I started OR nursing as a new grad in December '12. I was torn between the OR and L&D, but was only given the opportunity to interview for OR, even though both units were hiring (it was because I did some periop rotations during school). I am grateful I have the job and took it for that reason, but I am not positive the OR is really my passion. I like what I do most days, but I can't help thinking maybe L&D might be a better fit for me. I am on OR orientation until July and I'm not sure how long to wait to try to pursue L&D in my hospital, which I have heard may be easier now that I am an employee and will bring OR experience with me. Has anyone worked in L&D and can give me an honest idea of what to expect and whether or not a move from OR to L&D is wise. Thanks so much!
May 13, '13
OR to L&D are two completely different worlds. As you know, you don't really have to deal with patients (they are asleep) or their families in the OR and you will be having lots of interactions with both in L&D (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). Depending on what kind of demographics you live in, you may find that L&D isn't as dreamy as you thought. It is shocking how many of our patients come in on various drugs, legal and illegal. The patient can be hard to deal with. Don't get me wrong, there are many, many wonderful patients who make the job more than worth it, but you do have to take the good with the bad. Your OR experience will help out if your L&D circulate their own c-sections as this is very similar to circulating in the OR. I have worked both, but most of my years have been in the OR so it feels more like home to me. If you desire closer patient care, then L&D may be the home for you, but if you don't love dealing with families or patients, the OR may be better. Remember too that when you work L&D you are caring for two patients at once (mother and baby) and there is lots that can go wrong, so you will find yourself in very scary situations at times...it's just the nature of the job. Good luck on whatever you decide. For what it is worth, I don't think new grads should go straight to the OR simply because you don't use your traditional "nursing" skills in the OR, while it is nursing, it is a very different type of nursing. Good luck on whatever you decide.
May 14, '13
Thanks for your reply. While I like the OR, I have always felt a certain amount of apprehension in accepting the position (the only one offered to me as a new grad). I always thought it would be difficult to go to another unit with having had the traditional "nursing" experience. I am also not your usual 20-something graduate. Nursing is a 2nd (3rd if you count raising kids) career for me so I don't really feel like time is on my side to play around and travel between units every few years. I know the L&D nurses circulate their patients. I really feel like I am missing the critical thinking, assessment, etc..all the skills I loved going to school for.