In need of as much info as possible

  1. I will be starting my first job in Labor and Delivery in August. I'm sooo excited as this is exactly what I've been wanting- an L&D position in a family birthing center. I have a little time between now and then to get ready and was wanting to know if there is anything else I can do to prepare myself as a new grad for this exciting area? Also, what can I expect in terms of my orientation? From what I've been told by my NM, I will have a preceptor and will have specialized classes from the beginning of orientation as well. Another thing- how long did it take you to feel pretty comfortable in L&D? Sorry to bombard you with all of these questions but I'm exhilirated and nervous to be taking on such a huge responsibility and just want to be armed with as much information as possible from the beginning! Thanks in advance for your input!
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    About ShannonB25

    Joined: Mar '00; Posts: 198; Likes: 7
    OB RN


  3. by   janetrnc
    Read, read, read, and there are somethings you will never be totally comfortable with... even after 20 years some situations still make me nervous. You will never know enough that you can't learn more and don't look down on any of your colleagues, one should be able to learn from the lowest to the highest on the totem pole. If you have experienced CNA's or techs, LISTEN to what they tell you about your patients!
  4. by   rdhdnrs
    Congratulations on your new job! I hope you love OB as much as I do.
    The only thing I would add to Janet and Kday is to get or borrow a good OB textbook like Williams Obstetrics and browse through it. It will help a lot with the pathophys part and also help you to understand what informs your MD's practice.
    One of our residents went to Russellville. Hope you enjoy.
  5. by   mother/babyRN
    I agree with everyone big time! I know I say this all the time but if you EVER feel comfortable in delivery, you shouldn't be there, but, of course you will be accustomed to the routine and calm down a bit. Often takes years but thats ok. You'll enjoy the time there. Treat every pt as an individual and even if you just checked someone and she was 2 cms, and then walked to the desk and she says "The baby is coming!"...Believe her......Trust the patient and if you have a question or aren't sure about an exam, don't be afraid to say so. You will glean much more knowledge and respect that way. People will trust you and that makes people a whole lot nicer. Then, the teachers want to teach and everyone else undertands you are both honest AND earnest...
    If some doc starts to give you a hard time or gets frustrated, calmly say, Hey, I am new here and just trying to learn so bear with me, ok? If someone is innappropriate, take them aside and ask them calmly why they feel the need to be that way. I have always found prefacing any such meeting with, I treat you with respect and expect the same from you, often disarms them. If you have a great smile and sense of humor, use it.....
    A fetal monitoring course, however basic, is a great idea going in so as not to get overwhelmed when you enter delivery...Surround yourself with knowledge and notice how people approach patients. Create your own style by observing others and bring YOURSELF into your care! Congratulations to you and welcome to labor and delivery....Never a boring ride!
  6. by   nursechar
    Congratulations on your new job. I too am fairly new in L&D, started there about a year ago and previously worked on post-partum and in an OB/GYN office. I still don't feel totally comfortable
    in L&D. I work with great nurses who are always willing to help
    me with anything and are always willing to teach. Your co-workers
    are your best assets. Remember there is usually more than one right way to do something, and you may run into co-workers who do not believe in that philosophy. As long as you are providing safe pt. care and are true to yourself, your pt's and your co-workers you will do fine. After you have been there for a while, you will find what works best for you and get into your own groove. Diversity of the nursing staff is one thing that makes up a great L&D unit. Hope all goes well for you.

    Best of Luck!
  7. by   Sable's mom
    I totally agree w/ the comment that if you ever feel comfortable at delivery you shouldn't be there. The 10 minutes surrounding birth are the most stressful time in your life, but with experience things become tolerable. After 25 years I still have an adrenaline rush each time a new baby is born!!
  8. by   canoehead
    I disagree with taking a fetal monitering course before you go on the floor as the days I take those courses I leave stressed to the max having talked about all those bad outcomes, and wondering if I really want to put myself in a labor situation. Get a few happy deliveries under your belt- follow a doula around for a day or two- that was the BEST experience I had during orientation.
  9. by   Angel Baby
    Welcome to this wild and crazy specialty!!! The best ammunition you can have is to learn the physiology. If you know the physiology cold--then you will understand what's happening, why it's happening and what to do.

    Oh, and always expect the unexpected!!!!!!!! Good luck
  10. by   nograd

    The girls I work with highly recommend a Michelle Murray's Fetal monitoring classes, check out they have the class list. She also has a book called Essentials of Fetal Monitoring 2nd Ed. That is excellent, it cost about $75, but well worth it! Also if you can get your hands on Williams Obstetrics, it is an excellent source for pathophys. and anatomy. It's somewhat costly, but you may be able to buy it second hand. Angel Baby has a good point "Always expect the unexpected" If you think that something rarely happens, its bound to happen! And speaking from experience: Don't be afraid to double check, ask questions, and pick up a book, bounce things off the experienced RNs, give them your thoughts try and figure out the problem. I have seen quite a few of new nurses go through our unit, and the ones that have done best and have turned out to be great L&D RNs did all that. Above all work as a team and have fun! OB can be scary at first but what a blast and a privilage it will be! I hope to be in your shoes next year when I graduate! Congrats & Good Luck!