Wow it's been so long since I have been on this site! So great to be back!!
Last time I was on here, I was a new grad looking forward to working but really bummed out that I could not find a position. Fast forward 2 years and 8 months later, I have now been working on a bone marrow transplant / adult oncology unit. I have definitely gained so much experience and wisdom while working there, but have come realize that it is not the specialty for me. In about a week, I will be starting a new position on the Labor and delivery unit in the same hospital.
Now, I have the utmost confidence in myself, but as anyone else would feel, I am terrified to start and can really feel the anxiety rolling in!! Also I am really sad about my last few days on my unit. I know it is a completely different specialty with so much to learn! I will be caring for a different population of patients, ie mother & baby, learning new terminology and new equipment, a full range of assessments to be done and critical situations to learn now to deal with.
I am writing to all Labor and delivery nurses out there for some support and guidance, and even some tips on working on this unit. Also, I want to buy some textbooks to help prepare myself. Any recommendations??
I thank you all in advance! This forum is the best! <3 paulene
Sep 4, '12
Your post has been moved to the Ob/Gyn Nursing forum to increase the likelihood of attracting responses from our wonderful L&D nurses. Good luck to you!
Sep 7, '12
Congrats! Your story is nearly almost the same as mine. I really wanted to go straight in to L&D from school, but had to settle for a medical-oncology position. I've been in L&D full time for a couple months now.
Prior to getting the job in L&D read pretty much anything I could get my hands on related to birth. And I mean everything from pregnancy haiku to textbooks. The book I found most helpful on the job was "The Midwife's Labour and Birth Handbook" (2nd Ed) by Vicky Chapman and Cathy Charles. It's a small book layed out in an easy to read outline format with illustrations and chapter summaries. It covers close to everything in L&D nursing. It is written by British midwives within the context of how they run their system in the UK, but I think it is extremely applicable here in the US as well. It's a great book. Buy it today. Read it with a highlighter and bookmarks. Then read it again. Having knowledge on your side will help a lot.
That being said, I learned quickly that reading books will take you only so far. At some point you have to get in there, be bold, and get hands on experience. Be confident in what you know. What you don't know, admit, then seek out the answers. When you make mistakes learn from them, them move on.
Good luck! You're going to have a great time!
Sep 17, '12
I'm 9 weeks into my first job, on an L&D unit, and oh my goodness, is there a lot to learn! One of the best pieces of advice I've gotten (after "read everything" and "know as much as you can") is to not be too concerned with being the BEST nurse yet--just shoot for flawless mastery of the basics, when starting out. Knowing how to read a strip, and how to react to what's on it, will take you far--knowing every pushing trick there is will take you far too, but it's less critical when you're just starting out.
I know it's not a great "tip", but on nights when I feel overwhelmed, it helps remind me to keep my eye on the prize.
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