Hi! I'm new to this whole nurse forum thing but so far think it is pretty neat. I just graduated nursing school in May and have just started training as a Labor & Delivery nurse! So far I am so lost and sooooo confused!! I am working for a really fast paced hospital and I'm worried that it is so busy that I'm not going to have adequate training. I am suppose to be working with a preceptor and so far I've just been pushed off on a different nurse everyday! I know it is busy and I understand that I am slowing down all of these nurses who are trying to work but I feel so frustrated!!! Everything just seems so crazy and chaotic so far! Does anyone have any advice for a brand new nurse starting out in OB? I am scared to death!!!
Aug 5, '03
I'm curious as to why you don't have the same preceptor! I also was a new grad in L&D and I feel I got the best training from my one preceptor. Have you spoken to your manager about your frustrations? Also, are the preceptpors giving you feedback on how you are doing? You may be doing fine. It may take up to a year to feel comfortable in L&D. I kept a little notebook in my pocket with information I could access immediately. I also asked a lot of questions and relied heavily on the experienced nurses for there support. Keep your wits about you and you will be fine.
Keep us posted on how you are doing.
Aug 5, '03
I second Debbie's post. I say do not worry so much about how you are doing, but if you want to know, ASK. I started out in OB right out of school in 1997; talk about a scared, confused nurse. It took me fully a year to two to feel comfortable. some level of "discomfort" is a good thing in OB nursing, I feel. It keeps us on our toes. I am always on my toes cause things can happen fast. Just keep on working hard, get in there and do all you can with your own two hands and get into some fetal heart monitoring workshops if at all possible. Ask your nurse manager about these. Workshops and seminars are excellent tools for idea-sharing and breathing life into our careers.
Take care and hang in there. I used to go to work in tears some days, I was so stressed out. It will get better. If you feel your preceptor(s) is/are not serving you well, ask your nurse manager to team you up with someone who LIKES to teach. (I love to). It will make all the difference!!!!
Sep 20, '03
HEY CRISSY, i GRADUATED IN JUNE . i STARTED WORKING ON A BUSY LDRP UNIT IN AUGUST. THE FIRST FEW WEEKS WERE JUST CLASSROOM LECTURES, BUT NOW WE HAVE BEEN GOING ON THE FLOOR. I ALSO HAVE NOT GOTTEN A PERMANENT PRECEPTOR YET. I FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE IN PP FOR RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE I HAVE NOT BEEN TAUGHT HOW TO READ A FETAL MONITOR STRIP YET, OR WORK IN THE OR FOR C-SECTIONS. YESTERDAY, MY PT. HAD TO HAVE AN EMERGENCY SECTION AND I FELT LIKE I WAS JUST I N THE WAY. I ALSO HAVE NOT INSERTED ANY IV'S YET. I TRIED ONCE AND I DID NOT GET IT IN A VEIN. THEN THERE IS THE PAPERWORK WHICH ALSO CONFUSES ME. AND THE DOCTOR'S AND SOME OF THE NURSES' ATTITUDES. AS YOU CAN SEEN I ALSO FEEL CONFUSED AND LOST. I AM WAITING FOR THE DAY WHERE I FEEL COMFORTABLE AND KNOW THAT I DID A GOOD JOB. I CAN'T WAIT TO LEARN MORE SO I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING. HOPE TO HEAR HOW THINGS HAVE BEEN GOING FOR YOU.
Sep 20, '03
I agree with the others. I was not a new grad going into OB but I did have OB experience as a CST.
Great advice: Look for classes, seminars,books about OB. Get your certifications. Fetal monitoring basic and advanced are excellent classes. Another good one is legal issues in OB. A midwife that I used to work with also is teaching seminars on the Laboring Patient.
I too did not have the same preceptor each time I started a new job. I've been to 5 different hospitals. I like that. You can see how each person works and pick what is the best for you. Another advice I agree on: take notes. Don't be ashamed to write things down. Shrink copy policies or things out of textbooks and create a pocket book of information.
There is a lot to learn. OB is not all "breathing with the patients, pushing meds or getting epidurals, and playing with the babies". Give yourself time. A year or more.
Another piece of advice: Do not fake that you've got a concept down, if you need to orient longer do it. Don't forget that your license is on the line and you worked hard for it. If you need help or have questions, build a rapport with a well seasoned nurse and ask for their help. Seek out the help of your unit educator. That's what she's there for. OB is tough and we do eat some of our young alive! Especially if we see weakness. Not newness but those who pretend that they know it but don't. If your preceptor sees that you are eager to learn, she will teach you. If she seems bothered that you are with her, go ask to be reassigned. It's your training. If you're not getting it, go get it.
If you need IV starts, have you asked if you could spend some time in pre-op or another unit that does a lot of IV starts? This is what orientation is all about. Training. Learning. This time with pay. Heck, why hurry it along?
If you need any help, email me. I'll be glad to.
Sep 20, '03
I too went into ob as a grad nurse. hang in there in about 3 months you start getting a clue.
Sep 22, '03
Hi, I totally feel your pain!! I am a new (old) nurse, who went into OB right from school. I have always wanted to be a nurse, and it was never a question about what "type" of nurse. As I started, a different preceptor every day, I guess I did not mind, because I learned alot-about patient care, and about the kind of nurse I want to be. However, I graduated last Dec. started in January, and have been done with orientation for a good 6 months. I am scared to death. I go to work with knots in my stomach, which last until I punch out. Where I work, all the new people go to the NOC shift, because it is so hard to fill. The person with the most experience has been a nurse for 3 years. I feel confident with a "uneventfull" L & D, but if something hit the fan--I just dont feel I know enough.. I hope you find your zone, as I am still searching for mine!
Sep 22, '03
I hear you Kiekuh. That is the way where I used to work. And boy did stuff hit the fan. On Weekends the only other nurse had just been an RN for 3 years. We had some bad stuff go down with just the 2 of us and a house keeper. That is one of the reasons that I changed jobs. My license means to much to me.
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