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Help! Not-new-nurse anxiety in L&D

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Skips is a MSN, RN and specializes in L&D.

12,390 Profile Views; 484 Posts

I need help, and I will start counseling about it here soon. However, I'm turning to allnurses.com to put a label on what I'm feeling because I'm very confused.

I have been a nurse for 5 years total, 3 of them in labor and delivery. I feel like a new nurse all over again! I cry after (just okay and bad equally) shifts. I dread going into work. I've had to be put on anxiety medication. I'm baffled because this started back in September/October. However, I've always sort of struggled with how stressful L&D is and if I'm even smart enough of a nurse to do it. At the 1.5 year mark, I felt better and competent but only for a few months. I definitely do not feel this way at all anymore. Nothing in particular happened. But the thought of going back for a routine C-section makes me nauseous with anxiety. Or the thought of a vaginal delivery with some type of complication happening, even though I've dealt with plenty of complications and I've done many C-sections just fine. I've precepted and I've taught people in those situations.

I am getting tired of every shift having some kind of emergency happening. Getting yelled at/belittled by a doctor or two here and there. Having a physically demanding shift where everything hurts afterward due to turning epidural patients constantly. Pushing for hours. It's all getting to be too much. I used to like this job and I thought L&D was my *dream* job (ha!), I don't know what happened.

My personality is quiet and reserved, and I am shy. I tend to really like routine and I have generalized anxiety disorder. I don't know if labor is for me anymore. I worked hard to actually get into OB and I have my master's in nursing education. But without OB or  any inpatient experience, how will a nursing school or hospital ever hire me in the future as an educator without it?

I suppose I would like emotional support/stories of similar situations. Thank you.

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174 Posts; 2,236 Profile Views

But you DO have OB and inpatient experience, so what's the problem? Probably more experience would be better, but nursing schools are desperate for instructors so why not explore that route?

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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

4 Followers; 6,137 Posts; 48,403 Profile Views

It sounds like your anxiety disorder is NOT well treated. See your physician and a counselor. I hope you feel much better soon!

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437 Posts; 1,259 Profile Views

It sounds like you may also have Imposter Syndrome (which a lot of us RNs have!). 

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