we are a "closed unit" where I work. This has both advantages and disadvantages. What it means, is , when times of low census occur, we must take turns being "cut back" and either using PTO to get paid for the time lost (for FTE) or lose the full 12 hours in pay (for perdiems). But it also means no one is "pulled" involuntarily to other units with which he/she is unfamiliar. I have done it both ways and frankly, prefer NOT being involuntarily floated to other units. I just make sure when the census is high, to work "extra" to offset the "low census" times. I plan ahead for rough times.
The other disavantage is to being "closed" is NO ONE is forced to float to us, either, so when it does get busy, we may have to just "suck it up" and deal with it as we cannot expect help from other floors.
However, We are fortunate in that there are nurses from other floors who do like to float up to OB and will, if they can. It can work against us also, in that we are perceived as "prima donna's" by the other floors. SO when someone DOES graciously agree to float up, I treat her/him like GOLD. I make them welcome and never ever give them the tough assignments, cause I do want them back. Many will choose not to float to OB due to the prima donna perception. Can't say I blame them a bit.
I don't like the sound of how your place is run, frankly. Being alone in an OB unit is NEVER GOOD as you have NO idea what comes through those doors. 30 minutes is FAR too long if a true emergency like prolapsed cord or abruption is throw your way. You always want another labor-qualified nurse RIGHT THERE to help out, if an emergency comes in. I would strongly give some serious consideration to moving on, if you can't convince your management how dangerous this really is. Are you an AWHONN member? If not, seriously consider membership as you are kept abreast of current staffing requirements/ratios and standards of care (which by the way,. you are held LIABLE to uphold). Check www.awhonn.org
for info on AWHONN membership and information.
I repeat, 30 minutes' response time is NOT good enough if an emergency arises.
I wish you well. I appreciate the predicament you are in...been there myself in the rural setting, and it's dangerous, period. HUGs!