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New to L&D- did i make a mistake?? Need advice!

Hello! I just started 2 months ago in a L&D unit at a very busy hospital and I am currently in my 12 week preceptorship. My question to all of you experienced nurses is how long is a reasonable amount of time to make a decision about whether or not L&D is really for me?? I know thats a strange question, but I think alot of how I am feeling is related to being new, scared and very confused. The transistion from student to RN has been really stressful and so many people have told me that its perfectly normal to be feeling this way. Between 6 weeks of classes and starting out on the floor, I feel like I am trying to cram sooooo much new information into my head that even the most basic skills are confusing. I am just not sure about the responsibility of taking care of a newborn which is very fragile and since we do couplet care, taking care of the mom too! We do alot of high risk so this just adds to the pressure. AHHH!! Appreciate any advice. Thanks!

bagladyrn specializes in OB.

Take a deep breath and give yourself a break! It's really normal to feel totally "at sea" at this point. OB and particularly L&D is one of those areas where it really takes about a year to feel really comfortable. The fact that you are nervous means that you are taking the responsibility seriously. It's the new nurses who think they know it all (and have no clue how much they don't know) who make me really nervous.

Continue to ask questions, read, study and attend any classes or seminars on OB in your area.

One day you will look around and realize you really do have a handle on it.

2 months is just a beginning......I agree with Baglady above. BREATHE, go easy on yourself, relax and just try to take it as it comes.

You will have a clearer picture and experience in a few more months. I would not jump ship just yet. You need a bit more time. I remember being completely overwhelmed, to the point of crying and having stomach aches before work when I was new.

Obviously it worked out and I got better. 10 years later, no regrets. Hang in there and good luck.

Focus on one new area,whether it is the newborn assessments or mgso4 and get really good at it, till you feel comfortable.Ask tons of questions and be sure you have a great mentor. Give your self a break as well. Most babies don't break, they are pretty sturdy(look at what they just came through!)Labor and Delivery is fun and very rewarding. It will give you back so much more.Also most people aren't sick and after the delivery for the most part everyone is happy! Stick with if you can. They need new nurses. I am a retired L&D charge nurse. I stuck with it for 25 years and we were allnew once! Oh yeah one other thing if you go to med surg you will have to juggle so much more, the patient load is heavier and the stinky diapers are that much stinkier. LOL Good Luck

Thank you all for the words of encouragement!!! I guess time will tell..... I am realizing every day the importance of a good preceptor to really make or break the learing experience. From what you all are saying, this is normal to feel overwhelmed and I will remember that for my next shift :) Thanks!!!

yeah... all uve said r right.. it is normal to get confused and get nervous.. but remember if you put your heart to what on youre doing.. and by practicing .. youll catch the big fish..! just keep on believing on urself and specially dont get nervous.. becoz when you panic.. most probably ull lose ur concentration.. c yah around..!

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