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L&D nurses without children

Posted

Has 8 years experience.

I'm new to L&D. I've had a few people, (mostly non-healthcare individuals, but also another nurse) mention that a good L&D nurse should have gone through labor herself. That way she truly knows how the patient feels. What is your take on this? I have 2 children. I labored with my first child and ultimately gave birth via emergency c/s. My 2nd child was born repeat c/s. There are a handful of nurses on my unit that don't have children and I feel they are very skilled and compassionate.

JeanettePNP, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy. Has 8 years experience.

I don't think the two are related. You don't need to go through heart surgery or a stroke to be an effective cardiac or neuro nurse. My wonderful homebirth midwife has one adopted daughter. In fact a nurse who has been through childbirth might be even less effective if her personal experiences in childbirth affect her attitude towards her patient, like if she feels that the patient should be handling labor the way SHE did (even if her memory might be flawed).

Edited by JeanettePNP

kessadawn, BSN, RN

Specializes in pediatric critical care. Has 7 years experience.

I work in pediatrics and my co-workers are a fantastic bunch of nurses! Many of them do not have kids, but it doesn't hinder their nursing skills. I don't think you need to have labored yourself to be a great L&D nurse. No two women have the same experiences in labor, so even having experienced it yourself doesn't necessarily make you a better nurse. You've seen this yourself in your co-workers who have not borne children themselves. A great oncology nurse doesn't have to have had cancer herself, and what about female nurses that work in men's health? What makes a great nurse is her ability to care for her/his patients, and what is learned from that experience. Experience broadens our clinical skill level, our abilty to communicate and connect with patients and families. Sometimes our personal past can have a hand in that, but it's not a requirement. Just my two cents.

tyvin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice / Psych / RNAC.

Doesn't matter.

You hear the same thing in substance abuse circles, that only another (recovering) addict can really understand and help an addict. I've spent years in psych nursing quoting the old saw that, "You don't have to have had pneumonia to be able to treat pneumonia ..." I run into the same thing in child psych -- lots of people ask if I have children, and are v. surprised when I say no (and there's often an implied question of how can you know anything about children if you don't have children of your own?) In my observation, being a parent often seems to be more of a hindrance than a benefit in child psych nursing -- it's v. easy for parents to slide into the "parent" role and mindset at work, which isn't necessarily therapeutic.

There are all kinds of nursing specialties in which you'll run into people who'll tell you you can't really be good at that specialty unless you've experienced it yourself, but my personal opinion is that that's a bunch of bunk.

StephRN08

Specializes in oncology/BMT, general medicine. Has 3 years experience.

I work in oncology and with a few nurses that have previously had cancer. They are always biased in assuming that people go through exactly what they had experienced. In fact, one nurse had breast cancer and received Cytoxan as part of her treatment. She said that she never had nausea and if affects her patient advocate role when someone is getting that drug. In hem onc, we give high dose Cytoxan and there is a BIG difference int he doses.

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

It's been my experience that it doesn't matter.

One of my OB instructors in nursing school never had children - was never able to, for reasons that she never shared. But she was a darn fine instructor and a very very good L&D nurse.

There are excellent male L&D nurses out there as well, who by default have never labored/delivered. It really isn't as big an issue as it's made out to be, IMO.

Penelope_Pitstop, BSN, RN

Has 13 years experience.

I work in oncology and with a few nurses that have previously had cancer. They are always biased in assuming that people go through exactly what they had experienced.

That.

I work MedSurg; most of my patients are at least twice my age and I've not experienced any of their medical or surgical issues.

You know what, though...I have endometriosis and when I have a patient who uses HER endometriosis as an excuse for everything, I feel a twinge of annoyance because of my experience. I am in pain 75% of the time and those around me rarely know it.

However, it's very unfair of me to have this attitude. I don't know if my pain is worse or whatever. Thank goodness I rarely, if ever, have patients who are in the hospital with endo-related reasons.

brownbook

Has 36 years experience.

Not that long ago the majority of physicians were males. This included obstetricians. I don't know of any male obstetricians who have experienced labor pains??????

Where or why do people come up with these ideas?????? Utterly ridiculous!!!!

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

I would say a good third of the nurses I work with do not have children. One of the BEST L&D nurses I've ever known (she precepted me for a year, and when I was in labor with my last child, she was there for me the entire time, providing labor support, even though she was not the nurse assigned to my care) has no biological children of her own.

That said, I do believe that I am as good as I am (sorry if this sounds immodest, but I do believe I'm a damn good L&D nurse) because I HAVE been through labor, and can relate to these women, and can offer them suggestions and compassion based on my own experiences.

But that's not to say that a nurse must have gone through it in order to be able to be a good nurse, just that I know that the experience makes *me* a more well-rounded nurse than I would be if I didn't have children and have gone through childbirth.

Ever heard of that story of a nurse who suffered an MI and because of that she was able to have better therapeutic interventions towards her cardiac patients in the ICU?:spam:

I hope this helps out.

Really though, this is crazy. Your interest alone is probably more meaningful then having kids.

CoffeeRTC, BSN, RN

Has 25 years experience.

So far, I haven't broken a hip, had an MI, gotten dementia, had my knee replaced, been on dialysis, had a transplant or went into respiratory distress....I think I'm a rather good nurse.

I've had a make nurse when I was in with one of my babies...he was awesome. I don't think he had a baby either.

Purple_Scrubs, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

Well, if an L&D nurse needs to have experienced labor to be a good nurse, I would hate to see the criteria for a good hospice nurse.

OK, that may be in poor taste, but I think that a good nurse is one that looks beyond his/her own experiences and focuses on the patient, removing any bias or assumption based on personal experience.

JacknSweetpea

Specializes in drug seekers and the incurably insane.. Has 3 years experience.

I don't think it should matter. As other posters have said....there have been many great L & D nurses whom never had children. I cannot have biological children myself, and there is enough of a stigma attached to that.....let's not bring biases against women without children into our profession.

BabyLady, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, Post-partum.

I'm new to L&D. I've had a few people, (mostly non-healthcare individuals, but also another nurse) mention that a good L&D nurse should have gone through labor herself. That way she truly knows how the patient feels. What is your take on this? I have 2 children. I labored with my first child and ultimately gave birth via emergency c/s. My 2nd child was born repeat c/s. There are a handful of nurses on my unit that don't have children and I feel they are very skilled and compassionate.

To me, that is the biggest crock of $%##$ that you have to have bore chidren in order to be a good labor and delivery nurse.

That is like saying....the cardiac nurse needs to have heart problems or heart surgery...the transplant nurses need to have received an organ donation...the neuro nurses need to have some type of neurological disorder, etc.

What you need is to pay attention to what experienced nurses teach you, have compassion, listen to your patient and research as much as you can on your own...that is the difference between a good nurse, and a nurse that is just getting by.

There are several young nurses (under 30 years of age that have been working several years) that work in our L&D unit that do not have children...and I would want them taking care of me any day of the week.