Here is just my
from my experience.
One of the nice things about L&D/MB is you are dealing with healthy young women (for the most part). The atmosphere is pretty positive (although you do have the domestics, no dad involved, immature patients, or very demanding-all heathcare places have their particular pt. population problems).
You definetely won't be using all of the Critical Care Knowledge you have. Again, for the most part it's young, healthy women. But when the s*** hits the fan, you'll be in your element. The occassional pulmonary/amniotic emboli, ruptured uterus, etc. You will occassionally have medical emergencies and yes, there you will definetly be an asset. I guess for me it was just a different aspect/focus. I still used my critical thinking/ knowledge when looking at history and potential problems, labs, etc. But it was an opportunity to help these families through the birth process and becoming a new family that I loved. You will never get tired of seeing a baby bieng born. Always wonderful!!
There is alot of patient teaching-unfortunetely you usually have a very short time to do it in. Most people go home within 24-48 hours for vag delivery. But if you love patient teaching-this is definetly a place to do that! Not just mom care, but baby care and family.
After a while it just gets to be routine for the most part (again, you always have the "surprizes" Nuchal Cord, shoulder dystocia (always good for a few VERY intense moments) decels, fetal demise ( known or just revealed).
You might want to consider going into high-risk L&D. Management would definetly look upon your CC experience more positively
And you would probably feel alot more satisfaction. There you have the mom's with cardiac issues, diabetics with insulin drips, preterm labor, ruptured membranes, HELLP Syndrome .More of a challenge (which is what I like about Critical Care, you have to be dilligent, maticulus, always thinking ahead and prepared to intervene in possible life and death problems at any time.)
Typical day depends. Are you doing triage-You are assessing the mother who walks into your unit, gathering infor while checking Prenatal (or not-some mom's don't get prenatal care) reporting to MD findings and then doing whatever needs to be done-admit for labor vrs false labor, r/o rupture of membranes-all kinds of things. Just like doing traige in ER.
Or are you doing Labor that day. Get your patient, Take report-review patient hX, labs whatever, go in and pick up where the previous shift nurse left off (is mom in early labor, ready for an epidural, in the tub doing well with breathing and relaxing? Hows baby-Do you need to get them on on FM?
Usually we are one to one once a woman is in active labor (facilities will vary) and your follow through to delivery and into post delivery or to the end of shift. You might be very actively involved in the labor process (by the patient's bedside alot helping with breathing, positions, pain management, epidurals,etc, or more just on the sidelines and just making sure mom and babe are medically doing fine. Of course when you get to transition and full dilation/effacement you are constantly at the bedside-now your helping with pushing, setting up the delviery table and room etc.
If you are doing mom and babe-you have 4-5 coupletes. You are monitoring mom vital signs, bleeding, first void, pain management. With babe- transitioning to "the outside" again vital signs, head to toe assessments, temp monitoring, feeding, voiding/stooling, immunizations. And a whole lot of education and answering questions.
Granted this is normal mom/babe stuff not if there are problems (usually respitory, low blood sugar, poor feeding are the most frequently seen)
Any way I have written alot-whew. I hope this give's you one small view into the world of L&D. Whatever you decide-good luck. I hope you get a lot of responces. Go to the L&D unit and talk with the nurses there. You know how we all love to share :chuckle