OR to L&D?

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    I started OR nursing as a new grad in December '12. I was torn between the OR and L&D, but was only given the opportunity to interview for OR, even though both units were hiring (it was because I did some periop rotations during school). I am grateful I have the job and took it for that reason, but I am not positive the OR is really my passion. I like what I do most days, but I can't help thinking maybe L&D might be a better fit for me. Here are some things I miss from clinicals and wish I got to do more of...1) med admin 2) assessment/critical thinking 3) IV's 4) patient care. I am on OR orientation until July and I'm not sure how long to wait to try to pursue L&D in my hospital, which I have heard may be easier now that I am an employee and will bring OR experience with me. Can anyone give me an honest idea of what to expect and whether or not a move from OR to L&D is wise. Thanks so much!
  2. 3 Comments so far...

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    It's a wise move if L&D is your passion. But boy is it going to be different. If you are going to a unit that does their own sections, then your experience will be greatly appreciated. You will definitely have to learn some critical thinking skills. In L&D (unless you are in a teaching hospital) then the nurse is often the eyes and ears of the physician. When there's a problem, you deal with it as the MD is being notified. It's NOT "notify the doc, then follow the orders" it's "hey, someone call Dr. so and so for me' as you are turning, turning off pitocin, applying O2, placing internals, etc. IVs? Usually everyone gets an 18, so you get pretty good at sticking. We do give a lot of meds, but it's usually the same meds over and over again.

    I was always very conscious of the fact that a little tiny life depended on me and my judgment, and that can be overwhelming. I'm no longer in the hospital, but I spent 15 years in Maternal Child, most of that in L&D. If you like autonomy, then L&D is a great place (unless you are in a teaching hospital). It's a special place, with lots of highs and lows. You are encountering a patient on either the happiest or the saddest day of their lives. It's an adrenaline rush sometimes, followed by periods of absolute boredom. (I will never forget the Christmas Eve night shift I worked that was me, another RN, and one lonely little baby. Everyone else had been discharged. The heat went wonky in the nursery, so we piled up in a labor bed with the baby and watched TV all night. Nursing judgment at its finest! Utilize what was available to avoid cold stress in the neonate.
    silverbat likes this.
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    Thanks for your reply. I actually am in a teaching hospital. Level 1 trauma university hospital with attached nursing and medical schools. Good or bad?
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    Quote from sugarik13
    Thanks for your reply. I actually am in a teaching hospital. Level 1 trauma university hospital with attached nursing and medical schools. Good or bad?
    I've worked at teaching hospitals and at non-teaching, and I prefer non-teaching. As a nurse, I get to do more when residents aren't involved. More cervical exams, more interventions, more nursing judgment. You will get to see a lot, though, at a large teaching hospital.


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