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!
I worked Med/surg for about 1 1/2 years before transferring to OB (where I've been working for almost 8 yrs). OB is sometimes a tough field to break into, because directors typically give preference to applicants who have OB experience. Usually it is easier to get hired to an antepartum or mom/baby unit then L&D, so if you're ultimately wanting to work L&D you may need to apply for a position in a mom/baby or antepartum unit & then bridge to L&D.
It will feel a little like you're starting over when you start a new specialty. I remember that my first few weeks I felt like I was "all thumbs" (partially because I was working at a new hospital with very different equipment). But typically you will regain confidence more quickly because you have experienced "settling in" before. And there are a few skill that do transfer.
I agree that med/surg is a great starter experience. I will occasionally run into situations in OB (like giving heparin or blood, etc) where the nurses that have only worked OB are very uncomfortable, but I know what to do because of my old med/surg experience.
Last edit by strn96 on Dec 6, '11