Quote from findingmywayRN
First off I want to say that I always learn so much from everyone who posts here. I am in the middle of a nursing career transition and hope to post here as an OB nurse myself someday
Now my question(s): I am interviewing for an L&D position and it will be on weekend nights (two 12 hr shifts). I'd always heard an old wives tale that more babies are born at night. From your experience, is this true? Are nights very busy in L&D because of deliveries or less staff? Is starting on nights tough for someone with no L&D experience (I am coming in from LTC). How crazy are twelve hour shifts in L&D? (The orientation is from 12 to 16 weeks learning OR, postpartum and L&D). How many couplets do you care for in postpartum?
Thanks for any replies!
Now that so many inductions and C/S are scheduled, more babies are born during the daytime. But in the old days...
While working with Moms at risk for preterm labor, I remember the 24 hour contraction monitoring showed that 9-10 pm was the time of greast uterine activity. So, perhaps in the old days, labor was more likely to start about that time, resulting in more nighttime babies.
In my experience, most nursed new to OB start out on the night shift. It's scary, but that's were the least experienced nurses seem to be. By the time you feel comefortable with what you're doing, you'll have enough seniority to be able to bid for one of the rare day positions that open up.
I hope you'll be doing your orientation on both days and nights. In one place I worked, the orientation started out with 8 hour shifts, then moved to 12 hours towards the end. I felt this was helpful because the orientee was put into the learning environment 5 days a week and had less time to forget between days at work.
I personally prefer 12 hour shifts because I have a life and only working 3 days a week gives me more time to live it than working 5 days a week. Especially on night shift.
AWHONN has standards for acceptable patient care loads. I believe up to 6 couplets per nurse is acceptable. In my hospital, we usually have 4 or 5.
Good luck in your new area, hope you like it as much as I do. It'll will take you longer than you think it ought to to feel comefortable as a labor nurse. Be patient with yourself.