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New Grad Looking For Advice

by ToHealTheSick ToHealTheSick (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Labor & Delivery.

Hi!  I am a new grad nurse who has just accepted a position on an L&D unit.  I'm super nervous, but also really excited!  I interviewed for both L&D and Mother/Baby, and although L&D scares me more than Mother/Baby, I had a better gut-feeling about L&D's management and training process for new grads after the interviews and shadowing on the units, which Is why I chose it.  I've always said that NICU was my dream unit, but I loved my L&D clinicals during school, and after the interviews for this job, I told my Mom that I felt like Mother/Baby would definitely be a stopping-off place, but that L&D could become a long-term career.

At this hospital, we have the only high-risk antenatal care unit and Level III NICU in the entire region (15 surrounding counties in 3 states), so we're pretty busy! 🙂  I know that some level of nervousness is probably good, because it'll ensure I ask questions.  My question to more experienced nurses is, how do you keep a willingness to ask questions from spiraling into constantly second-guessing yourself and causing hesitation? 

Also, any advice for things I should go ahead and be reviewing?  Maybe that sounds like a dumb question, or like I'm getting ahead of myself, but I want to be the best new-grad L&D nurse possible, and be prepared to learn as much as I can, and I've been out of school for 6 months, plus the last 2 months of my final semester were kind of iffy thanks to COVID.  I've been trying to look over common L&D meds (pharm was my worst subject in school, so I want to get a leg up on being prepared), and fetal heat strips and associated interventions.  The unit specific orientation is 16-20 weeks (depending on the needs of the new nurse) with a preceptor, and new grads are also required to be a part of a hospital-wide Nurse Residency Program for their first year in-hospital.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

My opinion? Get your life organized now so when you go to work, life is easier. I assume you are new to full-time nursing hours. 

Plan how you will feed yourself- batch cooking once a week? Slow-cooker? Have a spouse/partner do the cooking? Eat a lot of takeout? Do you have a plan for lunches at work?

Now would be a good time to organize, declutter and clean your home. Nothing like coming home to a relaxed environment. Once you are working, you might be too tired on your days off.

Plan for primary and backup routes for your transport. Realize you will be expected to make it in to work in all kinds of weather.

If you don't have work shoes, get a pair and start breaking them in.

If you will work nights, get blackout shades and a source of white noise. 

If you have kids, have regular, backup and emergency childcare planned.