Mother/Baby VS Gen Peds: Insight for an anxious nursing student

Posted

Hello! I am a nursing student and was wondering if any mother/baby nurses and/or gen peds nurses could share their experiences.

I am really interested in Mother/Baby (PP) nursing for many reasons. For one, I love the emphasis this unit has on patient education. I like how on this unit, patients are generally "well" so I do not imagine this to be an emotionally draining job. As you can see, I am not really interested in anything high acuity such as ICU. Also, I do not mind that this unit is heavily task/charting oriented!

I am also really passionate about pediatrics, specifically gen peds. I must be honest though, I am naturally a very anxious person and painfully empathetic. I think I can handle many things, but seeing death in pediatrics I think would be particularly traumatizing. In all honesty, I also really love peds hem/onc but I just do not think I can handle the lows of the unit, and I am not even sure how I'd handle the lows of gen peds. 

I am not afraid of some poop, vomit, needles, blood, wounds, pee, or anything. I just don't wanna be emotionally drained and I want to be able to leave work at work. 

I would love to hear some insight/experience of nurses or other healthcare workers who have worked in these units. ?

RatherBHiking, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Oncology, OB, School Nurse. Has 30 years experience. 1 Article; 549 Posts

You’ll probably get rotated through both in school.

I thought for sure I’d want peds until I did my school rotation. It’s not an easy place to work. The kids are scared and cry a lot and can  freak out if you have to touch them for things like an IV, catheter, shots etc) but the worst part for me was seeing all the sad cases of kids neglected, ignored and even abused. Kids left to stay without a parent many times.  Kids can crash quickly too. One second they’re fine then bam! 
 

Post partum is a much happier place. I found it a little boring at times (not as in not enough to do but in not feeling challenged mentally kind of thing) but there is a ton of teaching. You do have some cases where you worry about the baby going home and do have to occasionally call CPS but it’s more of a happy place. 
 

Good luck!

guacamoleee

guacamoleee

21 Posts

On 2/1/2022 at 4:27 PM, RatherBHiking said:

You’ll probably get rotated through both in school.

I thought for sure I’d want peds until I did my school rotation. It’s not an easy place to work. The kids are scared and cry a lot and can  freak out if you have to touch them for things like an IV, catheter, shots etc) but the worst part for me was seeing all the sad cases of kids neglected, ignored and even abused. Kids left to stay without a parent many times.  Kids can crash quickly too. One second they’re fine then bam! 
 

Post partum is a much happier place. I found it a little boring at times (not as in not enough to do but in not feeling challenged mentally kind of thing) but there is a ton of teaching. You do have some cases where you worry about the baby going home and do have to occasionally call CPS but it’s more of a happy place. 
 

Good luck!

Wow, thank you so so much for your response. This has has given me a lot to think about and consider. ☺️  

RuralMOSchoolRN

RuralMOSchoolRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in ER/School/Rural Nursing/Health Department. Has 16 years experience. 95 Posts

It sounds like you have a good idea of what you want in a specialty. 

Mom/baby will most likely be like you said--less emergencies, lots of teaching (and handholding!), better outcomes.  Even at a smaller facility without a high level NICU you may see some downs--late term fetal demise, maternal hemorrhage/emergency c-section, opiate addiction (both mom and baby) etc.  But more ups than downs. 

Pediatrics is tough--they can't tell you what is wrong a lot of the time and parents can be tricky.  A lot of interventions cause kids to become upset and doing an IV with a crying baby and overlooking parent is the height of anxiety for me!  On the upside-often short stays and moderate interventions can have a kid go from sick to feeling better pretty fast.  Downside-kids can also go from good to really sick pretty fast and you almost learn a sixth sense about a kid getting ready to crash, before they do it.  A regular pediatric ward will see a lot of RSV, influenza, FTT, childhood illnesses and accidents.  There will for sure be kids you will mentally take home (injuries due to violence in the home, maltreatment, sketchy parents, etc). 

But honestly--I've been in several different departments and there will always be a few people that stay on your heart after they are discharged.

I worked in our rural nursery when I was a LPN getting my RN degree and I LOVED it.  Anything bad we sent out quickly and any high risk moms would go to the city from the get go.  LOTS of room for educating patients and who doesn't like rocking a baby while mom gets a nap!?

 

John2018

John2018

Specializes in Occupational Health Nursing. Has 4 years experience. 102 Posts

I worked as a nurse in an Adolescent ward, They are not as young as those patients we expect in the pediatric ward but they are still considered pedia patients, anyways, sometimes if the pediatric ward for ages  below 11 are cramp, they use our ward..I saw how difficult it is to handle very young patients. most of them are afraid of people wearing scrubs, simple procedure like taking vitals are also challenging. 

guacamoleee

guacamoleee

21 Posts

On 2/8/2022 at 4:26 PM, RuralMOSchoolRN said:

It sounds like you have a good idea of what you want in a specialty. (...)

 

Hello! I had my first postpartum clinical and I LOVED it. Thank you so much, I really love hearing about everyones experience

Leesa Johnson

Leesa Johnson

1 Post

Hi guacamoleee! I'm a big fat empath and an extremely anxious postpartum nurse of over 11 years. Here I break down what my typical shift looks like (day and night), my pay, etc. https://purelypostpartum.com/what-postpartum-nurses-do-and-how-much-they-make/ 

As a PP nurse, I must say, it's the best place to work in the hospital. I use to float to pediatrics and sick kids were more emotionally heartbreaking than the sick newborns. The kids in peds had personalities, were very bonded to their parents, and were very aware of what was going on, which made it that much more emotionally taxing.

I wish you the best of luck in whichever specialty you decide! 

Much love, Leesa 

guacamoleee

guacamoleee

21 Posts

On 2/26/2022 at 1:51 AM, Leesa Johnson said:

Hi guacamoleee! I'm a big fat empath and an extremely anxious postpartum nurse of over 11 years. Here I break down what my typical shift looks like (day and night), my pay, etc. https://purelypostpartum.com/what-postpartum-nurses-do-and-how-much-they-make/ 

As a PP nurse, I must say, it's the best place to work in the hospital. I use to float to pediatrics and sick kids were more emotionally heartbreaking than the sick newborns. The kids in peds had personalities, were very bonded to their parents, and were very aware of what was going on, which made it that much more emotionally taxing.

I wish you the best of luck in whichever specialty you decide! 

Much love, Leesa 

Wow!! Thank you so much, I loved reading your post. I had my rotations in a mother baby unit and now I am almost certain that is what I want to do. I say “almost” because I haven’t had my pediatric rotations yet… but after hearing a lot of insight from here and other nurses, I really do think mother baby is for me. I absolutely love it. Your day breakdown is very similar to what I’ve seen/done in clinical. Thank you again!