the room, though.

    I'm a competent clinical performer and have received high praise from my instructors for the past year. Suddenly, I'm not qualified to work in the Bajingo Ward.
    Hey al..chill a bit babe! Race has absolutely nothing to do with this situation..Gender does!
    It IS fine for a woman to elect not to have a male present, or performing procedures during labour, delivery and post partum. Its her choice, and her history may play a part. While some women will just be so relieved for ANYONE to help, remember others may have been abused etc, and allow them that choice, without feeling bad towards them.

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