New grad in OB/L&D? Opinions please.

  1. Hi everyone...

    I am currently in my last semester of nursing school, due to graduate in May 2001. My desire is to go into OB/L&D. Is it possible for a new grad to succeed in this area or is it necessary to do one year in med-surg first? I'd really love to jump right into my desired area, but fear that I won't have enough knowledge/experience behind me to give quality client care. The hospital I intend to work at has 3 months orientation for OB. Would this prepare me enough, or do I need that med-surg background? Your opinions would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   MercyAngels
    My personal experience was going straight from a BSN program to working in L&D; there have been some cases where more med/surg experienc would have been helpful, but on the whole I'm glad I just jumped right into OB!! If the unit offers a 3-month orientation, then that should give you a good head-start!! As far as giving good client care, do your best; remember the heart of nursing, and why you went into in the first place, and that will go a long way!!! Good luck to you!!
  4. by   gravida
    Originally posted by Rileycat:
    Hi everyone...

    I am currently in my last semester of nursing school, due to graduate in May 2001. My desire is to go into OB/L&D. Is it possible for a new grad to succeed in this area or is it necessary to do one year in med-surg first? I'd really love to jump right into my desired area, but fear that I won't have enough knowledge/experience behind me to give quality client care. The hospital I intend to work at has 3 months orientation for OB. Would this prepare me enough, or do I need that med-surg background? Your opinions would be greatly appreciated.
    I personally had 4 years of med-surg experience prior to going to L&D, and it proved extremly valuable. 3 months is the standard orientation time, but it takes about a year before you feel really comfortable with the area. L&D nursing is the best and I wish you luck.

  5. by   labornurse
    I was fortunate enough to be able to go right in to Labor and Delivery nursing right out of school. My manager hired 4 new graduates and she tells me all the time that she has never regretted hiring us. We started out the first month with classes on advance fetal monitoring, policy and proceedure, ect. Our physicians helped teach us and I think we all had a very good experience. It is three years later and I would never think of leaving L/D. So yes with the right mentoring and teaching I think that new grads can become good labor nurses. Good Luck!!!!
  6. by   LDnurse
    I went straight from nursing school into L&D. I am glad I did it that way, as L&D is the only specialty that interested me, and doing a year in med/surg (which I hated) would have driven me insane. It was difficult being thrown into it without experience, it is a fast paced environment, definitely not a place for a sensitive person who will take things too personally--doctors getting onto you when things don't go how they want them to (hey, they have to blame someone, after all, they are "THE doctor!") and other nurses with experience get annoyed easily when things are going quickly and you seem to be...lost. You have to consider, new job, new hospital, new grad, it's stressful. The 12 week orientation (which is what we had) is very helpful as long as you have someone who is willing to teach rather than quickly get aggravated and just do everything herself/himself. During the 11th week of the 12 week orientation is when I finally started feeling like I could circulate a delivery on my own. My advice to you (if you want it) would be, do everything in your power to learn everything you can during those twelve weeks. Because in my experience after your twelve weeks is up you're expected to perform at the level of all the other nurses on the floor. The doctors will expect it, the management will expect it, and the other nurses will as well. Request the hardest patients during your orientation because they aren't going to keep taking the preeclamptics/eclamptics, pretermers, multiples, etc. You will be expected to do it. You will learn, you'll do fine, and eventually you will start feeling competent. I still never feel "comfortable" (2 years later), but that's actually a good thing. It keeps me on my toes. Good luck--it can be done!


    [This message has been edited by LDnurse (edited February 24, 2001).]
  7. by   Rileycat
    Thank you all for responding. Your opinions, advice, and encouragement are appreciated.

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