New Young nurse in OB??

  1. I've recently graduated from nursing school ( may 06 ) and I was wondering what your thoughts are about new nurses taking care of labor pts? I'm only 21... and never had any children.. therefore not having a lot of experience with pregnancy/childbirth. What are your thoughts?
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   futureRN07
    The hospital that I will be doing my preceptorship at doesn't allow new nurses to work in labor and delivery until they've worked in post partum for two years. When I first learned this I was a little disappointed because I'm becoming a nurse to do L&D. I'm thirty years old and have had two kids of my own but I think there is a lot to learn about working with laboring women and A LOT of responsibility. I think that having two years to get some experience in post partum is a good idea especially for the younger nurses who have zero experience with labor and delivery.
  4. by   rn/writer
    Going directly from school to L&D is really tough. About half of the bunch that started at my hospital last year washed out. One left nursing entirely. The remainder said it was extremely difficult. So much to learn and a high-pressure atmosphere besides. It can be done, but it's a real challence that doesn't work for everyone.

    I wish you well whatever you choose.
  5. by   travelerD-OB
    Critical thinking skills are a big part of L&D. Starting out in any other area for a minimum of a year is a good idea, especially if you are planning on getting into L&D at a large facility. However, one of the best nurses I have ever trained was just out of school, but had been an LPN for a year prior to becoming an RN. This also happens to be a smaller facility. Try not to get in over your head at the start of your career, it could make you hate what your doing. Good luck
  6. by   ashley_michelle
    Thank you all for your replies. I can't say that I disagree with you. I'm currently on a (Level 1) trauma/stepdown unit and I'm not happy. But I'm not sure where I think I'd be happier. If I were to go to L&D .. our hospital takes on the high risk cases.. so there would be a tremendous amount of responsibility. I'll check into getting some experience in post partum. I think that would probably be best. Thank you all so much!!

    ..for some reason when I chose to work on the trauma floor.. I thought it would be different than a med/surg floor. But I found out its the same.. just the people are REALLY sick and in really bad shape. But thanks for the input.
  7. by   oakleysmom
    a little late, but wanted to put in my two cents!
    I started in high risk L+D right out of nursing school and since then (in past year) have seen about 6 other brand new nurses start on our floor. No one has burned out yet. I think this is really because we have great teamwork and our more experienced nurses do a great job of supporting us new ones. I am not denying, it was a tough year and a VERY steep learning curve, but I don't regret it in the least. I went into nursing to do L+D so i am thrilled about having started in the field, sometimes I rotate to MB and it has its own set of challenges. In L+D we all work as a team much more so I always have backup and support when I am in a pickle! Maybe you could do a share day on L+D to check out how the unit is run and what kind of orientation you would have....
  8. by   oneLoneNurse
    Strongly agree wtih Oakleysmom. Depending on the climate of the unit you should be able to make it. "Nurses eat their young" in most cases, BUT @ times I have found they do not. If I wanted to go into L+D I would head for northern Canada. High Level, AB was where I received some excellent L+D as a travel nurse. That hospital was just made up of the kindest nurses.

    Quote from oakleysmom
    a little late, but wanted to put in my two cents!
    I started in high risk L+D right out of nursing school and since then (in past year) have seen about 6 other brand new nurses start on our floor. No one has burned out yet. I think this is really because we have great teamwork and our more experienced nurses do a great job of supporting us new ones. I am not denying, it was a tough year and a VERY steep learning curve, but I don't regret it in the least. I went into nursing to do L+D so i am thrilled about having started in the field, sometimes I rotate to MB and it has its own set of challenges. In L+D we all work as a team much more so I always have backup and support when I am in a pickle! Maybe you could do a share day on L+D to check out how the unit is run and what kind of orientation you would have....
  9. by   mitchsmom
    Like oakleysmom, I went to school to go into L&D and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. We are an LDRP so I do some postpartum also and I think that too would be a good way to get a foot in the door and/or begin learning. Not having kids shouldn't matter if it's what you are really interested in and want to do. Men do it. You don't have to have a heart attack to do cardiac (although it may give you a closer perspective

    The atmosphere can make ALL the difference - what kind of orientation, what kind of support you will receive, what team of people you'll be with. I figure, if they never smile, there is probably a reason. Not that it's going to be giggles all the time of course, but try to find the happy nurses! It helps me SO much that we can actually joke about it when I walk up to my preceptor with a confused look on my face for what seems like the 40th time in a day. And I know that even when I get cut loose they will still be there to help me even if I'm not officially still on orientation.
  10. by   BirthingBabies
    I just graduated from school in May of this year. I was only 19 when I graduated and then I turned 20 in the process of my orientation to the unit. I worked Med-Surge for 2 years while I was in school as a bedside nurse and hated it with a passion. I started out as an RN in the Labor and Delivery at a hospital across town and I absolutly love it. I would never not recommend going into it straight out of school. It takes a special person to work L&D and if that is where your passion is, go for it!
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    You have some great advice here; I have not much to add, but GOOD luck and GO FOR YOUR DREAM!!!
  12. by   hkmrn
    Hi! I've worked as an O.B nurse for 8 years now.. I started out working in post-partum and newborn nursery as a new grad. I now have done L&D and level 2 for six years. I have seen new grads start out in l&d...most of them do ok but I think that it's so much more beneficial to have experience in post-partum first. If you don't know the basics it's so much more to take on while learning to be a labor nurse.
    P.S. You don't need to have had a baby to be a great labor nurse..I'm sure it is helpful though.
    :wink2:
  13. by   ragingmomster
    I think we have heard this question before but I don't mind adding my 2 cents.

    If you are planning on or trying to work in a high-risk OB unit you should really have some M/S experience. If you don't know how to deal with a DVT, appendicitis, or acute cholecystitis in a non-pregnant woman, how are you going to add that on top of a pre-eclamptic/HELLP syndrome pt?

    If you are planning on working in a low risk hospital that does low numbers of healthy deliveries, go for it!
  14. by   StudyingNursing
    Try to find a hospital that has a good orientation program. The hospital I chose to work at has a 16 week orientation 'fellowship' for L&D nurses -- I finish the fellowship 10/16 and have already learned so much more than we learned in school. We did not get much L&D experience in school at all -- just a general overview.

    I have young nurses in the fellowship with me (20, 21; new grads and no personal childbirth experience) that are wonderful L&D nurses. My preceptor the summer before graduation also was childless, but a wonderful, empathetic L&D nurse. I think you would enjoy it.

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