Thoughts on Maternity nursing.

  1. This semster I am taking Maternity nursing. What I thought would be kinda boring is actually very interesting especially in High Risk. But I have come across classmates that wrinkle their noses at the thought of even working in the L/D,High Risk, PP departments. They feel this is not "real nursing" I can see how ER,ICU,CCU might be more dynamic in some aspects I guess.

    But I wanted to get some views of those that have worked in the field for awhile. Do you compare yourselves to the other fields of nursing? Feel you are doing a "lesser" job? One of my instructors said esp. for High Risk nursing, "You have two patients, not just one."

    What are your thoughts?
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   KellNY
    Well, as a "high risk" (antepartum) nurse, I can list off the things I've done in the past few months:

    -Started and finished a blood transfusion
    -Would care/dressing changes (and not just c/section)
    -Cared for a pt with Hep B and C
    -Suture and staple removal
    -Performed EKGs, IVs and phlebotomy
    -Cared for a pt with a Jackson-Pratt s/p appy c rupture
    -Dispensed serious psych meds to a Pt who was actively having suicidal idiations
    -Cared for pts age 15-47, singletons to quadruplets
    -Given IV and po antiretroviral drugs to a patient with AIDS
    -Rushed a woman to the OR when her baby's cord prolapsed which we only figured it had by the reading on the fetal monitor) and most likely saved that baby's life
    -Rushed a few hemorraging Pts to the OR
    -Cared for a pt s/p MI on a continuous Heparin drip
    -Administered PPN on a pt with hyperemesis

    No, I don't do some of these as often as someone on SICU or general med/surg would. And, yes, I've lost some of my "skills", but you know what? It doesn't bother me, because this is the field that I enjoy, and that I plan on staying with.

    We also received special certification in Newborn CPR and in interpreting fetal monitoring strips. I've yet to meet a float nurse who even knows what a decel and accel are, let alone be able to differentiate a variable from an early or a late or what they each mean (see above with cord prolapse).

    ALL types of women get pregnant, not just healthy ones. Ante nurses (at my hospital)are the ones sent to the ER to do fetal monitoring s/p MVA, sent to PICU to do fetal monitoring on a 15yo who was intubated due to herpetic pneumonitis, to go to the PACU when a pregnant woman comes out of having a bullet removed from her thigh. It is so NOT all "Okay hold your breath and PUSH!" or "Here's your prenatal vitamin Ms. Smith".

    Don't worry about the nose wrinklers. Do what makes you feel better. but just be aware that many L&Ds don't hire new grads, and not every hospital has a special antepartum (high risk) unit.
    Last edit by KellNY on Jan 28, '07
  4. by   judyblueeyes
    I'm in antepartum alos and have been for 10 years.

    KellNN did a good job of representing the job.

    I wouldn't care to do anything else.
  5. by   tictac
    I'm currently a student, but speaking from a patient's perspective, I think OB nurses are the epitome of what a nurse is. Why anyone would think that's not "real" nursing is beyond me.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I never waste time or energy worrying what other nurses or others think I do. I know what I do IS "real nursing" and that is all that matters to me.
  7. by   nurse_nan
    I've been an ER nurse, an nurse in an LDRP unit with a level II nursery, a PACU nurse, an ICU nurse, an educator and finally an infomatics nurse. No, I am not older than God, nor do I have troubles holding jobs =). My ER role was probably my greatest love because of the fast pace and the variety. But as an OB nurse, I felt like I impacted my patients the most and in the most positive way. No all outcomes aren't nice and pretty. But your patients are there because they want to be having that baby and your intervention is so very important. All of my other patient care roles while fulfilling me in some way, still left me empty in feeling like I had made any significant impact.

    Now I support staff instead of patients. So consider me the doula for the nursing staff dealing with computerized charting!!
  8. by   lannisz
    I worked ICU, urgent care and Med/surg prior to becoming an OB nurse. This is by far the most stressful, fast paced and challenging type of nursing I have ever done. Most shifts I come home absolutely whipped and wiped out...and yet, for the first time in my nursing career, I leave the hospital 98% of the time feeling "It was a good day and I worked hard and I made a difference in someone's life."
  9. by   nursesaideBen
    Right now we're doing OB in school, and while I don't care for it, I have nothing but respect for the nurses that have chosen it as their specialty. Anyone telling you that OB is not real nursing, is a fool pure and simple.
  10. by   Belinda-wales
    wow how funny is the nursing world they have this debate 5000 miles away on the other side of the pound and every nurse feels there job is the most complex and it proberly is as every area within this vast profession has its challenges. Arnt nurses funny I have no idea why we dont stand to gether and respect all aspects of our profession.
  11. by   strn96
    OB nurses have a different set of skills they keep honed than other nurses. That certainly doesn't make us "lesser" nurses! I worked Med/Surg before I started OB, and although I certainly cared for a broader variety of patients in Med/Surg I feel that OB has at least as much "critical" care involved. Honestly, for me OB has made me feel more validated as a nurse. There's just something about knowing that you've helped save a baby's life that makes you feel like a "real" nurse.
  12. by   Nurse AllBetta
    [QUOTE]Arnt nurses funny I have no idea why we dont stand to gether and respect all aspects of our profession.{/QUOTE] I agree with you all especially you Belinda. I think if you made that far what difference does it make what type of nurse you are? Thanks everyone for their thoughts.
  13. by   P_RN
    I just look out there and I see a throng of Nurses who can do anything and everything for those who are ill or needing care. I'm happy that you ALL are there. I needed nurses a couple of weeks ago and yes they were right there taking care of me when I couldn't care for myself.
  14. by   EDValerieRN
    OK, here is what I've heard:

    when I did OB, I wasn't a "real nurse" because my patients "weren't sick, just having babies."

    when I did ER, I wasn't a "real nurse" because I would see and discharge a patient in the matter of an hour, and real nurses had their patients for a long time.

    when I did clinicals in the OR, those nurses weren't a "real nurse" because their patients were asleep.

    Med/Surg: those weren't "real nurses" because they had so much help from CNAs and LPN's, the RN would "only see your patients once a day for an assessment."

    So really, where are the real nurses? It seems to me like we're all faking.

    Seriously though, do what you want to do. I don't know why random people's opinions matter so much to others these days.... your only judge is your mamma and your God, so do right by them and yourself, and you'll be fine.

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