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Ability to change from OB/Women's Health nursing to Cardiac

by SolaGratia90RN SolaGratia90RN (New) New

Specializes in L&D, Postpartum/Newborn care, Pediatrics. Has 4 years experience.

I have been a nurse for almost 4 years now! I've always done L&D/Women's Health. My first job as a new grad was in an LDRP with Antepartum/GYN surgery care also. We did basically everything (our own C-Sections also!) I worked with PCA, epidurals, post-op patients of C-Sections and hysterectomies, etc. Very crazy unit.

For over two years I've worked in an out-of-hospital freestanding birth center. Doing everything from paperwork, pediatric visits, postpartum care, newborn care, deliveries and follow-up home visits. Again, a little bit of everything; but it is out-of-hospital. I do still do IV and urinary catheters, blood draws, etc.

I'm considering changing specialties; I love OB, but have so much more of the nursing field I want to learn! Anyone out there worked OB and Cardiac nursing before to help me compare?! I'm looking at a Cardiothoracic surgery unit in a fairly large hospital. They are a magnet facility, so I'm assuming they will have a good orientation process. I know many nurses in this hospital and they all love their jobs! My worry is just that I've never done anything in a large hospital...or...outside of OB/Women's health.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

I can certainly understand your desire for further career development... that itch is often triggered by a "been there done that" feeling at work. Making the change will be exciting for sure, but it it will also pose some challenges.

You'd be shifting from 'expert' back to 'novice' in terms of clinical competence. This can be really rough on the ego, but caring for cardiac patients will require a very different set of skills & knowledge. It is much more broad - the majority of cardiac patients will will be older and have multi-system problems and pathology. So, you'll have to get back up to speed on areas of A&P that you haven't had to deal with for quite a while.

The 'flow' of care will also be very different. Although OB has it's own unique set of challenges, the trajectory is much more predictable. Cardiac complications are much more unpredictable. Patient care will involve a wide range of physician specialties and a continuous barrage of information that has to be processed and prioritized. Competency in arrhythmia and hemodynamic management will be a focus area for any new hire.

The good (GREAT) news??? Your critical thinking skills and time management abilities are absolutely portable. Your ability to deal effectively with a crisis & relate to patients and families is also an enduring skill that moves with you, no matter what area you are working in. My advice? Go for it!! Learning and development can really energize your career.