Bummed RN

  1. Hello everyone...I've been reading the boards for awhile and feel like I "know" some of you! So, I guess I'm looking for some support. I quit my nursing position on L&D unit recently due to several problems, but mostly being scared to death that something was going to happen and I would have no back up (not to mention that nights are wearing me out--guess I'm just wired for days) . Do any of you feel absolutely scared to death at times on your unit? Being charge nurse at night with no in house anesthesia, no in house ob md's (most of them 30 min away), and pretty new staff with ever increasing turnover finally just wore me down. It seems like the new people are off orientation way before they need to be. Gosh, I've only been there since 2001, been doing charge almost 1 year. We've been staffed so low on nights and some of our nurse's on call live 1- 1 1/2 hours away and you all know that things can go from ok to terrible pretty fast in L&D. (Not much support from house supervisor either--sometimes pages not returned, etc). Anyway, are the conditions that I have described above pretty common in all L&D units? Should I have just dealt with it? My biggest fear is that something would happen to a mom or baby that I should have prevented. I would have liked to be a staff nurse again but getting assigned charge practically every shift was a necessity due to turnover. I really missed getting to have actual labor patients! So, now I am wondering if I need to explore some other area of nursing (even though I went to nursing school with the sole intention of becoming an L&D nurse--I actually thought I would like to be a cnm at one time). Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   L&D_RN_OH
    I'm sorry things were so bad for you. It does sound like a really unsafe situation. Perhaps another facility would be better staffed, and offer you more opportunity for pt care.

    And no, it's not pretty common, at least not in this area. I guess it depends on the size of the facility, too. We always have anesthesia and residents in house, and whichever doc has laboring pts, they are in house as well. I hope you are able to find something better suited to your needs.
  4. by   imenid37
    I work in a small hospital. We do not have 24/7 medical staff in house. Anesthesia , OB, Peds, and FP docs are not in the hospital. The only Dr. is the ER doc and believe me, our patients are better off w/ us in most cases, doing a delivery than if the ER doc would do it. Our docs live only a few minutes away and if it is a true emergency, they get there very quickly. There are still a few patients who get del'd by the nursing staff, but not many. If a nurse is given off, then she must be able to return to the hospital if called in w/ in 45 minutes. There are times when a few minutes can seem like an eternity, I think we are in a little better situation than you. I have waited 5 min. for a doc to come in and it seems like hours, thankfully, it is usually a short time. I had a lady several years ago, said she was 24 weeks, no PNC, G4P4 (had twins at home), last labour less than 1 hour long, arrive at 9 cm w/ bulging membranes. I was just dying thinking I was gonna do that delivery, but OB doc on call that night lived several blocks from our hospital and PED lives close too so both made it in. Baby was about 33 weeks gestation, but mom had teeny tiny tummy. Feeling scared to death, been ther too! You situation sounds un workable, so I know it's tough, but leaving sounds like the best option.

    Our docs do not automatically come in if they have a labouring pt. Our rule is 6 cm for multip, 10 cm for primip, if they get an epidural OB and anesthesia must come in, or if they are moving rapidly or present at an advanced dilitation, have a medical problem severe PIH, thick mec, etc., or BAD WEATHER. Mostly docs do not abuse us too much w/ this. This is a small town and people talk, so if the doctor doesn't make it in for a delivery, the patient tells at least 10 other people!
  5. by   imenid37
    Try a larger hospital, they usually have everyone in house. I hope you can find something else in OB that suits you.
  6. by   lynn27
    Thank you both so much for your replies and support ...it really helps me to hear your thoughts and ideas about my situation. I feel that leaving was the right thing for me to do but somehow I just felt like a failure. I will be looking into applying at larger hospitals where in-house is available 24/7--that just seems to be where my comfort zone is right now.
  7. by   purplemania
    at least now you know what questions to ask in the next job interview. I am proud of you for leaving an unsafe situation. Too many nurses hang in there because they feel obligated. Too risky. Good luck. You sound like you have your head on straight.

    Oh, BTW, I have worked maternal-child and never had those issues so I am hoping your next job will be better.
  8. by   Renee' Y-Y
    In this day & age with the shortage of nurses & hospitals tripping over themselves to get them & keep them, I don't think any nurse doing any specialty should have to be miserable or feel unsafe in their jobs. And with so many hospitals wanting to go for magnate status, that only makes it better for everyone - nurses & patients. You go girl...there is someplace you can go with higher standards & a safer environment. Oh, and don't slam yourself, the failure was not your's to have...it was the hospital's for allowing this type of situation to continue...in 2004!!
  9. by   lynn27
    Your kind words are so very appreciated. I really needed some support and you all have made me feel so much better! Thank you for reassuring me that my unit was not the norm--this gives me hope that I can find another position in L&D where I can give good care and feel safe, too.
  10. by   BETSRN
    Personally, I think you made a good choice leaving. I hope you told the administration why in your exit interview. If not,I would suggest writing their risk manager a letter voicing your concerns. Just mention liability and I think they will perk their ears up.

    I think your situation is NOT common. We are a small community hospital. We do have 24/7 anesthesia and most of our docs live within 15 miles (at the most) from the hospital. However, as someone said, your patients are probably much better off with you nurses than with an ER doc (God forbid).

    You did the right thing. I wish you luck in your search for a safer working environment. They are out there.
  11. by   BETSRN
    By the way, where are you, Lynn27?
  12. by   lynn27
    Hi BETSRN! I totally agree with your suggestions. I had verbalized concerns to supervisor/nm but no action was taken. My hosp was a small community hosp in TN. I have spoken to some other nurses in TN and they are also telling me that my situation was unique--which is definitely reassuring. I just couldn't see the point of hiring into a similar situation. Currently, I am putting in applications and as Purplemania said, I now know what questions to ask in the interviews!
  13. by   BETSRN
    You go, Girl! Good luck.

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