Nervous and excited

  1. One of the two rotations I have been waiting for the whole time I have been in nursing school begins tomorrow for 3 weeks. Yes, OB, today we had orientation to the unit. Now, I am VERY NERVOUS and excited at the same time. I know in the OB when something bad happens it happens VERY, VERY quickly. I am aware of that. The instructor told us that nurses in OB prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I think I want to do OB it is either OB or PEDS. I am also interested in other areas too but my main interests are OB and PEDS.

    What advice would you offer to a student nurse doing their OB rotation. What do you wish someone would have told you when you was doing your OB rotation. Did you know when you finish your OB rotation that you wanted to go into OB.

    I am so excited that I have so many questions but the list will be long so I will not ask them all on here. Just what advice do you have or offer.

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    About peaceful2100

    Joined: Aug '00; Posts: 894; Likes: 82
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience


  3. by   shay
    Heeee ....we just got our new 'batch' of students today. Funny you should post this today...

    Hmmm...well, I had a really rotten OB rotation in school....paired w/an evil nurse who hated students, was crabby, yadda yadda yadda. Swore I'd never be an OB!

    I wish someone had told me not to let one crabby nurse influence my opinion on the whole unit. I also wish they'd told me that it was okay to listen in when the 'nice' nurses were talking to my classmates.

    See if your nurse or instructor will sit down w/you and talk you through a fetal strip. I had such a hard time w/confusing the different types of decels, etc., in lecture, that it would have been beneficial if someone had done that for me. I try to do it with all of my students when they're with me. It really helps it all come together.

    Have fun!!
    Let your instructor know that you are willing to do anything and everything! Some instructors can get lazy, and want to get through clinicals as quickly as some of the students do. This always bothered me when it was a rotation I was particularly interested in. But if you make it clear you REALLY want to see as much as you can, the instructor will seek you out for the interesting stuff.

    Enthusiasm is contagious

    Have fun!

  5. by   mother/babyRN
    I am with shay and Heather! I didn't have a great OB rotation because my instructor really didn't want to be there. The nurses were very busy and I was too timid to ask too many questions. I wish I had identified someone who was willing to teach, and ask questions. Usually, when our students arrive, I will introduce myself, tell them I work the night shift, so most often will be leaving as they comeon, but make sure they know if they have any questions or concerns raised during report, they should feel free to ask me...Sometimes I will approach one of our well known crotchedy doctors, with students in tow, and tell them in front of him that although he is grouchy, he is a wonderful teacher and he won't bite...That usually ups his ego and willingness to impart info without having students for lunch, and they can see and learn how to approach different members of the doc staff...That is an important lesson. Watch how the nurses deal with the doctors...Once you get past that, that is half the battle....Ask questions..Appear interested in what the nurses on the unit have to say...You will quickly see who likes to teach, who likes to preach, and who is out of reach....Be yourself and have fun....
  6. by   Jolie
    My biggest pet peeve was students who didn't know what was normal. Know your norms: normal range of vital signs for a newborn, normal fundal height for a post-partum mom immediately after delivery, 12 hours after delivery, and 1-4 days after delivery, normal post-partum hematocrit, etc.

    If you have trouble remembering these values (and many people do, unless they work OB all the time) make a cheat sheet to carry with you. I never thought less of a student who had to double check these values, but I did think poorly of those who never bothered to look them up in the first place.

    Also, if you are assessing a patient and find anything out of the norm, like a respiratory rate of 80 for a newborn, or a boggy fundus on a mom, call your instructor or staff nurse IMMEDIATELY to check behind you and help you to intervene, if necessary. I can't tell you how much I wanted to strangle any student who charted these things, and never notified ANYONE. While your learning is important, it is second to patient care and safety.

    Lastly, keep your eyes and ears open, and soak everything up! Enjoy your rotation. That you've posted here for suggestions leads me to believe that you must be a very conscientious student. You'll do fine!
  7. by   live4today
    (1) volunteer to see, do, and hear everything while you have the chance over the next three weeks."

    (2) as a student in training, it's okay to be nosy, so nose away. you'll learn a lot that way.

    (3) working ob is a great opportunity to practice your therapeutic communication skills with the moms. be very obeservant on how they relate -- or fail to relate -- with their newborn baby. you may pick up on signs of the mother not being able to bond with her baby, and intervene by seeing that she receives a psyche or social service consult.

    (4) don't be shy about assessing everything on the mother and baby! leave nothing to chance, even if that mom says "it's my fifth baby! take nothing for granted in making sure that mom can verbalize back to you her discharge instructions, how to care for the baby, get the baby to latch on well to the breast if she is breastfeeding, and understands how to take her baby's temperature for goodness sakes! i can't tell you how many moms i've encountered who do not know how to take their baby's temperature. make sure you let her know that "feeling the baby's head" is not the same as taking the baby's temperature. that very mom will be the one to be discharged to home, think her baby has a fever, call her doctor about her findings, only to be asked by the nurse "what's the baby's temperature, maam?" only to hear the mother say, "he/she doesn't feel like he/she has a fever/temperature." the nurse will say, "did you take the baby's temperature, maam?" the mom will say, "well, no, i don't know how, or i don't own a thermometer. i meant to buy one, but i felt his/her head and...." i think you get my drift on this take.

    you, the ob nurse may be that baby's first line of defense/protection against it being placed in harms way if you take note of those things that are often overlooked during the mother's stay in the hospital those 2 or 3 days. checking the fundus, the bleeding, the mom and baby vital signs, counting the wet or poopy diapers, checking the hct, and all the other physically important parts necessary to check, are all very very important, but so is the mother's psyche for she may not be "stable minded emotionally or otherwise" to go home with that baby...thus intervention is of the essence. you may be the one to prevent another 'andrea yates' syndrome.

    it's so easy as a student or new grad working in ob to overlook essential data such as i have described. it's not done intentionally, but often the excitement of the moment...being thrilled for the mom, cooing at the cute little bundle of joy, and sharing 'mommy stories' with the mothers may often times cloud the moment that is putting out signs/symptoms you need to be alert to medically and psychologically speaking.... enjoy your ob rotation! i didn't have one dull moment when i went through mine in college, nor did i find it dull when floating on those units as a hospital per diem staff member. i loved ob and newborn nursery! it's a great unit to teach and learn on. you'll do great! no doubts in my mind! :kiss
  8. by   rnoflabor2000
    Don't be afraid to ask another nurse. Chances are one of these nurses loves students. I sure do. If you haven't covered OB in classroom format, read up a little before you do your rotations. Don't be afraid to ask questions, even a great and experienced Nurse will ask questions if she is not sure. See a delivery and cry with the family, it's OK to do that. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. We are still human, and still cry when we are happy or sad. good luck and enjoy your rotation.
  9. by   mother/babyRN
    Hope you let us know how things are going. We were all students once too, you know....
  10. by   ShandyLynnRN
    As a nurse fairly new to OB after 3 years working mainly with the elderly (1 year in ob), I must tell you that it is use it or lose it!!!! I loved my rotation in OB in school, although it was pretty slow. When I got a job finally in an OB dept, I was greener than green... infact, I still am!!! I can hold my own, but it takes practice. Never be afraid to ask a question because most OB nurses, generally speaking, remember what it was like for them when they first started. Aslo, never never think that you have the "good" patient, because changes happen fast!!!! It is also very different with every hospital you work in just because the paperwork is a killer, and it is diferent everywhere!!!!!!