As an OB nurse, do you feel like your med/surg experience will go to waste?

  1. Hi, I have always wanted to to L&D ever since I started nursing school. Now that I am ready to figure out where I want to get internships and jobs for the summer, people have been telling me that by going into L&D I will lose the things I've learned in doing med-surg in nursing school and won't know how to do anything if I ever decide to leave L&D nursing. Is this true? Do any of you feel like you are any less of a nurse because you don't give insulin as much or do things like peritoneal dialysis or give digoxin? Have people ever looked down on you and said that you know nothing about how to take care of a male? I am not putting anyone down, I just feel like everyone is telling me not to cheat myself in becoming an OB nurse. I know all of you guys are sooo smart, I'm not saying that. I just need some help from your perspective which I trust. Thank you so much!

    Teresa
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    If you do a year on med-surg then work L&D for a few years before moving to another area, will you really have retained it anyways? If your goal is L&D, I don't see why you need med-surg. I did a few months of it, but after a few years on L&D/PP, I don't think I retained certain skills and I don't think this makes me less of a nurse. A med-surg nurse could out NG tube and insullin me any day, but hey, I have certain skills she doesn't too, like fetal heart monitoring or cervical checks. It doesn't make either one of us better than the other, just different.

    I should mention if you do L&D, there are a lot of patients with serious health issues like PIH, gestational diabetes, seizure disorders, asthma, or whatever and you probably will float to med-surg now and then. So I don't think you will ever completely lose all the stuff you learned on med-surg in school.

    L&D is a great place to work! You get everything from healthy women giving birth naturally to sick moms and babes by c-section. It's a lot more diverse than some people think.
  4. by   KRVRN
    But on the other hand, if you go into med-surg right after school you might lose the L&D knowledge you gained in school. If you really want to go into L&D, do it!
  5. by   shay
    :angryfire i get so sick of people who fill other nursing students' heads with this 'you'll lose your med/surg skills' nonsense!!!!

    teresa, btw, my hostility is most certainly not directed at you. you are a poor innocent victim. ~sigh~

    ob is med/surg with pregnancy thrown in. people think labor and delivery is such a cake walk and that we 'don't do anything' back there. i myself as a new grad mother/baby nurse used to think that too....until i cross-trained to labor and delivery and got a dose of reality.

    if you want labor and delivery, you go, girl!!! don't let those crusty old windbags deter you. honey, a day on the high risk ob unit at a teaching hospital is basically a day in the ed/icu and med/surg all in one....with pregnant people. women with cardiac probs (i most certainly have had women with serious cardiac stuff in labor), women with life-threatening illnesses (i've had 3 patients with active cancer in labor, one who was a paraplegic, and my co-workers have had to induce labor on a comatose woman in the icu...).

    in short, no, you will not lose your skills. just because a woman is pregnant doesn't mean she's healthy. trust me. come on over girlfriend!!! we'd love to have you!!!

    :kiss
  6. by   mother/babyRN
    We do every bit as much in the way of treatment and assessment in OB as in med surg.. The only difference is with most of our patients, there is a baby involved. However, cardiac, diabetic, drug addict, diseased moms do give birth...And we also have gyn surgery...Just because you are in maternity doesn't keep you safe from potential or real complications. I am GRATEFUL GRATEFUL GRATEFUL for the time I spent both in med surg AND critical care.....
  7. by   mother/babyRN
    Come work with us too! Last night I was assigned to the nursery (with 9 babies on my own, I might add since we had to float someone inappropirately), when, during a routine assessment, I noted an AP on a baby of less than 100. His o2 sats and color were fine, and though he would respond, he was a bit floppy doppy, so then I muse, Hmm, wonder what his blood sugar is...Its fine....Hmm, I muse, wonder if he has a murmur....(maybe a subtle click)..Hmmm, hands and feet are cool but temp is fine...Hmmm, maybe I will put him in the warmer while I check the moms history, as well as the baby's prior APS (all over 130)..Hmmm, the mother is a c/s who was group B pos and not treated BUT I called pp and noted that she had received mefoxin in the or....Hmmm the baby's sats go up and his pulse goes down, as low as 89 or 90...Technically I should probably, according to neonatal, be prepared to intervene., But aside from being slightly lethargic, his tone and reflexes are good, and delivery tells me during labor he had a low baseline...Hmmm, maybe I will try to feed him..He isn't interested (sleepy breast baby)..But, I know his sugar is ok SOO I syringe feed him 30cc formula, noting that he does have a gag reflex and swallows, but is still sleepy.; So, I call the doc to let her know whats going on. Although not impressed, I monitor the baby all night and his pulse, even with aggressive stimulation, never gets to more than 110 AND he isn't really moving even during diaper changes...Hmmm, maybe he is just a laid back guy...Who knows? He was better in the morning....SO YES YES YES, you do value and NEED whatever skills get you to labor/delivery/nursery/post partum or some combination of all the above. The more the merrier. ANYONE telling you otherwise is sadly misinformed and has NEVER been a delivery (OB) nurse.........(at least, not a GOOD one...) Welcome WHENEVER you think you are ready.....
    Last edit by mother/babyRN on Apr 26, '02
  8. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    originally posted by shay ... don't let those crusty old windbags deter you....
    ..just had to see it again...lol!!! now, i'll run for cover!!!
  9. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Shay said it well... these women are pregnant, but there is almost always something else thrown in. Not just healthy women get pregnant ya know

    AND THE NURSERY! Those little buggers are trouble! It's like just admitting someone to the hospital for fun, "hmmm, let's see, we have 2 days to figure out what's wrong with you"

    Gotta go! I'm off to rock babies

    Heather
  10. by   mother/babyRN
    Hey there OBNurse Heather, I see YOU had nursery duty too.....
  11. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by mother/babyRN
    Hey there OBNurse Heather, I see YOU had nursery duty too.....
    That pesky rotation book

    Actually, we had a really nice day. Only 4 new babies, and only 1 of them was a BetaStrep baby we had to transition

    Of course, helping the NNP with the lumbar puncture on the jittery withdrawal baby took up a good chuck of my time

    BUT, we had a potluck, and that makes everything OK!

    I'm off now... back for more!

    Heather
  12. by   cassioo
    You don't loose it at my hospital. We are L&D & Post Partum. We do our own sections (surgery nurses don't do their own total hips) and our own recoveries. We also get med surg female overflow with all the tubes and dressings included. They don't get L&D overflow on Med/Surg. We are also not a closed unit so on the rare occasion we have extra staff (usually nights since we do lots of inductions) we might get pulled anywhere in the hospital except isolation roons and be expected to function.
  13. by   shay
    originally posted by skm-nursiepooh

    ..just had to see it again...lol!!! now, i'll run for cover!!!
    moe, you so crazy.

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