L&D Burnout ?????

  1. Have any of you experienced L&D burnout? I know that most nurses that go into L&D have always wanted to be L&D nurses. For me it was the same--actually a goal I pursued several years. I was a childbirth educator, went to lay midwifery classes, finally nursing school and practically drove my family crazy with my enthusiasm about birth. Then, I actually got to be an L&D nurse and loved it until the work environment became too stressful and I left. Now, that I have relaxed a bit, I find that I don't want to go back to any kind of nursing. Has this happened to anyone? I can't believe that I feel this way when compared to how excited and enthusiastic I used to be. Any help/suggestions would be appreciated.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    I got a little burned out, mainly due to the work environment. I decided to look at another area of nursing and went into NICU. It worked for me. I just needed a change of scenery.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Hmmm, well for me, working LDRP and GYN surgical nursing, (all on one floor)--- I don't get burnt out. At least I am thinking I won't. On any given week, I could do labor/delivery, PP, GYN or take care of a level-2 nursery baby. That does not get boring. IF I had to do only L and D, I would be "crispy critters" FAST!
  5. by   fergus51
    I would love that kind of hospital Deb. I have only worked in 2 places that did LDRP and crosstrained nurses to gyn and nursery as well.
  6. by   bam_bam
    I work in LDRP with GYNs. I being there for 6 years but did just L&D for 2 1/2 years before that. About 3 years ago, when I would go to work, I would think to myself "Please, no labor". I would lpawn off the labor patient to my other nurse if possible. I didn't do anything different, like change departments, and now I don't have that attitude anymore

    Beth
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    you need a smaller hospital, really, fergus. Most larger ones (at least near Seattle) have seperate L and D and MBU's....NOT LDRP. And GYN surgical is a totally different thing altogether, of course. As well as nursery. I am lucky. My hospital is fairly small......we do only about 75 deliveries/mo, having 12 LDRP beds and 12 surgical/general beds. It is GREAT working like this.....If I just for whatever reason cannot handle labor and delivery for a shift, I make deals with the coworkers and do just PP or GYN for a day. We all take turns, to keep it fair. Most days, I WANT labor, so I get my share in. That way when I DO need a reprieve, I can get it.....it really is great to work this way.
  8. by   fergus51
    I know. I just don't like small town living, and I like the acuity in bigger centers. As it is, I am employed in the NICU and thinking of trying to pick up some agency work in L&D at another hospuit
  9. by   lynn27
    Thank you all for responding. I'm glad to know that some of you have felt similar to me. It just came as a shock to feel this way after wanting to do L&D for so long. Also, I am wondering if it has something to do with my age and life--I am leaving my baby-having years (have 2 teens), been married almost 21 years. So maybe this is a natural progression? Do you see many nurses leaving L&D as they get into their forties? I truly hope that I can get over this--I promised myself that I would only go back to L&D if I can be the kind of nurse that I would have wanted with my deliveries--someone enthusiastic and happy to be with their patient on such an important day in their life.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    rofl Seattle-Tacoma is hardly small town living fergus!!!! heheheheheh I just work in a smaller community hospital!
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Ok back to the OP (sorry I digressed).

    Lynn, you sound as if you have a good grip on what's going on personally. If, right now, you don't have it in you to do L and D nursing, don't. The time may come later when this changes. You are well aware: The very thing about L and D is, if you are emotionally overwrought, if have a lot going on personally, it's so hard to be there for your patients. Labor nursing is SOOOOO intense, so emotional, so demanding, and you have to have your own full cup to be able to give what you should to others.

    Personally, having had some pregnancy losses in the past 2 years myself, it's been supremely hard for me at times to do this. I almost quit OB for a residency in Renal nursing. But something, I don't know what, stopped me. Maybe it was that family who lost a baby and needed someone with authentic experience to talk to them when they could not accept it themselves. Maybe it's the affirmation I feel with each birth experience that life should and must go on ,and we must have HOPE for the future seeing new lives come into the world. Maybe it's because I innately know OB is my gift.....my talent I share with the world. I don't know. I do not mean to sound trite.

    But I DO know this much: if the time comes I truly cannot give what I do now, when I cannot truly "be there" for birthing families in a meaningful way, I too, will move on. I refuse to be a "crispy-critter" bitter nurse that taints these families' experiences negatively. I pray that day does not come; I came close last winter, as close as I care to be.

    Just do what you are doing; follow your instincts, and know you are "OK" to feel this way. You have a lot going on in your life. The time may certainly come again when you feel ready to come back. If and when that happens, you will be welcomed back with open arms by the nursing community and birthing families you care for. That much, I know. Best wishes and (((HUGS))) to you. Believe in yourself and your instincts; they guide you well!
  12. by   webbiedebbie
    I am a burned out L&D nurse. I have tried several times to get back into it hoping I would enjoy it. I do and I don't. I am 46 years old and started out in L&D immediately out of school. Sat for the certification test after working 2 years. Let it lapse when I got out of nursing for 5 years. I have been back to nursing for over a year now. I tried L&D on a travel position and it turned out to be a nightmare. I think I realized that I finally have decided that I can't handle the stress of L&D especially when we are short staffed!

    I am perfectly content working PP and GYN. And, I think I have found my calling. I am planning on pursuing my BSN in Lactation this Fall. I used to teach childbirth classes at a hospital but it was too much with doing L&D also.

    In the last year I have learned that I really enjoy teaching breastfeeding. The new moms seem to enjoy learning from an older nurse. They tell me that SOME of the younger nurses seem to get frustrated with helping them.

    My supervisor encouraged me to apply for a position she was creating for a RN Lactation Specialist. I worked very hard to get the position. I lost to someone who is working nights and is going to school on nights. Two managers made the decision and I was very upset. I have more experience, but I am looking forward to getting my BSN and proving myself.
    Last edit by webbiedebbie on Jul 1, '04 : Reason: accidently hit return

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