ER to L&D!?!?

Specialties Ob/Gyn


Specializes in Cardiac, ICU, ER.

I am a second career nurse who has only been nursing for 2 years. The first year was in a cardiac ICU and my second year has been in the ER. While I realize both have been great experience I realize that neither are my forever home. I found the ICU to be excessively tedious and although I like the pace of the ER the level of negativity and poor treatment of patients and staff has worn me out. I have spoken to our L&D manager who basically hired me without a formal interview. To be honest I'm scared that this to will bring dispointment as the others that I was excited about had. Plus it will be a whole new environment that I know very little about. I know no one can say it will be a fit or not. But can all you L&D nurses tell me why you like your job and maybe a few downfalls?

I like that it changes all the time (I get bored easily, so pushing a med cart is not for me) and that I get to meet a great variety of people. I find the bonding challenging and rewarding and the skill set unique. I enjoy the OR aspect and I like the teamwork. I feel like I have a lot of autonomy and that I make a difference in people's birth experiences!

Things that are hard: stillbirths, bad outcomes, bratty moms, dads who don't want their wives having an epidural, unrealistic expectations about labour. But even in those situations I can usually find a challenge or reward to help refocus myself.

I wouldn't want to do anything else! Good luck!!

Its hard work, tons of family dynamics in the mix. Most days are great and the outcome is the start of a new life, but when its bad its awful. You have to learn to become in tune with very subtle changes that can mean big trouble. Also depends what kind of facility you're at. Does you're hospital do high risk ob? Get a good orientation, make sure you can trust the team around you. It's very unpredictable, and stressful, but I leave everyday KNOWING I intervened in a positive way for a family, during a life changing event they will never forget. I love my job.

Specializes in Labor & Deliery.

I love love LOVE my job because of the variety--I never know what kind of patients I'm going to get, or what their history is, and even if it's exactly the same history/age/parity as a patient I've had before, every labor is different. I also like that *generally* my patients are healthy, and I know that it's my job to assist or monitor a natural process, rather than fix an ailment.

Downfalls: You can't escape all negativity. I hate it when my co workers act unsupportive of a mom who wants a natural labor (or a mom who doesn't!), but my focus is on my patients, because my duty is to my patients. I don't like the high levels of paperwork, but that gets faster with time.

Not a downfall, but not a great thing: When L&D is good and happy, it is really really good, and really really happy. When something goes bad, though, it's usually really really bad, really really fast.

Specializes in ER, OB.

I have done both and will say a busy day in L&D can be just as or more stressful than a day in ER.

A lot like ER in L&D there's a lot of autonomy. You have to be confident in yourself and your skills to know when you need a Dr. stat. Things can change in an instant. That baby that looked great 2 minutes ago is now having late decels like your pt in ER who you gave meds to who is now having an allergic reaction and is now having anaphylaxis. There is also a lot of hurry up and wait in both. You got the pit going and then you wait. Like ER where you got the labs and xrays done. Then you wait.

I could ramble on for days but I feel like there are a lot things that are similar about the two units but the bond you have with your L&D pts is like none I've had in the ER and usually those pts think you are awesome. However, saving lives on a daily basis is a pretty cool job as well. Good luck with whatever you choose.

I also enjoy L and D for the autonomy and the influence you can have on the most important event in a woman's life. Through the years has been hard to stay positive sometimes because you work REAL hard, and some mothers and fathers have complaints about their care. Then there is always the the increasing probability of being in a law suit:(

I have a similar story...I've been a nurse for 2 years, working ED the entire time. I also did a 6 week practicum in ICU right before I graduated. I loved the intensity of ICU, but, like you, found it numbingly redundant. When I went to the ED, I loved the thrill. I got certified in trauma, and have really enjoyed the adrenaline rush that can come on so suddenly just when things are getting boring. The thing was, I found myself getting burned out from the stress from management, the short-staffing, the way some of the patients treated us, the drug-seekers, etc. A position opened up in my hometown hospital on an LDRPN unit. I took a leap of faith, even though I was afraid I would be bored, and lose some of my skills. I've been there for 5 weeks, and it's like a breath of fresh air. I do still miss my traumas, don't get me wrong, but L&D can be just as exciting. You still have the mother's life on your hands, but you also have the baby-and the exciting part is that you're going on just a fetal heart beat until it's born. Seeing the miracle of life never gets old. I've already had fetal demises, and it's terrible. But there are WAY more happy moments than sad moments on this unit. And you know we've had our fair share of horrible moments in's great on my new unit. I recommend it! :up:

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