Interested in Mother/Baby...thoughts?

  1. I am interested in moving into a position in my hospital in the Mother Baby department. A little background for you...

    I have been an RN since 2007. I got into nursing because I wanted to work in Labor and Delivery. Women's health is of strong interest to me and drove me into the profession. When I was a new grad looking for a job, I was told that before I specalize, I should do some general nursing first. I took a job in the ER and stayed there for 7 years. I loved the comraderie, and learned a ton. I started getting the itch to try something else and my current position kind of fell into my lap. I am curently working as an Employee Health Manager. I have been in that position for a year and a half and am pretty miserable. I miss patient care and feeling like I help someone everytime I come to work. I have discovered that administrative nursing is not for me. I don't like siting behind a desk, 5 days a week. I want to do something I feel passionate about.

    A position has come up in Mother Baby, full time nights. I have not done nights for 5 years now, but I think I could manage it, as both of my kids are now in school full time...and I know it wouln't be forever. I spoke with the Interim Director of the department, and she seemed to think that coming from an ER background, Mother Baby would be a challenging pace for me. She said there is a ton of documentation, the day is very much dependent on fulfilling tasks by certain times, and that you have 6 patients at once, so there is a lot of juggling. This wasn't a formal interview, by any means, I was just confidentiallty gathering some information to try to make an informed decision before I actually apply and stir the nest in my current work area. I feel like my background would be a benefit to me, in any position. I can juggle many things at once, handle things that come my way without getting frazzled, and do it with a smile on my face. I realize that the difference in pace and priority would take some gettting used to, but I am an experienced nurse, I always get along really well with my coworkers and feel like I am highly trainable. And this is an area that really interests me! The discussion was mildly discouraging to me, so I am really giving it thought before I make a move.

    Sorry for the long discertation, but I suppose I am looking for some input on how someone with my background would do in this role. The department typically staffs 2-3 nurses per 12 hour shift, with an aide and a ward clerk...to give you an idea of size. The whole Women and Childrens Services area involves an L&D department, NICU, Mother Baby and Peds department. Any thoughts, advice or encouragement would be so appreciated!
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   iPink
    With your ER background, I think L&D would be a better fit if your looking for that similar pace when you have to be quick on your feet when mom is ready to deliver. It can be very stressful. If you're no longer interested in that and want a more controlled, slower pace than M&B would be the right fit for you.

    I worked in critical care before moving to M&B and work with others whose background stems from med/surg, ER, Trauma, ICU, Neuro, Stepdown with no prior OB experience and we all are doing fine. You'll be fine too.


    Sent via iPink's phone using allnurses
  4. by   nurseladyk
    Thank you so much for your response! I am definitely looking for a more slow paced environment than the emergency department. There were so many things I loved about emergency nursing, but the pace and frenzy of it at times got tiring. I would like to work in a little bit of a more controlled environment. And of course I realize, like any area of nursing, emergencies can arise it any time. And I feel like I'm well trained for that type of situation.
  5. by   obrn2
    You could reasonably ask for a chance! Maybe they can start to float you there or have you come in an extra day to shadow.
    Did you find you really enjoyed breastfeeding your kids or did you find the nurses were of help to you after you gave birth? Is there something you can identify with in the role that you would look forward to doing on a day to day basis? The point of these questions is that it isn't just simply about being ABLE to do the "tasks" or "juggling" the number of patients. This is a specialty area that requires a specific mindset to teach, to evaluate bonding, to intervene when needed but mostly it is about helping them come together as a family unit. Some nurses find MBU to be incredibly boring so you need to find something that would make you an idea candidate for the specialty. Do you like teaching, how do you feel about breastfeeding, about circumcisions, about vaccines, about postpartum depression, etc. These are things you will discuss every single day. How would you like to talk about that all the time, what would your value added be?
    They need to believe you'd be a good nurse on that unit, so they want to have you. It's not just about the switch. Good luck.
  6. by   queenanneslace
    I agree that an ER background might be better suited for L&D, but if you're looking for a change of pace, you should do fine in mother-baby. Also, it's good to have people on the postpartum floor who can handle PPH without freaking out - that's where your ED experience would come in handy - in those infrequent situations when a postpartum patient has an emergency or urgent situation.

    Mother Baby nursing requires good time management skills. I don't think your ED experience would be a detriment at all. I'm not sure why someone would say that, unless they thought you'd be bored or something.
  7. by   LibraSunCNM
    I agree that it is strange to tell an ED nurse that the juggling involved in Mother/Baby nursing might be too much for them! Mother/Baby is very busy but nowhere near the stress and adrenaline rush I had daily working on a heavy med/surg floor, let alone an ED.

    I would clarify however if you would have 6 couplets, or 6 patients, meaning 3 couplets. 6 couplets is way too much for one nurse and indicates terrible staffing.
  8. by   nurseladyk
    Sorry, I should have been more specific...I meant three couplets.
  9. by   nurseladyk
    This is an area that I feel very passionate about. I just don't have any experience with it, other than my own personal experience. I did do some shadowing in labor and delivery when I was a nursing student and really loved it there. That's why I wanted to go into that area after nursing school, but ended up staying longer than expected in the ER. I very much enjoy developing a relationship with my patients and providing education. I am very much pro breast-feeding and have helped several of my friends in that area when they have had difficulty with their own children. I am pro vaccine and I am on the fence about circumcision (I have two girls, so I never had to make the choice). However with all of these things, I absolutely respect a parents choice to make an informed decision for themselves. I definitely don't have the feeling that this area of nursing is just about completing tasks, I was just kind of surprised that the interim director thought that this might be a challenging shift of thought or flow from my previous experience. To be honest, I'm just excited about the thought of finally spending my time nursing in an area that's really very interesting to me. I am not at all opposed to working in labor and delivery, and who knows… Down the road that might be someplace I want to be. But right now I'm looking for something that is of a more moderate pace, and allows me to spend more time with my patients. The ER is such a fast-paced environment and just when you get to start bonding with a patient, you are discharging or admitting them and moving on to the next one. Thank you for your thoughtful input!
  10. by   queenanneslace
    "But right now I'm looking for something that is of a more moderate pace, and allows me to spend more time with my patients. "

    What I love about L&D is the 1:1 or 2:1 assignments. With an active labor patient, I only have one patient. I love it. What I liked about mother-baby, was the continuity of care - usually we would be scheduled with the same patients for their stay.
  11. by   TXOBEducRN
    Hi, I have worked both ER and postpartum, so hopefully I can be of some help!

    As an ER nurse, I had 4-5 patients at a time with quick turnover. Sometimes they'd be low acuity, but other times I would get four new chest pain patients within a 20 minute span. In my opinion, ER nurses require strong assessment, documentation, and clinical skills, exceptional time management, and strong teaching skills because of frequent patient discharges. Each of these skills is beneficial in PP.

    As a postpartum nurse, I had 6 patients. Within 2 hours of my shift beginning, I'd received report, reviewed charts, completed all of my assessments, administered morning meds, removed IVs, removed C/S dressings and got post op patients out of bed, and addressed requests like prn pain meds. The rest of the day moved by fairly slowly and involved pain medications, breast feeding assistance, teaching, a couple of discharges, and a couple of 15 minute admissions. The patients tend to be low acuity and fairly self sufficient.

    If you can work as an ER nurse, you can absolutely be successful in PP. PP is nice if you're looking for a slower pace, routine shifts, and the chance to bond and form relationships with your patients and their families. If you are interested in OB but want a faster pace, higher acuity, and a chance to use more clinical skills, L&D may be a better choice. Both areas have their pros and cons, just depends on what you're looking for at this point in your career.

    Good luck with whatever you choose!
  12. by   Graduation2016
    In L&D not always will you have one patient. We have had nights (likeSt night) that one of the juries had 2 labor patients slot progressing and all of the suddenly they were both racing each other and delivered very close to each other. If you're looking for a slower pace, I think M/B would be more of a fit. Not because it's easier by no means, but the many quick changes from one minute to the next will be like being back in the ER. However, I'm not a nurse yet (December can't come soon enough) but I worked M/B as a CNA while
    In scrub tech school for 2 years and then immediately transferred to L&D and have been there for 4 years and I love the fast paced atmosphere although downtime is always nice too, but not too much because then sleep can betray you! Best of luck!
  13. by   Graduation2016
    Wow, sorry for all these typos. Guess it's time for bed! Hope you can still get my message across.
  14. by   nurseladyk
    So I have a little update...I had my interview today for the Mother Baby position. The Interim Director was present, as well as a night shift L&D Charge Nurse (she is on modifid duty and is helping the Interim). It went so well!! I don't know if I misread her previously, or if she was having an off day, but the whole experience today was very positive. There is someone who is likely to get the position instead of me. She applied before me and has Mother Baby experience. They said there is another position coming up soon and they would love to have me. I am so happy!!! Interestingly enough, they wanted to know if I would be interested in an L&D position instead. They felt with my background and personality, it would be a good fit. I really felt certain that I wanted to take a Mother Baby position, but now I am not 100% positive!! We are a small hospital, and would float between the two units anyway, but I have to decide where I want my focus to be. I did not mention before, but I occasionally get anxiety. Not at work, but it strikes me when I am trying to sleep, early in the morning. I am fine and focused at work, but when I am stressed, I sometimes wake up at 3 am and get myself spun out over work and what I could have/should have done in a situation. This is another reason that I was hoping to go to a more moderatedly paced department. But now that the prospect of going to L&D has come up, I don't know what to do!! Honestly, I feel that I would love either position and would feel lucky and grateful to learn them both. So how do I decide?!?

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