Questions? For Postpartum Nurses

  1. What is your typical day (or night) like? I know some hospitals, don't have many births at certain times, during these slow times, what do you do?

    I've never been too into, L&D, partially because the interest is not really there for me, and partially because of the liability issues, b/c everyone wants a healthy mom, and healthy baby, and getting sue happy with things that are out of our control.

    But, postpartum, does peek my interest. I just think that I may have the wrong impression of it, and what it'll be like in my head. So, please share.

    Thanks in Advance.
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    About FocusRN

    Joined: Dec '04; Posts: 876; Likes: 445


  3. by   txpixiedust
    I work Postpartum (12+ at night), and LOVE it! I oriented on days, but work nights. I love the nights - and not because it's easier - it's just different. The moms definitely don't sleep all night, so it's not a cake-walk.

    We usually start with 5-6 patients, and can end up with 8+ if it's crazy and we're short nurses to begin with. Nights don't have discharges, food service coming & going, or the volume of visitors that days do. We do have visitors for about 4 hours, and then 1 "support person" can stay the night if they're in a private room or suite.

    For assessments and patient teaching think BUBBLE - breasts, uterus, bowels, bladder, lochia and episiotomy. You'll do assessments (Uterus being your fundal checks) at least once a shift, and more often if their BP drops, blood flow increases, temp increases, etc. (signs of PP Hemoraghe, hematoma, puerperal infection). You'll need to assist with /educate moms on breastfeeding, hygiene, and breastcare for lactating and non-lactating moms. And....check PCE's (epidurals) and PCA's, get C-sec moms to TCDB Q2H & get out of bed to prevent DVT's, keep SCD's on moms who are "fresh" sections (also to prevent DVT's), give pain-meds, keep ice-packs (real or chemical depending on the doc) on the perineum, monitor IVF, take blood draws for CBC or Liver Panels or Coagulation Studies or Rhogam Workups or HIV repeat tests (and more that aren't thought of as OB type tests), put in or take out foleys (depending on the mom and what's going on with her), give suppositories for those moms who are worried crazy about their BM's!, give blood & blood products (including Rhogam), start moms back on their anti-depressants/mood stablizers (these patients are some of the most challenging!), call docs about potential problems, take care of a lot of domestic type situations, encourage moms with babies with dissabilites /malformaties/ disease, comfort moms whose babies died, and teach a lot of first time moms how to bond with/take care of their baby.

    I'm sure I left something out - but I just got home from work & I should be sleeping. ha ha ha! Sometimes I'm so busy I treat myself to a bathroom break, but I feel so blessed to work in my unit. I work in a very supportive hospital, with great staff, and I love my specialty. I'm truly blessed to work where I do. I'm actually cross training in the Newborn Nursery this week, and it looks like that will be good, too! If you are at all interested I say find an internship at a large hospital - you'll learn a lot, get a lot of support/training, and will see a lot of things they told you are rare in Nursing school. I've already seen babies with oomphaceles, atresias, trisomy's, etc (something I never expected).

    Good Luck & God Bless!
    Last edit by txpixiedust on Jun 10, '08
  4. by   FocusRN
    WOW! This is just the type of info I was looking for. I think I may have just found where I belong. I always wondered, because wasn't in need of anything after I had my son, just a snowball, and clean sheets, so I didn't have nurses in and out with me. On top of that I choose to leave the hospital, one night after I had my son (I hate being a patient).

    Thanks so, much.
  5. by   ElvishDNP
    I can't really add to what txpixie dust said 'cause what she does is pretty much what I do in a night as well.
  6. by   allthingsbright
    We also get GYN's post TAH, TVH, etc on our PP floor. So we get mixes of SVD's, c-sections and GYN post-surgical patients. And babies deliver ALL THE TIME so there really isnt a dull moment. I like post partum for the most part (I work in a high risk OB). I've had up to 5 couplets at a time and on those nights I am worn out.

    I'm moving into L&D and if I dont like it there will stick w/ PP!

    Good luck!
  7. by   DarcieRN
    I am a mother/baby nurse who works nights now, but did work days until recently. I work at one of the most fertile, lol, hospitals there is in NC and we are usually very busy.

    A given day (12 hr shift) we can have as many as 14 babies delivered and on my unit, we have up to 7-9 nurses on the floor and 2 in the nursery days and usually 5-7 floor and 2 in nursery at night.

    We admit and assess all the well babies and do all the teaching about them to the moms. We do all of the recovery for vag del and c/s moms as well as care for antenatal moms who are there for a variety or reasons. There is a lot of teaching with mother/baby nursing. Lactation, safety, feeding, not mention diabetic and b/p issues and nutrition teaching to the antenatal.

    Its a busy floor, its a different kind of nursing as these are not 'sick' patients, but well patients. There is a lot of drama on occasion with 'whose the daddy.' but that goes with the territory.