Not sure about Ob Nursing

  1. Hi All!
    i am new here. I will be starting my first clinical semester on January 23 and I am not sure if a career in OB nursing is for me. Ever since I had my 2 daughters, I have felt like I had to be a part of it. However, I am worried because i am extra-emotional when it comes to babies that are hurting or will be sent home to mothers who can't take care of them or don't want them. My concern is how do you separate yourselves from these cases and move onto the next one? Or don't you I just need to know what the best way to deal with these things is, or maybe this OB career isn't for me. Thank you in advance for any help on this subject
  2. Visit NurseHeather profile page

    About NurseHeather

    Joined: Dec '02; Posts: 31; Likes: 1


  3. by   2banurse
    Hi Heather,
    I can understand your concern, and though yes, you will come across instances such as this, I still like to believe that the majority of these babies will be loved and cared for. I also think that no matter what area you go into, you will find those less than desired patients and/or families.

    I myself are leaning towards either L&D or Postpartum. I am particularly being pulled more to the postpartum from seeing some of the experiences of my sister and some friends after they had their first. Though I don't have children at this time, I know that a lot of new mothers are going through a range of emotions, fear being a big one, I would like to help them where I can.

    Best of luck in your decision and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    To all who are students, my advice is to let your nursing school and clinical rotations all play out first. You may change your minds when you get more experience. You may not. I would not worry if you are undecided in school or even when you graduate. You can always try float pooling or jump into med-surg for a short trip, first. it will all become much clearer as times goes by. Many hospitals have grad intern programs, if they do, check em out when you are done. It may be helpful! I wish you luck!

    (by the way, I have been an OB nurse since 1997 and LOVE it, even tho it definately has its ups and DOWNS!)
  5. by   fergus51
    I couldn't even begin to count the number of people in my nursing class who fell in love with areas they were sure they would hate and were terrified of before they started! Just take a deep breath and let what happens happen. If you do get upset, then you get upset. You're human. At worst you will hate OB nursing and have to make it through one clinical with it. At best you may find out you really like it.
  6. by   shay
    The others offer good advice. Yep, it's an emotional job. It's very difficult some days because you find yourself taking care of patients, who, by all intents and purposes probably shouldn't be even HAVING children, but there they are.

    If you haven't noticed, most OB nurses have a warped sense of humor. :chuckle I think a lot of us use that as a coping mechanism. We also lean on eachother a lot. Don't go into clinical thinking it's do or die. You very well might find something else that is more for you. FTR, I was certain I WASN'T going into OB nursing after my clinical....and look where I ended up. :chuckle
  7. by   NurseHeather
    Hi all! I guess from reading all of your messages to me, I will just have to decide after I have gone through all of the clinicals which career is for me. i just am really leaning towards OB nursing. Anyways, will just have to wait and see. Also, do any of the nurses cry with the patients who are experiencing a loss of their babies, or how do you refrain from doing so.. i cry everytime I watch the baby story when a baby is born healthy. I can just imagine how I would take it if a baby died Thank you all. I love this site. It is soo helpful Heather
  8. by   indynurse
    I know of many of the nurses, myself included, who have cried with the patient experiencing the loss of a baby. It is more of a teary sniffling trying to keep my composure type crying as opposed to open sobbing. Sometimes you just can't help it and, given what is happening at the time, I don't think the parents mind. Yes, I might get a little teary eyed, but the focus is still on the pt and her family. I've seen many of the docs get this way too. The important thing is that you are there for the patient and you let them know it's okay to mourn the loss of the baby, regardless of gestational age. Whether the patient was 9 weeks or 39 weeks gestation, they still have lost a baby and the hopes and aspirations for the future with this child.
  9. by   llg
    I agree with just about everything said in this thread, but wanted to add one more thing.

    Having been a nurse for 25 years now, (most of it in NICU's), I believe that the nurses who "make it" in the long run and avoid burn out are those that have come to terms with the realities of life and their careers on a deep personal and spiritual level. It's not so much a matter of learning a quick technique or doing a few "stress management" exercises that gives these nurses the ability to thrive in the long run and deal with the various stressors of the job -- but rather, a deep sense of committment to helping others in spite of whatever troublesome circumstances exist and an emotional maturity that accepts the fact that we can't make everything perfect all the time.

    They see themselves as helpers, supports, and facilitators that assist people through tough times rather than taking on the burden of being the "savior." At best, it's not so much a matter of "separating" as it is being realistic in your goals when working with a particular case. Totally separating from the patient is neither providing good nursing care nor is it emotionally healthy for the care-giver. The key is to stay connected and in-touch with the emotional issues without being overwhelmed by them by taking them all on as your responsibility to fix.

    Yes, it is sometime very tough to cope with the sad situations we encounter as nurses -- but isn't helping people through tough times part of what a career in health care is all about?

  10. by   NurseHeather
    Wow! Thank you soo much for those very encouraging words. You have helped me see that it will be ok to stay connected with the pts. on an emotional level as well as the nursing aspect of it. I was just so scared that people might think I am too weak of a person emotionally to be able to handle any career in nursing. But, my purpose is definately clear in nursing and that is mostly because I want to be able to help people and to make a positve impression on their lives. Thank you so much for putting all that time and thought into your reply. It means alot that there are people out there like you who care enough about students like me to possibly be a mentor.:kiss
  11. by   mark_LD_RN
    one bit of advice take your time and keep an open mind as to what you want to do. I for one never wanted to do OB, but by the time i finished college this is my choosen field I know many who wanted OB and could not stand it once they tried it.

    once again SMILINGBLUEYES i agree with you

    on the subject of crying and bonding with patients. yes i do cry with and for my patients I have cried at the birth of their baby and with the loss of one. but for your own health you will also need to learn how to cope with loss. as i can atest to from previous experiences and a most recent experience.

    to me OB is a very special area to work and it takes a special person to be good at it and at the same time stay sane.

    just remember take your time leave all doors open you have time to decide. if you like to talk more feel free to email or PM me i wil be glad to talk with you. good luck
  12. by   mother/babyRN
    I cry. I hug. I am their mom, friend, sister, coach, advisor and anything they need to me. I am pliable when I need to be and firm when I have to be. I am in charge sometimes and I let them be in charge sometimes. I am whatever they and their families need me to be. "Being" there for your patients means you can, might and will get emotional. That isn't always easy, but it enriches you every single time....Try it. If it isn't for you, you will know it right away.....If you decide it IS for you, welcome to our ranks.....Either way, good luck, good fortune and all the best in your chosen area.....
  13. by   mother/babyRN
    The LAST place I thought I wanted to work was OB....The very first pt I had was a lonely frightened young girl who thought no one would ever understand her plight. I did because I had gone through the exact same thing some years before. She and I bonded, and years later she contacted me to tell me she became a nurse because of me and my treatment of her. Made me decide that God must have sent me there to her for a reason. And, now she is helping others in much the same way. Whatever your chosen path, may it be happy and safe, and learning enriched.....
  14. by   NurseHeather
    What a wondeful story you have to tell. Your words have been very encouraging to me in my thoughts about which career I will choose. Thanks again!