I am currently a intermediate care cardiac RN. I specialize in postop open hearts and get a variety of other med/surg patients on my floor. I've been there for 4 years and i am miserable now. I'm tired of the clicks, being overworked, working shortstaffed and tired of the type of patients we've been getting lately. Mostly medical trainrecks. I know- it sounds like everywhere else in the world! I've been having problems with the manager and i feel it's time for a change. I applied as a Labor and Delivery nurse and i have an interview set up. I am scared to death!! I want to know if the grass is greener in maternity and if people are generally happy there. I'm comfortable in cardiac, but definitely need a change. Do you think that would be a drastic move on my part in switching areas? I don't know what to do. -Linda
Jul 28, '04
Two nurses that I used to work with in L&D were also cardiac nurses and made the switch. From what I remember, they were happy with the change!
L&D is generally "happy" but there is your share of misery too. Babies who won't breastfeed and the mom is sobbing; mothers not wanting their babies, crack addicts having babies, babies dying, mothers dying, etc. Of course this is not every day, but it's there.
L&D is considered to be a high acuity area, much like cardiac and ED, which is why I think nurses from those areas do well in L&D and vice versa. It's worth a try, I think. Good luck!
Jul 29, '04
I agree with the above post, also don't think you are going to L&D for a "happy vacation". Our specialty is intense and you are responsible for two lives, one who only talks through a monitor strip. We are wellness focused, rather then illness. Labor is a great job, but it isn't a vacation......
Jul 30, '04
I am toying with the same ideas... I have a mostly cardiac,med-surg, telemtry, some ICU experience and am thinking about L&D. I have some hang ups with major medically managed births, so I may not be a good candidate to work in L&D. BUt OTOH, maybe I would really like it. I have no idea. I have a big interest in the nursery/post partum.. The hospital I am interviewing with next week cross trains to all 3, so I can't just choose nursery, for example.
Jul 30, '04
If you have real hang-ups with medicalized birth, L and D in a hospital may not be for you, unless you have a prominent midwifery practice and presence there. Even then, many midwifes in the hospital setting practice much like OB's do, interventions and all.
You CAN try a freestanding birthing center, as well. Some DO hire RN's to assist there. That is a dream of mine.
Jul 31, '04
If you have real hang-ups with medicalized birth, L and D in a hospital may not be for you, unless you have a prominent midwifery practice and presence there. Even then, many midwifes
I have thought about that, could be frustrating. And no, there is nothing like a free standing birthing center in this extremely antiquated area! :angryfire No midwives either, possibly one - but may as well be an OB
Such a bummer, especially when I had my own children. I am interested in breastfeeding education, and think I would really enjoy the nursery and the post partum. I will have to get more details at the interview.
Jul 31, '04
I know my MW practice doesn't do episiotomies routinely, it would be a very rare occasion for internal monitors. And unless there is a problems (or epidural or other meds) they only use intermittent external monitors. Same goes for IV's. Of course at the birth center epidurals aren't used. They also have a less than 5% c-section rate (including the MD births). And I know from the MWs that some hospitals are less likely to push interventions. Maybe you could try checking around.
Aug 1, '04
I think you would probably really enjoy labor and delivery. I am currently an LDRP nurse and I love it. We had a nurse just this year come to us from ICU and she loves it. She said that she would not trade back for anything. I agree with the nurse from above that it can be high acuity, but on the average, the majority of my deliveries are awesome experiences that have given me the chance to bond with MANY couples and to be a blessing to them during their L and D experience. You know there will be clicks wherever you go and their will be managers that drive us crazy wherever you go, but to enjoy your job while putting up with these other problems that are everywhere definitely makes it worth it. If you are feeling some burn out where you are then the awesome thing about nursing is there are thousands of opportunities to do something else. Alot of times I think we just get comfortable and don't want to step out of that zone. Forgive me for putting a personal belief here, but sometimes I think God allows us to get uncomfortable where we are because he wants to move us somewhere else and we just won't do it. Nevertheless, I hope whatever you decide that you will be happy in your pursuit. Blessings. Lori RN
Aug 1, '04
Well,I met with the L&D manager and she was really nice. The only problem was they only have part time night positions open at this time. I was kind of bummed, but also a bit relieved. We talked for quite a while and she is going to keep my resume in her file for open day positions ( I have day care issues). She said she has people who have worked there for 20-30 years. They must love it! At least i made a step and if anything else comes along i may go for it. Thanks for the advice. -Linda
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