Ok I will try to help here:
Well, you get to be there for the birth not only of an infant, but of new families, new parents, new sibs, new grandparents. THIS is POWERFUL STUFF. I love it.
Another advantage, at least to me, you deal MOST of the time with cogent, alert, oriented adults. Not a whole lot of confused folks and incontinence there......just of feces when pushing, which I can handle.
Most of the patients and their families are VERY grateful for our presence and part in their birth experiences and this frankly is why I continue to do what I do. It's the "thank-you's" and hugs that keep me going on!
It's never boring, doing OB. Sometimes, hectic, but never boring.
I find IV's easier to start in young women than little fragile old people; heck I would rather start an IV in a newborn than a 96 year old frail elderly gal with no veins. Granted, some women are tough sticks, but I usually know where to go w/o worry of nerve damage risks going there. There are usually PLENTY OF veins. I know this sounds silly, but as many IVs as we have to start, I appreciate the ease with which they can be started in MOST pregnant/young women.
Families often bring us GOODIES!!! I have been treated to pizza, cake, candy, popcorn, chocolates, breakfasts, muffins, Krispy Kreme's, WHOLE CHINESE DINNERs, you name it. Their gratitude sometimes is overwhelming.
I love my coworkers, does that count? I know this can be true in any unit, but it's been especially true for me in OB, I believe!
Most of the time, OB is a positive happy place to work. YES you have tragic losses, but they are the exception, not the rule. Someone is NOT always dying on the OB floor, unlike some other floors. I like that, frankly. I like seeing new life come, it gives me great hope.
Babies are usually great patients. All they want is their breastmilk, a clean diapie and to be held, MOST THE TIME. Unless they are sick, and even then, they are great patients. They don't complain.....woops wait a minute----- that can be a CON, really. THEY DO NOT COMPLAIN!! see below:
On the other hand, babies are tough patients because they never COMPLAIN, meaning you have to be astute in your assessment skills, recognizing and treating changes REALLY REALLY early on! Often symptoms are LATE in illness in newborns!
Can you spell BLOOD? OMG what a mess some deliveries can be and you are in there, knee-deep in it. It can be something else. Even some nurses from other floors exclaim at it, can you believe it? It grosses them out often!
OB patients can go bad on a dime. But that is true in any unit. But when they go bad, they go down fast and you have to be QUICK on your feet and make split second decisions that may affect their very lives. Young women are usually healthy, and when they begin symptoms, like newborns, they are already going down REAL fast. They bleed massively in quick order, at times and DIC is a real danger in these women. All this can happen after a perfectly healthy and uneventful deliver, and that is totally unnerving for me.
And remember, in pregnant women you have TWO patients to consider and what affects mom affects baby, sometimes in an exaggerated way! Just watch what a small drop in maternal blood pressure as in epidural anesthesia, can do to fetal heart tones, if you doubt me.
FAMILY MEMBERS--- who think labor/deliver are spectator sports. visiting hours don't apply in OB and they come and go at all hours. IT is the MOST frustrating part of my job, dealing with family members and friends who insist on parking themselves in our hallways, doorways, everywhere, where we have to step over them, just to get a "peek" or hear "something"...........As much as I understand their desire to be there this can drive me nuts! Like I said, visiting hours are ignored on OB, no kicking em out unless they get truly hazardous or dangerous.
The doctors can be horrendous/heinous in their treatment of us........their hours are horrid and it shows. But then, this can be said of ANY unit, I would bet.
The WORST part of my job to me? Dealing with fetal/pregnancy losses, hands-down. It's the absolute most heart-wrenching and painful part of what I do. I recommend anyone considering perinatal nursing attend some REALLY excellent grief and infant/pregnancy loss workshops, esp for healthcare providers. You will NEED them. These cases sadden and break my heart even when I TRY to keep professional and personal life seperate. You will have to deal with these from time to time, and it never gets easier, ever.
Hope this helps some. They are just MY opinion, of course as a 7 year OB nurse, one who is also a mom and suffered some pregnancy losses.