Anyone start out med/surg? Anyone start out med/surg? | allnurses

Anyone start out med/surg?

  1. 0 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. Visit  Double-Helix profile page
    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 vanburbian like this.
  4. Visit  sameasalways profile page
    0
    Thanks! I am hoping it is normal to feel almost like a new grad with the thought of working in a specialty area.
  5. Visit  Munch profile page
    0
    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. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    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....
  7. Visit  cdavis profile page
    0
    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. Visit  AJPV profile page
    1
    If you want a cliff-notes, bare-bones summary of OB nursing, this is great:
    http://www.amazon.com/MATERNAL-NEWBO...3115108&sr=8-7

    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. Visit  fltnrse2 profile page
    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
  10. Visit  windsurfer8 profile page
    0
    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. Visit  AJPV profile page
    0
    Anyone do telemetry as a new grad? Is it a more difficult first nursing experience, or about the same as med-surg?
  12. Visit  strn96 profile page
    2
    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
    del2009 and AJPV like this.
  13. Visit  del2009 profile page
    0
    i did home health my first 6 mo out of nursing school (hated it), i then did med/surg with telemetry for the last 18 months. just transferred to L&D on 11/7/11 and I feel like a complete idiot nurse with no experience most of my days. Everything is so different and some of the nurses are just plain evil!!! In our L&D we do our own triage, and we also rotate to operating room and post-op for our c-section patients. have have our own 2 operating rooms and post op rooms on our locked unit. it is very overwhelming and i am starting to wonder if i made the right choice. This is what i wanted to do since i was a child, but boy is it hard and the other nurses with their sarcasm and pure evilness sure doesnt help.
  14. Visit  del2009 profile page
    0
    Quote from del2009
    i did home health my first 6 mo out of nursing school (hated it), i then did med/surg with telemetry for the last 18 months. just transferred to L&D on 11/7/11 and I feel like a complete idiot nurse with no experience most of my days. Everything is so different and some of the nurses are just plain evil!!! In our L&D we do our own triage, and we also rotate to operating room and post-op for our c-section patients. have have our own 2 operating rooms and post op rooms on our locked unit. it is very overwhelming and i am starting to wonder if i made the right choice. This is what i wanted to do since i was a child, but boy is it hard and the other nurses with their sarcasm and pure evilness sure doesnt help.
    thanks for your comment. i feel like an idiot almost everyday. very discouraging

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