Interested in L&D, but worried I won't be a "good fit"

Specialties Ob/Gyn

Published

Hi everyone,

I was hoping to gain some insight regarding L&D nursing. I just graduated nursing school and already have one year seniority at a large children's hospital. When I spoke to a recruiter, she told me I can pretty much have my pick on a unit depending on what's available. My top pick was the NICU, however it doesn't seem like they are hiring anytime soon. My other interest would be OB/women's health. There is a L&D department that also takes high-risk OB patients. I have always been interested in learning about childbirth and I believe I would be a strong advocate for patients. My concern is that I don't believe I have the "right" personality for L&D. I floated to the unit once as a nurse assistant and had a short clinical rotation on a separate L&D unit, and feel as though I wouldn't fit in. I am more introverted; I've had patients tell me that I am friendly, caring, and a good listener, but I've never been the type of person to come off as full of energy, or make much small talk. My coworkers have told me I would be a good fit for the NICU. I am wondering if anybody is an L&D nurse (or knows one) who has a similar personality, and if it has caused any struggles on your unit.

Thanks for reading!!

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.

You don't need to be an extrovert to work in L&D. You need to be comfortable providing  ongoing patient education, which involves engaged discussion.

Specializes in L&D.

I'm pretty introverted and I did just fine as a labor nurse. It was about enjoying my work and facilitating a safe, connected birth experience for my patient and their family. If you can do that, you'll be fine. 

Specializes in Med-Surg, Oncology, School Nursing, OB.

 "I've had patients tell me that I am friendly, caring, and a good listener,”

These are great qualities to have for L&D. I'm not high energy or extroverted either but have been complimented on my ability to remain calm in high stress situations (even if I'm freaking out on the inside) which has been a source of comfort for the patients. What the previous posters have said are true. You need to be encouraging and talk them through some hard stuff like pain, breathing, pushing etc. 
 

Maybe ask to shadow again now that you're an official nurse and see if you're interested in the actual things you will be doing. If it doesn't interest you or seems too overwhelming then you'll know maybe it's not the right fit. If you truly want NICU one day then a postpartum unit would be a little better fit. As a labor nurse we don't usually take care of the babies much. 

 

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