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best and worst of L&D

I am a student nurse and I really want to work labor and delivery after I graduate. I think it would be very enjoyable, but I have heard a lot of nurses who thought they wanted L&D and ended up hating it. What are the 3 worst and 3 best aspects of this type of nursing?

I find MANY more rewards than "bad" aspects. But the WORST ASPECT TO L and D nursing to me is the VERY litigious nature of the job. L and D is among the areas where you are MOST likely to be sued if something goes wrong. EVERYthing is expected to be "perfect" and turn out fine...but not all things can, especially when patients do not comply with your best advice for a good outcome.

But that is all I consider "bad" about L and D. And in ANY area of nursing, one can be sued for bad outcomes, this is true. I love being part of new life/new families being created. I love making a difference in my patient's and their families' lives. I like supporting people through what is no-doubt one of the BIGGEST and MOST IMPORTANT events in their lives. I love that 99% of the time, outcomes are happy and healthy unlike other areas of medicine and nursing. I could go on and on. I do love what I do.

I hope this helps some.

The bad comes in seeing that all births are not happy, healthy or wanted. We work with women who are addicted to drugs, teenage mothers, babies born with severe health problems and even deaths. That's the worst part.

The best is that it is always meaningful. I have never gone home from a shift and felt that my work wasn't important to my patients. It's true service.


Specializes in OB, Telephone Triage, Chart Review/Code.

One thing that bothers me in L&D is mothers coming in to deliver when they are not ready. Physicians will schedule an induction or C/Sec for the convenience of the patient or his practice. Patients come in for labor checks and don't like to be sent home.

The worst . . . there are a couple of categories. Boring worst: has to be Pitocin Inductions. We don't have monitors at the nurses station so we stay in the room with the mom the whole time (potty breaks depend on if a nurse has time to give you a break). Depending on the family, this can be a very long and boring day. :-) I had one teenage couple who watched cartoons all day and didn't say a word to each other. Depressing worst: Mother who uses drugs (mostly meth up here) and gets to keep her baby!!

Best: Healthy babies born to intact and loving families who aren't using drugs. Babies who latch on right after birth and nurse with gusto!

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