What's it like in maternity clinicals?

  1. Hi! I'm actually getting excited to start my second semester in nursing school, which will be maternity for the first half. What can I expect? What kind of things have happened to you during your maternity clinicals? I'm also interested in ways I can get prepared- right now watching registered rn to get a head start on the things I'll need to know. Every school is a little different, and every instructor also differs in what they will have you do, I know, but just interested in what other people's experiences were!
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    About BookishBelle

    Joined: Feb '17; Posts: 124; Likes: 140
    from NY , US

    13 Comments

  3. by   Wuzzie
    It was so long ago for me that I can't speak to specifics. I just remember it was like Christmas every day because you know...babies!!!
  4. by   emmjayy
    It can be a little boring if nothing is going on. My first day of clinical on L&D there were no deliveries, just some moms in very early labor. I watched the strips at the nurse's station and correlated them to what we'd learned in class (figured out the fetal heart rate, assessed variability, monitored for early/late/variable decels, figured out duration and frequency of contractions). My instructor also had us go over our patient's charts with her one on one and look for things that we would flag as putting mom or baby at risk (GBS+ status, RH- mom, PROM, HIV status, level of prenatal care, results of glucose tolerance test, how close mom was to due date, etc.) It was actually nice to have a slow first day because it really helped to bring everything we'd learned in class forward with actual patients, but without the stress of doing that while monitoring a mom in active labor or doing newborn care.

    My second day I got to see a C-section delivery of twins which was amazing! We did newborn care (injections, assessment, vitals) and monitored the babies and mom with the RN until they got transferred to the postpartum unit. It was really intense to be put in charge of making sure this baby didn't get too cold, was eating, was getting it's little heart rate/respiratory rate assessed every 15 minutes, etc. and felt like a much bigger responsibility than anything I'd ever done before. I really enjoyed it though. My second time around in L&D, I got to see a vaginal birth and do newborn care again. Again, a huge privilege and responsibility to get to witness that and to be involved in such a big day for that family
  5. by   BookishBelle
    Wow!! I'm jumping in my skin! Can't wait!! Love love babies. Love their smell, their feel, their sounds... Thanks for the nice detailed response, emmjayy, and the reminder about the babies, Wuzzie! (I also love moms- such a pivotal time in their lives and want to help them through) can't help feeling that this is going to be much more fun than copd and dementia (in LTC last semester)
  6. by   KelRN215
    I found it to be boring, overall. We spent most of our time in post-partum and got one day each in the semester to rotate to L&D and one day in NICU. We also occasionally got to attend scheduled C-sections. I remember having to go in for an extra clinical on a Friday evening because there were no deliveries in my day to rotate to L&D.
  7. by   BookishBelle
    Quote from KelRN215
    I found it to be boring, overall. We spent most of our time in post-partum and got one day each in the semester to rotate to L&D and one day in NICU. We also occasionally got to attend scheduled C-sections. I remember having to go in for an extra clinical on a Friday evening because there were no deliveries in my day to rotate to L&D.
    yeah, I was wondering how much action I might get to see, but there is a full moon on my 5th clinical, so hoping! It's great they gave you the opportunity to come see a c-section at another time!
  8. by   Ohm268
    Lots of fun. Full moon will bring in a lot of labors. Yes, there is no empirical information that specifically points to the fact that more births happen around the full moon but if the L&D floor at my hospital is any indication during full moon, there is some influence especially if you see how packed the hospital gets with births around that time.
  9. by   BookishBelle
    Quote from TangoDeux
    Lots of fun. Full moon will bring in a lot of labors. Yes, there is no empirical information that specifically points to the fact that more births happen around the full moon but if the L&D floor at my hospital is any indication during full moon, there is some influence especially if you see how packed the hospital gets with births around that time.
    I so agree! My last two kids I noticed my labor started right around the full moon. I was lucky to get a room at the hospital- multiple women had beds in the hallway! I figure if the moon can affect the ocean tides it can probably affect other natural processes.
  10. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from TangoDeux
    Lots of fun. Full moon will bring in a lot of labors. Yes, there is no empirical information that specifically points to the fact that more births happen around the full moon but if the L&D floor at my hospital is any indication during full moon, there is some influence especially if you see how packed the hospital gets with births around that time.

    I don't know about full moons, but in the Southeast we used to see a lot of hurricane babies. Something about the barometric pressure changes...

    Do Hurricanes Really Make Pregnant Women Go Into Labor? - The Atlantic
  11. by   Horseshoe
    My main takeaway from OB was that when a woman tells you the baby is coming, believe her, even if the doctor says it couldn't possibly be time.
  12. by   Miiki
    I remember it being gooey.
  13. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from adventure_rn
    I don't know about full moons, but in the Southeast we used to see a lot of hurricane babies. Something about the barometric pressure changes...

    Do Hurricanes Really Make Pregnant Women Go Into Labor? - The Atlantic
    I was almost 2 weeks overdue with D2 when I went to my OB. He said "sorry, you haven't started dilating at all." I was heartbroken. That night a severe cold front came through and my water broke when I got up to go the bathroom. I was the first to come into the hospital that night in that situation, but by the next morning, the unit had so many women there that they were putting them on stretchers in the hallway! I was so grateful to have one of the luxurious birthing suites. The nurses said it was a common occurrence from lowered barometric pressure.
  14. by   KrCmommy522
    Mine was BEYOND BORING!!! Literally every day I was there except for 1 there was NOTHING! The 1 day that something was going on I had a pt scheduled for a C-section (which I was excited to see). She was scheduled for a C-section because her previous birth she was unable to get the baby out because her pelvis was too small, so after a while they switched and did a C-section. So, for this pregnancy they just scheduled her for a C-section right away. So, she came in for her scheduled C-section and decided to announce that she didn't want to do that. She wanted to try to delivery vaginally since she didn't get to before (of course the dr explained that she didn't get to experience it before because her pelvis was too small and the baby couldn't get out, and since her pelvis hasn't grown it's still too small and will put the baby at risk, but the mom wanted to try so the dr agreed - my thought was why is this the time the mother is bringing this up. I mean they had to have planned the C-section the entire time so why did she feel the morning of her scheduled C-section was the time to bring up that she wanted to try a vaginal birth? Just seems like something you would have brought up to your dr before...but anyways)....So, she tried a vaginal delivery. After a few hours, the dr said that's it we need to do a C-section and she got taken in for a C-section, which I got to watch - So, I saw half of a vaginal birth (without the birth part - haha) and a C-section. That was the only day I had anything to do. The other days we just sat around. And I watched the babies. I thought I would LOVE it, but I ended up HATING it. I even went through a time where I thought nursing is NOT for me and was going to quit. But that wasn't all the boring endless days!

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