I have recently been offered a position in a high-risk L&D unit. 11 LDRs and three OR suites, all on the unit. There were over 6000 deliveries in 2000. For as long as I can remember, all I've ever wanted to do was to work in L&D. Understandably, I was thrilled to get this job, finally. But here's the story:
I graduated with full scholarships, top of my class, and passed the boards in '95. My last year and a half in school (BSN) I worked as a nurse tech in MICU. As soon as I passed the boards, I wanted to head straight to L&D. However, no one would take me without experience. At the very same hospital where I was working, I interviewed for L&D. Basically, I was told they needed someone with experience who could speak Chinese. End of discussion
Anyhow, I was offered a job on the step-down unit where patients are sent after MICU/CCU/SICU. The unit also had telemetry, family practice and 6 beds for vent patients. I took it because I thought it would give me a solid foundation for a later position in L&D
I was excited about the job, rearing to go, ready to learn. To sum it all up: I was consistently given the worse district. Most times, I was given Family practice (8 -12 patients) with one or two patients on vents with pegs for meds, triple-lumens, others on telemetry, wound-care, bed rest only. It was a relief if I had a patient who was A&O x 3 and who could take po meds. I remember distinctly, one of the other nurses passing through my district and saying. "This is a heavy district!"
I was OVERWHELMED with no help in sight. Generally, the other nurses were not helpful. They were too busy themselves. Others were simply down right mean.
Every day, I prayed for God to help me and for me not to hurt anyone. Most days I cried on the way to and from work. I can honestly say, I wanted to die some days rather than show up there. After barely six months, for my own sanity, I had to quit.
I was so traumatized, any thought of working in a hospital was enough to start my heart racing, make my mouth go dry and to make my hands shake. I ended up getting a job in Home Care. Specifically Home Attendant Provider agencies. The work was calm, gratifying and I was good at it. But I didn't feel fulfilled. It's not what I went to school for. It was mostly theory, teaching, social work and just being a good listerner, geriatric patients, no hands-on care. On weekends, I'd do fee-for-service wound care or insulin administration.
I considered giving up on nursing because I wanted a career, a passion, not just a job. It had become merely a job to me. But I couldn't give up without trying what I had originally gone to nursing school for.
So now, I have this wonderful opportunity in an excellent unit. I'm older and, I think, wiser. More able to deal with my anxiety and to speak up for myself. I'm motivated. Reading up on Maternal/Neonatal, Fetal Monitoring and preparing for my NRP. However, I've been out of the hospital nurse loop for so long, I need some encouragement, advice, anything that you can give me. Is it possible or reasonable to expect that I can go into a specialty unit after being away from the beside for so long?
The staff at this hospital are taking a chance on me and I know it. I've got so much to remember and to learn. I don't want to let them down. More importantly, I don't want to let myself down. I want to succeed. I don't want to waste anyone's time. Do you have any words for me?
I would please like advice on where I should concentrate my studies, more effective communication (so that I can get along with the other nurses, physicians, and ancillary staff), good malpractice insurance
for L&D, kind words, constructive criticism, all are welcome.
Thank you in advance for slogging through all of this.