Anyone start out med/surg?

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    I have seen a few openings in the past year for Labor/Delivery nurses in my area. I have always loved helping new moms with breastfeeding and women's health in general. I feel I have a good understanding of women's health (generally speaking). I have been working a very busy Med/Surg/Ortho unit since Sept '09. I am still really interested in working anywhere regarding women's health/Labor/Delivery/Contraception/Breastfeeding but I am really nervous about doing it now because I feel like I am so used to Med/Surg now that I have forgotten most of the Mother/Baby stuff we learned in nursing school. I know when I started as a nurse everyone said to get Med/Surg experience but I do feel like I have forgotten the details of dealing with the labor/delivery/post-partum care of a patient now. Should I just apply and realize that if I am hired I will have a lot to learn and is that okay? Or do they expect someone with no labor/delivery experience to know everything about what to do in each situation? The drugs ect are all totally different. Thanks so much!
  2. 14 Comments so far...

  3. 3
    Not me, but a friend of mine working in Med/Surg for 6 years after becoming a nurse. When she decided she needed a change, she had no problem transferring into the NICU at her hospital.

    L&D won't expect you to know everything about labor situations if you only have med/surg experience. Just be prepared to do a lot of learning on your own time, because you might not be given as long an orientation as a new grad. Good luck!!
    SHGR, Esme12, and hoopschick like this.
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    Thanks! I am hoping it is normal to feel almost like a new grad with the thought of working in a specialty area.
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    If you transfer to mother/baby they aren't just going to throw you out in uncharted waters. They will probably pair you up with someone you can shadow. That's what happened to me. I worked med-surg at one hospital for a couple of years in the suburbs of Manhattan but then I quit after a little over two years an applied to work in the neurology/neurosurgery dept of a hospital in Manhattan. I told them I had no neurology/neurosurgery experience(except for the basics and what I learned when I had my OWN brain surgery). So they paired me up with a nurse who was an amazing teacher/trainer and I learned a lot and I have been on my own for a few years now.
  6. 0
    Quote from sameasalways
    Thanks! I am hoping it is normal to feel almost like a new grad with the thought of working in a specialty area.
    It's a whole new ball game when you specialize in such a specific area......and it is normal to feel like a new grad all over again. GO FOR IT!!! and follow your dream!.

    I didn't know how to read a monitor when I went to ICU....
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    I have been trying to get a job in L and D.... noone will hire me because I don't have ob experience...I'm very discouraged, hopefully you will have better luck. I have experience in pacu, icu, and endo and I've been an rn for 6 years but it still isn't good enough
  8. 1
    If you want a cliff-notes, bare-bones summary of OB nursing, this is great:

    We used ATI throughout our nursing program. You can get through the book in a weekend and it will really refresh your memory.
    heartNICU likes this.
  9. 0
    I can share with you what a wise older nurse told me many years ago, and personally it was some of the best advice I have been given. "Start on a med/surg unit, get your feet wet, 6mos-1year, then you can go anywhere."
    Specializing too early I think can be great if that is all your ever going to do, however I can also see it as a trap that may be difficult to get out of. In the end it's up to you, and this is just my experience. Good Luck! FLTNRSE2
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    I did two years med/surg before switching to psych permanently. I think having that med /surg experience helped me greatly. First I feel like a "real" nurse. I feel more confident by just having a broader set of skills. I also have found it of assistance when a patient begins having medical problems. I am calm and have the skills necessary to begin basic treatment and get patient where they need to go. I wish everyone would get a year or two of med/surg before venturing off. I work with nurses who went straight into psych and I am telling you...they would literally be like a brand new nurse if they had to do anything "medical". So instead of fear...feel confident! You will learn, but you already have great skills!
  11. 0
    Anyone do telemetry as a new grad? Is it a more difficult first nursing experience, or about the same as med-surg?

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