New RN very nervous about starting out in L&D

Posted
by lesliebeth1 lesliebeth1 (New) New

I am a newly graduated nurse. I was really interested in labor and delivery, NICU, or other specialty areas like those. I got a job on a labor and delivery unit. I was so excited, but now I am starting to get nervous! Are there any labor and delivery nurses on here that also started as brand new nurses? Were you also scared and do you now love it? Any suggestions or observations you could give, I would really appreciate it. :redpinkhe

Butterfly0328

Butterfly0328

Specializes in future OB/L&D nurse(I hope) or hospice. 286 Posts

I so envy you!! You are where I pray I will be in a couple of years... I don't have any advice of sorts but just want to say that if this is your passion and your goal, you will do fine. Staying true to yourself and your passions will only lead you to happiness. Good Luck

JaneyW

JaneyW

Specializes in Perinatal, Education. Has 9 years experience. 640 Posts

I started in L&D--it can be done! Be ready for a steep learning curve and a lot of fear and anxiety, but I don't think that is much different from other areas!

TonieRN

TonieRN

46 Posts

I started out as a student nurse extern in L&D. Went to PP as a new grad and 8 months later cross trained to L&D as an RN. Fear is good in OB, esp L&D. It will keep you on your toes. OB is awesome, but commands a level of respect. I am not trying to scare you, just letting you know that where you are at is normal and healthy. You will or should have a lengthy orientation. Use it. Get the experiences in that you need and realize that there is always more to learn. You can never run too much pit...it is an art in and of itself. Learn to trust your instincts.... View each patient as a unique learning experience...learn something new from EVERY patient. Understand that each patient you care for will remember you. You will be part of one of the most important events in their lives. OB is different from most other fields of nursing. I wish you the best of luck. :)

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery. 17 Articles; 5,259 Posts

Moved to Ob/Gyn nursing forum.

Also, if you do a quick search on allnurses.com for 'tips for new grads in L&D' or something similar, I am quite certain you will find multiple threads with good advice. Welcome aboard!

NPinWCH

NPinWCH

Specializes in Family NP, OB Nursing. Has 15 years experience. 374 Posts

I was a new grad in L&D and stayed there for 15 years, so you can do it. I think everyone is scared when they start any place new, and that is a good thing. The people I've known who weren't scared are the ones that were not a good fit for OB.

One thing I learned rather quickly was how little I actually knew. Understanding that is important. Please, don't pretend you understand something you don't. Listen to your preceptors and ask questions. Learn the policies and don't let the doctors or other nurses intimidate you. You're there to learn, which means you'll be slower and you'll probably make a mistake at some point. When you do, admit it and learn from it. Ask how you could have avoided it or what else you might need to know to prevent it in the future. Remember, use your resources; even now, I'll ask my fellow RNs for advice or what they think about a tracing, would they notify Dr. So-and-so yet or run a patient by them.

Be present and attentive and be helpful. The more willing you are to work and learn, the more you will learn and the more the other RNs will respect you. I can't tell you how many new RNs I've precepted who will let the call bell ring, or not answer the phone because they were either fiddling with their phone or doing something else or maybe even because, "I don't know how." If you don't know how, ask and then do. So what if you don't know how to transfer the phone call or you're not sure how to answer the caller. Take the initiative.

Also, don't assume a job is below you. Just because the techs/aids are usually responsible for a certain job, does not mean that at some point you won't have to do it. Sure, the techs might set up for a delivery, but emergencies happen and you might one day wish you knew how to do it.

I guess my big point is be present, be helpful, know what you do and don't know and ask if you don't understand something. One more thing, give it at least a year. There is so much to learn and it can be overwhelming. Don't quit after 6 months because you still feel "lost"; that's normal. You will get the hang of it, you will learn the routine, you will master the skills you need, just don't give up too soon.

Irishobrn

Irishobrn

25 Posts

I started out in L&D and I always thought it was the best thing I could have done. It can be overwhelming no matter where you start, but starting in the area you want to ultimately be in is a plus. When I graduated they were starting nurses directly into specialties in all the hospitals around where I lived. We even had a manager come and speak to us in school that said they would rather train you into a speciality then spend all the time and money training you into med-surg just to have you transfer after a year or so into the field you want to be in. Now lots of nurses love med-surg and or find they love it once they train into it, but I knew I wasn't going to be one of them so I was very happy to go straight to L&D. Now over the years I've worked other areas but I always stay PRN at least in L&D to keep my skills. I have to say I haven't found a unit that I like better and even though you are feeling nervous I'm sure once you get into it you'll love it too! Good luck to you! :)

DizzyLizzyNurse

DizzyLizzyNurse

Specializes in Peds Medical Floor. Has 12 years experience. 1,024 Posts

I'm very jealous of you! That's the job I want. :yeah: Good luck! I'm sure you'll be fine!

lesliebeth1

lesliebeth1

11 Posts

Thanks everyone! You have sent me some great advice. I start in a few weeks!

TeleMeMore

TeleMeMore

51 Posts

Congratulations and Good Luck!

Just stay positive and learn from everything!

RNCoastiewife

RNCoastiewife

Has 1 years experience. 59 Posts

So jealous!! That is why I went to nursing school in the first place, and after almost 2 years since graduating I still can't get in there:(. You can do it, get in there ask tons of questions and do your best:).

honeymist

honeymist

64 Posts

Wow where do you live?! I'm so jealous, I graduate in December but don't really have high hopes about being hired as a new RN into L&D! Good luck!!!