new grads in L & D

Specialties Ob/Gyn


Specializes in jack of all trades, master of none.

What do the experienced nurses out there think of "newbies" in L & D. I always thought I wanted to work in OR, but now that I have been offered an L&D position, I am really having doubts about OR. L& D has been a thought in the back of my mind, & now family & friends are saying I should go for L&D, that I would be really good at it ( a few people encourageing me have worked L&D, but didn't feel it was right for them. How do you know if you will be a good fit?

I was a newbie in L&D so I may be a little biased. I only had a few months of nursing under my belt before I got a job there and I worked out fine. I think if you have a willingness to learn you can go into a specialty right out of school because the areas are so different you may not get a lot out of med-surg that will help you in L&D. I think you need to ask yourself how you feel about birth(are you grossed out or interested)? Can you work with whole families? Are you OK with the fact that the turnover is high or would you rather be in an area where the same patients stay longer? Can you work independantly? Can you handle the surprises of this area (you never know what'll happen from one minute to the next? Can you handle the stress that those women are going through? Do you mind getting squirted with bodily fluids ocasionally? Personally, I hated the regimentation necessary for an OR nurse and loved the independance and patient interaction of L&D.

It's a stressful place sometimes, but I love the conection you make with people. I always feel priveledged to be in on this huge event in my patient's lives. Even when the outcome is bad, and there are bad outcomes on L&D, I still feel like I am a part of a very important part of a family's life. I think it is sacred really. I can't really explain the way I feel when I help welcome a new life into this world. It is just amazing. You should only go into this area if you think you would like it.

Even if it doesn't work out, it isn't hard to change areas in nursing.

Specializes in jack of all trades, master of none.

Thanks for replying. I think that the birthing process is the biggest miracle that there is, as I'm sure many people do. One of the things that I think I would enjoy would be the contact with entire families. And hey, the fluid thing, it can happen anywhere, ya' know? I know that I wouldn't have a problem with that. What I think I would have a problem with, would be the "bad" things that can happen. I honestly don't think that I would be able to hide my tears if a baby passed. Thanks again, fergus51 for your insight :)


You don't need to hide your tears. One of my most meaningful experiences was crying right along with a young mother who had given birth to a stillborn. Months later she came back and thanked me for it saying it made her feel like she wasn't alone in her loss. The only advice I would give you is to go in with your eyes open. L&D has just as much heartache as any other floor and the I think people sometimes pick it because they think it is always happy and then realize later that it isn't for them. It isn't always happy, but it is always meaningful. Good luck whatever you decide:)

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