Your first OB clinical experience

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    I will try to make this short and sweet. How was your OB clinical experience? Did you feel nauseous or get dizzy at all? The reason I ask is because I start to feel it as if I was giving birth. Seeing an episiotomy or csection puts me in a mental state that I cannot seem to control. I don't have anything against OB nursing, but I just know it isn't for me. I do want to get past these feelings. For all of you that are OB nurses, did you ever feel this way? Did you get over it after doing it for awhile? I just want to hear how others feel. Thank you!
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    There is absolutely a "shock value" that comes with L&D, especially if it's your first obstetric experience. I absolutely love women's health, and knew that going into L&D, and there was still an adjustment period--seeing my first birth was amazing (women are SO STRONG. I'm in awe), but I think it was around delivery 20-30 that I didn't have some degree of "OMG" when that head popped out.

    I still look away when episiotomies are cut--the sound bothers me, the physicians I work with sometimes do them when they aren't necessary, and I don't like it. That's not gonna change. For my first month, I would look away when they made the first cesarean cut (skin incision)--after that cut I was fine, but it did make me feel dizzy, my first time in an OR.

    It gets better. You get more used to it--and L&D is a very charged thing. Most people are affected by birth at some point in their adult lives (and obviously, everyone was "affected" by it as an infant), and there are lots of cultural rituals or beliefs around it. I know it sounds a little touchy-feely, but take a long, honest look at yourself and try to figure out what, exactly makes you so uncomfortable, and why. For me, I know one of the reasons I don't like seeing episiotomies is because I'm angry when they're inflicted without reason, and one of the reasons maternal mortality bothers me more than infant mortality is because I'm more directly afraid of it--thinking about these things made them seem more normal, and less emotional. You may have different reasons for being viscerally uncomfortable, but figuring out what they are will probably be helpful.

    And hey--if it's not your thing, it's not your thing. Get through these days, de-compress with a friend who also isn't that into OB, and soon enough, this clinical will be over and you'll never have to look back.
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    My maternity clinical was at one of my state's few "safety net" hospitals. It was quite a change from my other clinicals. My patient had been moved from the birthing center to the locked L&D unit because her relationship with the baby's father had become abusive. The father was calling the floor every 10 minutes and asking if she had delivered. I had to care for her and her baby in the midst of all that. Another patient had a delivery that turned into an IUFD. She was from Central America, had no family in the area, and spoke only Spanish. The nurses spent the shift arranging services for her, including trying to find a Spanish-speaking priest to do a baptism.


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