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Do nurses do it all?

by babyjen babyjen (New) New

I haver been told that nurses get to deliver a baby atleast once a year! Is this true? I hope so!!!:lol2:


Specializes in Infection Preventionist/ Occ Health. Has 5 years experience.

One of my family's friends is an L&D nurse, and she said that nurses sometimes deliver the baby if the MD or CNM doesn't arrive in time.

During the one delivery I saw as a student, I thought that the OB cut it pretty close- she arrived about 5 minutes beforehand but was monitoring the strip from her office prior to arrival at the hospital.

KellNY, RN

Specializes in High Risk In Patient OB/GYN.

I haver been told that nurses get to deliver a baby atleast once a year! Is this true? I hope so!!!:lol2:

Ehhh...depends on where you work. In a community hospital, where a lot of the docs are just chilling at home or whatever, then nurses catch the babies more often. At a teaching hospital where there are resident (doctors) and attendings and possibly CNMs running around, it's possible but pretty rare.

It's not always a "wow, that was awesome" deal either. I've seen plenty of docs get pretty pissed. "Why didn't you call me!?!?" or "Why didn't you tell me she was this close?!" after you'd been paging them all evening...or they know this is her 5th vaginal birth and she walked through the door at 6cm. The nurses can get blamed pretty easily. (The doctor still gets paid for the delivery!)

And a nurse only delivers a baby after she's been pregnant for a while. ;) Same with female doctors. Male docs never deliver babies....wrong parts and all.


Specializes in OB/peds (after gen surgery for 3 yrs).

LONG time ago...I worked in L&D, I had a primip in rapid labor...I told the resident she was complete (in about an hour!) and that we were going to the d.r., to please call the attending and come on in with me. He called....and came to the door of the d.r.... but kept shaking his head that he was not coming in (I believe it WAS July ,and he was brand new in OB). I had the woman prepped on the table, the baby was crowning, I put on the OB pack sterile gloves...and the attending strode in, put on clean gloves and said "back away" to me. I swear he was there for less than a minute before that kid was born. The resident was all happy/ smiley...(he had come in IN BACK OF the attending!)...as if HE delivered that kid. It was truly the mom who did all the work! That was my first close call, I caught three or four more before leaving L&D for less stress! ( I HATED the delivery part, just like the laboring part!...how weird.)

I haver been told that nurses get to deliver a baby atleast once a year! Is this true? I hope so!!!:lol2:

Why don't you think about becoming a Nurse Midwife? You'll deliver babies all the time. :)


Specializes in ER, CCU.

when i did my OB rotation last spring semester, i was instructing a patient on pushing, it was me and her husband and her. The husband looked at me and said what do we do if the baby comes while you are the only one here. The RN kept leaving me with the patient to get things ready. I said well if i start seeing more of the head then we will just have to stop!! I was talking to my instructor and she's like it would have been so cool if you got to deliever that baby, and i was like Oh no.....lol!! She's a CNM and had been doing it for years, and she somehow seemed so comfortable with me delievering that baby by myself. I guess i should take it as a compliment. But luckily the dr. came and got the baby out safely. She was close to 10pds!!

it can happen!!


Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

OH NO way JOSE, not if I can help it. I do not make enough to carry that kind of liability. That is what dr's and midwives are for.

You sound to me as if you need to become a midwife, like already mentioned. Good luck.

AnnieOaklyRN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.

careful what you wish for, unfortunatly babies do not always come out trouble free.

I am also a paramedic and have only had two deliveries in the feild, one being twins, and I thank god that both went smoothly, especially the twin delivery, both were vertex so someone was watching over mom and babies, and us ( especially since her delivery was so precipitus both babies were born in the house, which meant no mess in our ambulance for the most part, except the stretcher)



Has 20+ years experience.

We catch em all the time. We have lots of drop-ins that come in at the last minute. We also have docs that don't make it - no residents here. If the babies are coming that fast, they usually do just fine. I'm nursery, so I usually just help cut the cord and then wisk them off to the warmer for a quick check-up. :wink2:

crissrn27, RN

Specializes in nursery, L and D. Has 8 years experience.

I did assist in a unattended by a doc birth that ended up in a shoulder dystocia, I'll tell you, that was the scariest 3-4 min. of my life. Shoulders aren't much fun anyway, but without a doc there it was a little more intense. Maybe b/c I was nursery, and knew I would have to deal with the damage (in the baby) that I was so worried.


Specializes in OB L&D Mother/Baby. Has 7 years experience.

Personally I try to avoid delivering babies LOL... But we are a smaller hospital, with docs that are home at office etc that sometimes cut it close and sometimes don't make it at all. We do call the ER doc if we have time, but honestly sometimes that makes things worse because they really don't want the liability either.

The babies that I've been in the room for that have precipt have almost all SHOT out and done fine. So, no shoulders for me. Thank God for that.

We used to have a doc that would buy us a steak dinner if we had to catch a baby for her. But the others are ALL upset if it happens, maybe not upset with us but we still catch the grief. So, it may seem fun but it can be very nerve wracking when you deliver and then you have to explain what happened to the doc (who will almost without a doubt blame you and not him/herself).

BeccaznRN, RN

Specializes in NICU, High-Risk L&D, IBCLC. Has 14 years experience.

I had my first RN delivery about 3-4 weeks ago, complete with a nuchal cord. I'm not a religious person but I probably prayed more in that minute than ever in my life. Luckily everything turned out OK with mom and babe, and MD was totally cool about it. But definitely not something I want to do again anytime soon!


Specializes in L&D, NICU, PICU, School, Home care. Has 42 years experience.

21 "catches" in 35 years. First one was 10 pounds 3 ounces. Mom went from 3 to fully in a heart beat. No lac either:up:. A few were cuz the doc didn't listen when told she's moving fast. I am also at a hospital that has no residents and docs at home (i work 7p-7a). So far all of the doc's have been very good about it and not blaming us. I do thank God every time for allowing me to stay focused enough to control the head to allow for stretching, check for cord, and not present me with shoulders that get stuck. :)

I caught one yesterday for one of my doctors - the doc who was supposed to come for delivery didn't make it until about 5 minutes after the baby. Boy, her nurse was glad to see me. I had gone over to the hospital on my day off to check on a PP patient of mine. This hospital used to have FP residents but doesn't anymore, so the staff is still trying to adjust.

At my hospital, I have had numerous unassisted deliveries. Thank goodness nothing bad has ever happened, and the babies were fine. I do try everything in my power to not let that happen, it scares the crap out of me every time.

I am on the edge of my seat. This is so interesting. WOW!!


Specializes in Midwifery. Has 21 years experience.

Here in Australia all women are cared for in labour by midwives (who are also usually RNs). If the labour is straightforward no doc is involved. If it isn't we work with the docs, and even in the high risk women who birth normally, we catch.

NurseNora, BSN, RN

Specializes in L&D. Has 52 years experience.

Small hospital with no in-house docs & I work nights. Every once in a while I have to deliver one, but I'm usually able to get the doc here on time. There's only one who is upset every time he misses one. The last time I delivered one of his, his patient was very active on arrival. I checked her and called him and said, "Your patient, Jane Doe, is here. She's a multip, 8cm dilated, 100%, 0station, membranes intact and bulging. You need to come in now." He missed the delivery.

Later he complained to my Director that he didn't know he had to hurry because I hadn't said to hurry and I didn't sound excited!!!!

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