Love it or put up with it?

Specialties Ob/Gyn


I've been an RN for almost 10 years now. My hsuband is military so i've changed jobs a few times with plenty of years of med-surg, neuro, cardiac and lastly ICU experience. I'm presently considering taking a position in either post partum or labor and delivery. I used to be an adrenaline junky back in my day i suppose but got kinda burned out from my ICU experience as I felt that i didnt get to the point where i had enough experience and knowledge to really be comfortable and thus "good" at what i was doing. And thus in turn left. I've been at home with my two small children now since february 2000 and its time to go back to work. Would you ob nurses suggest getting a background in postpartum before tackling the l&D? or just jump right into it since that is my ultimate goal? I'm sure you have your bad days and good days- but overall do you really love what you're doing? (especially for those nurses that have crossed over from med-surg and other departments). Also....... sorry.. are there any good learning materials, journals etc that could help in the learning process??

Thanks SO much!!


Emily R.N.

I have been an OB nurse for 16 years and have worked all areas: nursery & NICU, PP, and now L&D. If you are a fast learner, you could probably jump rite into L&D without much problem. There's alot to learn and normal situations can become ugly in a heartbeat. If you find you are still an adrenaline junky, you will definitely get a regular "fix" working L&D!! I absolutely love what I do and find L&D to be the most rewarding of all the OB areas. For resources, I would suggest ANYTHING by Michelle Murray. She is one of the premier experts on L&D nursing. You might also want to check out Good luck!!!

Hi, I just finished an orientation to L&D and I absolutely love it so far. I did 4 years of Med-Surg and then 1-1/2 years of MICU prior to this. I liked the ICU for the adrenaline rush and being able to concentrate closely on only 2 patients, but I hated the diseases and seeing all the vented corpses and the work was just too hard sometimes. I had no desire to do postpartum, too much like working the floors and to me it would be dull. I felt very prepared with my background to move into L&D, all I had to concentrate on learning was the OB stuff, like fetal monitoring and checking funduses, all the other skills I already have. Handling the newborns was a little nerve wracking in the beginning since I've only worked with adults, but I'm getting used to it. When there are any unexpected problems with the baby, help is right there, PEDs doctors respond immediately to our calls. Some units do cross training. Our postpartum nurses cross train to work our Recovery Room, since it's basically the same pts. they will be receiving eventually on the floor. I find the difference between L&D and postpartum comparable to the difference between Med-Surg and the ICU. If you like the intensity and faster pace of the ICU, I'd say don't waste time on postpartum, go right for where the action is, L&D. I'm glad I did.

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