L&D clinicals - any pointers???

  1. I'm in the second semester of an ASN nursing program. I hope it's okay for me to ask a question to those of you who are already working in L&D. I will be starting my L&D clinicals next week. I LOVE pregnancy and birth and have researched them before even starting nursing school. I know I have A LOT to learn and really want my few weeks of L&D rotation to be a good experience. Anyone who's been there done that have any pointers or tips to make it a successful experience? I'm not even sure what we're allowed to do yet or (just started this week in lecture). Thanks!

    Melissa, Kaylee 9/14/97, Megan 12/13/99, Chelsea 8/9/01, Hannah 6/3/03, Sarah Grace 4/23/05, & 4 Angels In Heaven
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   jbjfan
    I am a new grad (8/06) and I just did my L&D rotation in October. The only advice or pointers that I have to share is to remember to watch for "late decelerations" and reposition the mother. Also try not to dismiss a persons pain rate. While I was in that rotation, some of the "seasoned" nurses made comments like "yeah, its gonna hurt, thats why they call it labor" or "you should of thought about the delivery before you got pregnant". Like anyone could explain what labor is really like! Just try not to judge or form opinions about the person in labor, they are probably goin through something that was totally unexpected (the delivery), and even if this isn't their first delivery, everyone is different, and they are probably a little nervous about everything thats going on. It can be a very frightening experience. Keep an open mind. I remember one young woman I was caring for, she was scheduled for a c-sec, and was nervous because she knew her baby had hydroceph., but really didn't understand what that meant. I could tell when she went to the OR that she was really nervous, and I observed several medical staff all moving around and setting things up, that they kinda forgot that there was a person there, and she was scared, and had no idea what was about to happen to her or her baby. I just went over and held her hand and talked to her about all the "setting things up" that was going on around her. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked me to stay with her because there was nobody else to hold her hand. As a student I felt so fortunate - you are in an awesome position to show compassion to the patient, and still observe what the nurses are doing. When you are asking questions on the patients behalf, you can learn so much too.
    Good luck with your L&D rotation, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It is a wonderful experience and a privlige to be predent when a new life is delivered!
  4. by   CallMePatti
    Quote from rn_wannabe2008
    I'm in the second semester of an ASN nursing program. I hope it's okay for me to ask a question to those of you who are already working in L&D. I will be starting my L&D clinicals next week. I LOVE pregnancy and birth and have researched them before even starting nursing school. I know I have A LOT to learn and really want my few weeks of L&D rotation to be a good experience. Anyone who's been there done that have any pointers or tips to make it a successful experience? I'm not even sure what we're allowed to do yet or (just started this week in lecture). Thanks!

    Melissa, Kaylee 9/14/97, Megan 12/13/99, Chelsea 8/9/01, Hannah 6/3/03, Sarah Grace 4/23/05, & 4 Angels In Heaven
    During my L&D rotation, we were allowed to OBSERVE ONLY.
  5. by   dragonflyRN
    Be prepared to cry. My first clinical on L&D I assisted with a birth. I have my own kids....but being on the other side of the spectrum....was just amazing. I cried...in happiness for the new parents, I couldn't help it. It was just an experience that words cannot describe, an experience I will never forget.
  6. by   KellieNurse06
    Quote from dragonflyRN
    Be prepared to cry. My first clinical on L&D I assisted with a birth. I have my own kids....but being on the other side of the spectrum....was just amazing. I cried...in happiness for the new parents, I couldn't help it. It was just an experience that words cannot describe, an experience I will never forget.
    YES!!!! I did the exact same thing as well!!! I told myself I wouldn't cry ......Ummmm ya right...............you just can't help it...it is such a miracle to see a baby born either by cs or naturally.....it's such a spiritual experience to witness believe it or not.............. I cried like a baby as well on my OB rotation when I saw births.....
  7. by   PedsRN&momto5girls
    I have five of my own live children (4 in heaven too), but I KNOW I will cry. I cry just when watching The Baby Story LOL! In general, I am not a cryer, but man, when a baby is born I just can't hold back!!! :-) Thanks for the information so far everyone.
  8. by   enfermeraSG
    Ok, my advice is coming from something that I see with nursing students that have children of their own. Remember, this event is the patient's birth - not a time for you to rehash your own personal experiences with L&D. I am not trying to sound harsh really I'm not, I know how tempting it is because I have children of my own, but you must focus on the birth at hand. Other than that, have fun! It is often one of the most memorable clinicals in a student's eyes. SG
  9. by   PedsRN&momto5girls
    Thanks SG. Someone on the nursing students bb said that too. It's funny though. I would NEVER consider talking about my own experience when I'm taking care of a patient. Well, I shouldn't say never, because I've seen instances where it can be helpful, but it's definitely rare. My pregnancies and birthing experiences really having nothing to do with my patients experiences. Even if they may be similar in comparison, the response to them can be (and often is) completely different. Even if their response was the same it wouldn't make sense to take it away from them and go on about how mine was. This is actually something that was taught to us during last semester too, but it was already something I wouldn't do. I guess having been a patient too many times taught me that, because I've had healthcare professionals do it to me. :-( Anyway, thanks for taking the time to 'take a risk'. You didn't offend me at all. I think it's great you shared what you know even though it could have not been taken well (no offense here though). Thanks again!
    Melissa
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Hi there.

    Take your cues from your instructor and the staff. Try to offer to be helpful, don't be afraid to try to get in there and do things you are allowed to (by your school and hospital policy of course) and never be afraid to ask questions!

    But do know when to get out of the way, if things get crazy! And reserve lots of questions of the staff for when things are not frantically-busy. Most of us LOVE to teach students and help them learn, but time is short on some shifts and we have all we can do just to keep the pace.

    Good luck and welcome to the forum.

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