would anyone recommend l/d and maternal/child nursing?

  1. Hi! I am starting nursing school in the fall and want to become an l/d and/or nursery nurse. I really have no interest in any other areas of nursing - but have been interestedin l/d and maternal/child care for sometime. I am 27 years old, married and have two young children. I have a BS in chemistry and am certified to teach high school - but its not truly what I want to do. I have been reading some posts on recommenations to become a nurse and am starting to wonder (its quite frightening).
    I would like to hear from some l/d and maternal/child care nurses on your opinions -would you recommend this area of nursing? I am fascinated by pregnancy, birth and children and want to somehow/someway work in this area. I would really appreciate any opinions and help. Thanks.
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   HazeK
    If you feel "called" to nursing...do it!
    If you are doing it for $$, etc., don't bother...too hard of work for the money.

    Who cares what other family members think if OK w/ your husband...HE's the one who has to live with a nurse, not them! (Isn't there a scripture somewhere about leaving one's family & being one with your spouse???)
    He DOES need to understand that this change from teaching (M-F,holidays off) to nursing will more than likely be a MAJOR change in lifestyles, esp if you DO go into L&D...'cuz we're open 24/7!

    I did ICU/CCU for 7 years...loved it but left in 1980 as at that time every patient had to be "coded" max effort because an individual did NOT have the right to advanced directives/right to choose not to be resuscitated...so I was in a position where I had to go against pt/family wishes w/ terminal or extreemly elderly patients...& that made me sick!

    L&D is alot like ICU in many ways:
    one ne or one:two direct bedside care...I rather do-it-myself instead of the nursing where the RN sits at a desk, bossing around a bunch of LPNS & CNA's....actual can SEE how you make a difference. If you do a good job, the pt/baby lives...you screw up, you can kill people. I HATE signing off work done by others!!

    lots of "psych" nursing w/ pt & families, due to the stress of it being a "life-changing" event & the pain & the fears many patients have...& sometimes the heartbreak of stillbirths! A nurse who cares about people can really make a difference.

    small pharmocopeia of meds... probably use only 40 meds total...compared to med/surg, which is always changing. Ours are usually "oldies but goodies" w/ few new ones,,,'cuz pt's are preggers, so can't have lotsa drugs whose side effects aren't well know.

    IV meds in L&D, few po or im or sq....I hate sticking people, so once I get their IV in, I don't have to stick them again! LOL! may sound silly, but I'd much prefer IV push meds over sticking people!

    High tech:
    many units are "on line" with computerized charting...which is more methodical, easy to read, higher quality charting. better in a court of law (some places computer charting is designed by geeks, not nurses, so their experiences w/ computers are less positive than mine.)

    high tech: monitoring capabilities changing rapdily...I like machines/tubes/wires/buttons/bells/whistles as well as patients (vs RNS who are intimidated by equipment)...so, the more data I can collect, the better judgement I can make for pt care.

    Autonomous Nursing Practice:
    not familiar with this term?? Think of it as a teacher. Some school districts tell an English teacher that kids should know basic grammer and have read some good books by the end of the year....other school districts say what is to be taught each day on each subject, allowing NO creativity or personal judgements on the curriculum by the person directly teaching.
    L&D RNs in MY HOSPITAL are EXPECTED to have & use good judgemt in getting babies ready for delivery! This is NOT the kind of nursing where every little move one makes is ordered by the MD. OUR docs' write "judgement call orders" most of the time, meaning: "do what you gotta do" to get my patient delivered safely! We are given a list of parameters withing to function, but from there we make many decisions in directing patient care! This is because our docs are so swamped at the office, they can't keep getting interrupted for what we consider "common sense" questions, like...Duh, the pt cannot pee...do you want me to catheterize the pt?.... also, is because we have earned the docs respect & trust over the years.

    *You must be in good health (I am 330 pounds & can barely walk after a 12 hour shift, cuz I'm on my feet so much & work so hard),
    *you should patient & slow to anger...our patients are NOT at there very best ... and many docs are annoying (...many nurses quit nursing so they don't have to work with MDs anymore...).
    *you must be able to work as a team...if I call out that I have a "prolapsed cord" situation, I should be able to count on everyone helping me get that baby out STAT safely...someone who says "but I'm on my lunchbreak" wouldn't last around here! Moms & babes come first!
    *you ought to be an "adrenaline junkie"...the type of person who prefers surprizes, stress now & then, the "rush" of emergencies handled well.
    (the opposite is the post-partum, OB nurse who admits stable, delivered moms & babes to her unit, feeds & medicates them, does a bit of teaching, then sends them home the next day...day after day after day...they tend to be horrified by a patient hemorrhage more for the nurses' sake of a disrupted daily rhythm vs L&D nurses who would admittedly worry about the patient but be "pumped up" by the rush of the emergency)

    I would NOT encourage you to come to L&D straight from school...I would even prefer to recommend you go to ICU first before here. OB is a lot of "gut instinct" & "the art-not science-of medicine", partially because we can't really touch one of our two patients (the baby). RNs with even a year or two elsewhere, transition much better to L&D....so, go so school, work, & we'll see you in a year or two, OK?

    Whew! did I ever get "wordy" ......hope it helped!
  4. by   neonnurse
    Originally posted by babylove:
    Hi! I am starting nursing school in the fall and want to become an l/d and/or nursery nurse. I really have no interest in any other areas of nursing - but have been interestedin l/d and maternal/child care for sometime. I am 27 years old, married and have two young children. I have a BS in chemistry and am certified to teach high school - but its not truly what I want to do. I have been reading some posts on recommenations to become a nurse and am starting to wonder (its quite frightening).
    I would like to hear from some l/d and maternal/child care nurses on your opinions -would you recommend this area of nursing? I am fascinated by pregnancy, birth and children and want to somehow/someway work in this area. I would really appreciate any opinions and help. Thanks.
    Dear Babylove,
    If nursing has peaked your interest enough to make it a career then go for it. But please don't referr to nursing as a "calling". If you do then I'm afraid you'd be setting yourself up for disappointment. And besides, we're not an order of nuns, we've learned a specific skill/business to offer the public. As far as going into it for the money, sure why not? It can be pretty good money. Remember that medicine has become a business now, with this in mind, I think it will keep you from becoming very frustrated at times. Of course go into it because you like it.I've been an OB nurse the majority of my 8 year career. It can be intensely frustrating at times, and it can also be alot of fun as well. I think the key is to have a good sense of humor and enjoy your patients. Its hard work both physically(take care of your back!!!!) and mentally. And its usually never boring. My advice its to start out at a teaching facility that has a high number of deliveries per month. Once you become more sure of yourself with deliveries (it seems to take about 18 months before you are comfortable in the delivery room) then you might want to think of going to a slower paced private hospital, this way you'll really be able to hone your nursing skills and judgment. most important is not to be frighten by nursing, enjoy it . Good luck.



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