Job Description for L&D nursing

Specialties Ob/Gyn


can someone give me the correct job description for L&D nursing, It's for my research paper, a response is greatly appreciated.

Labor & Delivery RN: A blood & slime covered, co-dependant, adrenaline junky!

(These were the first words out of my mouth when I saw your request! My husband dared me to send it to you just like that! LOL )

In reality?

A good L&D RN is a highly intellegent (dummies can't figure it out fast enough), over-worked (we do "peak & valley" work like ER, not "steady-state" nursing like a medical floor)(meals & breaks are often non-existent, as some babies just don't follow schedules very well...LOL), underpaid (that goes without saying), usually co-dependant (really helps to need to please others...on those days when you are totally exhausted...) "adrenaline junky" (a breed of professional who has to apologize when there is a crisis...'cause they like dealing with them!)who must love hard work, dealing with patients & their families during a major life-changing experience(often they are not at their best), skipping meals & breaks, and being strong patient advocates (we save lives, we prevent c/s where possible, we are the patient & the baby's intermediary to all) . She must not have an aversion to blood & slime (it isn't good to faint at the same time as the dad! LOL), women who scream and curse (just 'cuz you don't curse, doesn't mean she won't), and famlies who get in the way (Well intended, neurotic families make great roadblocks on the way to emergency surgery, etc....have to know how to gently handle them.) . She must love to wear gloves (latex-allergic RNs do not do well here) & not be HIV-phobic (we have lots of splashes & exposures to body fluids, despite precautions.) She must be physically fit, as there is a great deal of physical labor in the job, with long hours. She must be 2/3 psych nurse, as many patients/families need listening ears. She must have inner strength to be able to support others, as well as cope herself, when one of the babies or mothers die. She must be exemplary in her assessment, intervention, evaluation, and documentation of patient care (yes, L&D is moment-by-moment "The Nursing Process" in action) as she will be involved in several law suits during her career. (L&D is 2nd only to ER in lawsuits...& OUR patients have 21 years to sue us!)

Still want to be a L&D RN? GOOD! cool.gif


Good answer Haze!!!

Couldn't have summed it up any better. Everyday I keep asking myself why I keep taking this abuse, and then I answer myself~

cause I couldn't work in any other area of Nursing. Still love it!


Thanks for your reply. I am going to show this to my professor "I will e-mail you on her reply". I totally agree with you on the blood & slime part!!!!! you nurses have lots of guts, I just hope I can be the same way, and yes I still want to be an L&D nurse. I give birth and I was one of those ladies who cursed out the nurses, and yet I ask myself what I am getting myself into?!

Thank you, by the way, you do sound kind of overworked!! "LOL"

I do like that definition of a L&D nurse. Now, how's this for insatity. After 13 years of ER nursing, I was ready to do something different. Of course I didn't want to leave all the chaos behind, just wanted a different kind. SOOOOO off to L&D I went. For the first couple of months, at least 3 times a day, I thought,"What have I done to myself. I need to go back to the ER where I know what I'm doing." But I feel a little more confident now even though I've only been there for 6 months. I've had wonderful seasoned nurses to work with & appreciate them so much. I had no idea there could be different variations for "a Lot of blood." The best thing about this job is being allowed to be a part of one of the most signifigant events of a moms life and having a good outcome for both my patients. Since I've changed areas, I've not been spit on, except by someone under 24 hours old, I havn't been kicked across a room, and I feel like what I do is important now. If I had not had this opportunity, I was ready to get out of nursing altogether.

Good question, and good replies!! biggrin.gif

I find it interesting that your research paper is based on defining a job description.

IMHO, here's another one (tongue in cheek, of course LOL):

A LDRP nurse should be of above average intelligence, multilingual, able to decipher hieroglyphics (aka, dr's handwriting! tongue.gif ), able to lift 2-3 times his/her own body weight,& withstand being pushed/pulled on, kicked, bitten, splashed on, puked on, scratched. Said nurse should be highly proficient in finding "just one more pillow", locating cots for exhausted dads/grandmas, fetching ice, providing directions to cafeteria/gift shop/Wal-Mart/etc, performing an assessment during chaos. Also desired is the ability to go a minimum of 12 hours without eating, drinking or going to the bathroom. The nurse should also be able to simulantenously obtain extra supplies for the dr., assess a baby, and check mom's fundus...all while talking with the family about how fast "coneheads" resolve. biggrin.gif

The ideal candidate will be equal parts intelligent student/waitress/mom/advocate/intermediary/maid/teacher/survivor/LOVE IT ANYWAY!!!!!

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