Any former L&D nurses out there?

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    Hi all, First-time posting (long-time lurker) I am getting to the burn-out stage in my current position (L&D) and am considering a change, wondering if pediatrics might be a good fit. I love kids, avoided pediatrics at first because I thought it would be hard to deal with their pain/suffering. What I have gained through lurking is that it's incredibly gratifying to be able to help. Anyhoo, just wondering if there are any others who made the switch from OB to Peds - would love to pick your brain a little, thanks!
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    I made the switch from L&D to home visiting with mothers and babies/toddlers. I've never been happier. I really feel like I'm making a difference in their lives. Part of my joy comes from being out of the hospital, though. I did do a year in the NICU, but I found it to be difficult. I adored the babies, but the parents? Yeesh. Deal with them 8-12 hours in L&D, deal with them 8-12 weeks in NICU. It boggled my mind that one would have to call a mother and demand that she come visit her baby with threats to call DHR if she didn't. I still tremble with rage when I remember calling a mom in the wee hours because a baby was really critical, and she told me she didn't feel like getting out of bed, to call back when the baby died. I understand your burnout. Go for it, you'll never know until you try, and you'll always have your L&D experience to fall back on.
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    My story is nearly identical to Monkeybug. I started as a new grad in L&D, transferred to NICU, and now do home visits for families prenatal through age 3. My current position was mostly for necessity as I really enjoyed my time in NICU (not so much in L&D), but my military husband was tranferred overseas and the nearest NICU is about 2.5 hours away. I was quite nervous to accept this position as peds never interested me and I knew the learning curve would be huge, but it's been a very nice change of pace. It's definitely refreshing to be practicing outside of the hospital and be with the rest of the world on a normal daytime schedule for awhile (and I get to make my own hours as well, which is awesome)!
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    Quote from BeccaznRN
    My story is nearly identical to Monkeybug. I started as a new grad in L&D, transferred to NICU, and now do home visits for families prenatal through age 3. My current position was mostly for necessity as I really enjoyed my time in NICU (not so much in L&D), but my military husband was tranferred overseas and the nearest NICU is about 2.5 hours away. I was quite nervous to accept this position as peds never interested me and I knew the learning curve would be huge, but it's been a very nice change of pace. It's definitely refreshing to be practicing outside of the hospital and be with the rest of the world on a normal daytime schedule for awhile (and I get to make my own hours as well, which is awesome)!
    The other nurses and I often remark that a bad day here is better than the best day at the hospital. I spend lots of time on the road, by myself, with my radio. I schedule each day, and it's flexible. I get weekends and holidays. And I'm away from hospital politics! And I love my clients!
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    I agree! My clients are all voluntary and they really do put in the effort to become better parents and improve their situations. It's nice to see them in their own settings and to have interactions with them that isn't crisis driven, which is the case in L&D and NICU. OP - maybe this would be a field you'd be interested in trying?
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    Thanks for the input. Your jobs sound enticing, especially the invested parents. Do you work for private agencies or govt. funded? I will definitely check into that possibility. As for switching depts. in the hospital, I'm afraid of going from the fire into the frying pan. (Plan on at least shadowing before I make a switch.) Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has burned out on what many seem to think of as the 'happiest' department in nursing.
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    Quote from airwin.rnc
    Thanks for the input. Your jobs sound enticing, especially the invested parents. Do you work for private agencies or govt. funded? I will definitely check into that possibility. As for switching depts. in the hospital, I'm afraid of going from the fire into the frying pan. (Plan on at least shadowing before I make a switch.) Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has burned out on what many seem to think of as the 'happiest' department in nursing.
    Oh, gag, that whole "happiest" department bullcrap. The people that really believe that also deep down believe that we just open the window for the stork to fly in. L&D is HARD. You are dealing with all sorts of Jerry Springer drama on top of women being in a lot of pain with unrealistic expectations about what you as a nurse can do about that pain. Add to that the stress of watching monitors, knowing that it can all go South in a moment. And if I had a nickel for every time a "daddy" pulled me out in the hall and asked if we could do a DNA test, I'd still be at home in bed at this moment!As for my job, I work in for a non-profit organization. Our particular program is grant-funded by the federal government. We only have a few years of funding guaranteed, so I spend a lot of time praying, because I just don't think I can go back to a hospital if this ends.
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    Thanks, monkey bug - hope your grant gets extended and you can continue many years with your calling!


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