Quote from kgregoRN11
Hi everybody! I have been a postpartum nurse for the past year and a half, and I absolutely love it. Not only do I love my job, but I love where I work and the people that I work with. However, I do find myself getting a little bored sometimes looking at the same old breast or perineum. I sometimes think that I am less of a nurse because I only do mother/baby nursing. I don't start IV's, take care of really sick patients, or exercise my critical care nursing skills I learned in nursing school. I mean there is the occasional PPH or PIH, or TTN in baby's, but I bascially take care of healthy patients. Does anyone else feel this way in mother/baby nursing? Should I switch positions even though I love my job to be more challenged as a nurse? Just wondering what people think...
Please don't take my answer the wrong way. It is meant to be lighthearted, not critical.
Just get over it!!!
I think all nurses have the feeling at one time or another that they are "losing skills, not doing REAL nursing," etc. and it is always unjustified.
Every area of nursing is highly specialized and requires a unique knowledge base and skill set. To believe that one area of nursing is easier or less valuable than another is to be seriously misinformed. If you need proof of that, simply ask a seasoned trauma nurse to attend a C-section and do baby care. (And watch him/her run like the wind!) Or ask a mother-baby nurse to attend to a patient experiencing a psychotic episode, and watch her bolt.
We all have strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and experience that draw us to a certain area of care where we "fit". We best serve our patients and ourselves when we acknowledge that and choose jobs that are compatible with these characteristics. I am an excellent NICU nurse (if I do say so myself), but would make a terrible med-surg nurse, because the patient population does not interest me. I would still have a good skill set and knowledge base, but would not enjoy my job, and that would hold me back from being and doing my best.
I had a brief crisis, believing that I was "losing my skills" about 5 years into my nursing career. It led me to take an LDRP job where I dusted off my adult assessment and patient care skills. I enjoyed it, but was still drawn back to my home in the NICU. The experience was valuable in that it gave me a better perspective on the pregnancy complications that produce NICU babies, and a better understanding of mothers' post-partum needs.
It also didn't hurt that I left a job in a dysfunctional NICU to go to work in a very well-run LDRP. So I got the best of both worlds: a quality unit on which to work where I could expand my experience. That was much different from leaving a job that I liked to try an entirely different area of care simply to validate my worth as a nurse.
So, my very long-winded advice to you is not to leave a job and unit you like simply to prove that you are a REAL nurse. If you truly have a strong desire to learn another area of care, then research your options and find a well-run unit on which to work and learn. It would also be a good idea to stay on prn at your current job so that if you find your new job does not meet your expectations you can go back.