Pros and Cons

  1. I'm an RN who has been out of the hospital setting for some time, and did med/surg and ICU stepdown many years ago. I've been working in geriatrics and am currently an MDS nurse, shuffling papers. I will not consider med/surg under any circumstances, but was thinking about trying to retrain for a specialty...possibly OB/GYN.

    Can some of you tell me the pros and cons of this specialty?
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Sorry can't answer your question through experience. Never worked in that specialty, not attracted to it. Only comment is that anecdotally have heard that this area is more prone to lawsuits due to unfavorable outcomes. And lawyers are getting more savvy about suing everyone involved, so the nurse could expect to be sued along with the hospital and the docs. Something to research and to consider.
  4. by   ElvishDNP
    I can tell you the pros & cons of my job. FYI, I don't do L/D, just mother-baby/nursery/high-risk but stable antepartums.

    The pros:
    You get to help families welcome a new life into the world.
    You get to teach new moms (and dads) how to care for the life entrusted to them.
    You get to see daddies hold their babies for the first time and cry.
    Most people are healthy, and most of the time the birth is a happy occasion.
    You get to be there for families when they lose babies (which I do consider a pro. Not that they lose babies, but that I'm privileged enough to be present to help them through it.)
    You get to watch first-time parents go from 'what do I do with this kid?' to 'Yeah, I think we're ok. Thanks for checking though.'
    Babies are so dang cute!

    The cons:
    You have to watch children go home with people who have no business having kids.
    Drug babies. So sad.
    When things go bad - either with a newborn, in L/D, or postpartum - they tend to go very bad very quickly so you have to always make like a Boy Scout & be prepared.
    Term fetal demises, or any fetal demise for that matter.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list, and someone else may have different ideas than I do. It's been my experience that this field is one that you either love or hate. Not much middle ground that I've seen. I for one LOVE it.
  5. by   ShiphrahPuah
    Quote from Arwen_U
    I can tell you the pros & cons of my job. FYI, I don't do L/D, just mother-baby/nursery/high-risk but stable antepartums.

    The pros:
    You get to help families welcome a new life into the world.
    You get to teach new moms (and dads) how to care for the life entrusted to them.
    You get to see daddies hold their babies for the first time and cry.
    Most people are healthy, and most of the time the birth is a happy occasion.
    You get to be there for families when they lose babies (which I do consider a pro. Not that they lose babies, but that I'm privileged enough to be present to help them through it.)
    You get to watch first-time parents go from 'what do I do with this kid?' to 'Yeah, I think we're ok. Thanks for checking though.'
    Babies are so dang cute!

    The cons:
    You have to watch children go home with people who have no business having kids.
    Drug babies. So sad.
    When things go bad - either with a newborn, in L/D, or postpartum - they tend to go very bad very quickly so you have to always make like a Boy Scout & be prepared.
    Term fetal demises, or any fetal demise for that matter.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list, and someone else may have different ideas than I do. It's been my experience that this field is one that you either love or hate. Not much middle ground that I've seen. I for one LOVE it.
    Arwen, Thanks for the great list of pros and cons. I have one semester left of nursing school, and I went into nursing school only wanting to do OB. I have been working in an ER while in school, and I know I can get a job in my ER after graduating and get a good long orientation. I have been worried that it will be hard to find a job in PP, and I am agonizing about whether I should apply for a PP job at every hospital within an hour drive of my house or just see my foot in the door at the ER as a blessing. I KNOW I don't want to do Med-surg, but there are many days that I really like the ER and the variety of patients. I go a bit nuts with the drunk guys who say completely inappropriate things and think "I went into this to work with women and babies -- stick to the plan!" Your list gave me some concrete things to consider. Still don't know which way to go, but I appreciate the insight!
  6. by   klone
    WRT lawsuits - I think that's more of a concern in L&D. There are other areas of OB/Gyn to go into. I've never personally met any L&D nurses who have been named in lawsuits (deposed, yes; sued, no).
  7. by   conniemarie
    Having worked in OB for many years I could not have said it better myself. Good job!

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