I thought I would hate OB, or at least be disinterested, and I loved it! I would say though, that a good third of the girls in my nursing program have said they wanted to be L&D or NICU nurses since before even starting school, let alone stepping onto an OB floor. Are there any L&D nurses who just kind of fell into it, or were surprised to find out that's what they loved?
Although I didn't enjoy postpartum as much, my L&D clinicals were so much fun, and everything in my OB class was so interesting to learn about! I love the elderly, but having a younger client population was also kind of fun. I'm also a teeny bit of a man-hater (I have a female dentist, only go to female doctors when I can help it, and I wish I could find a female mechanic), so I really love being able to help out other women. I'm married to a man, I just am inclined to think women are better at most things...
Anyway. I'd really like to know if there are other people like me, who didn't feel from the beginning like they were destined to work with pregnant ladies and babies. Do a lot of people start their careers in L&D, or if not start there, try and get there as soon as they get their "year of experience" in? Or are there a lot of people who spend a decade or two doing other things first? Also, I'm about to start my first job on a step down/telemetry floor, which I am very excited about. Is this sort of experience helpful at all, or will I still feel like a new grad after a couple years of that kind of experience?
I'm sure there are all different kinds of nurses with different backgrounds who wind up in L&D, I'd just love to hear about some personal experiences. I find it very difficult to "know" what I want to do, especially before I've ever done anything, and am open to just about every kind of nursing there is to do in a hospital.
Jun 4, '13
You will likely be working with male OBs. Just saying.
Jun 4, '13
Ha yeah that's not a problem! It's the pro-female atmosphere I really enjoy, not necessarily a complete absence of men. Although when I have a baby, I'm going to search high and low for a female OB I like!
Jun 4, '13
You might consider a midwife.
Jun 4, '13
I always wanted OB. Went to the OR first because after applying tristate and calling repeatedly every hospital and nurse recruiter, I just couldn't get into OB. It's very hard to get in. After 2 years of keeping in contact with the HR lady I finally scored my dream job in L&D. I always knew I didn't want to do med Surg or anything with floor nursing and old people. Just not me. I got lucky. I work L&D full time and per diem at the OR. Good luck.
Jun 4, '13
Yeah midwife or doula might be a great position for you since you seem to be all about the empowerment of women and what better place to empower a woman than one in labor.
Jun 4, '13
I was one of those "knew I wanted to work in OB before I even started school" - and I worked there as an extern through nursing school and got a job there as a new grad. And I still don't have any desire to do anything outside maternal/fetal health, although I no longer work as a bedside nurse.
Jun 5, '13
If you want to witness a really wonderful woman-centered, non-authoritarian birth situation, see if you can observe a birth or two at a midwife-led birth center. Totally different vibe than what happens in the hospital.
Jun 7, '13
I always wanted to work in OB. I recently started in PP and LOVE it !!!!
Jun 9, '13
I landed in PP/L&D unexpectedly when I was trying to break into the ED (trauma was my goal). Talk about a difficult specialty to get into (ED that is)! In fact, I barely paid attention during my OB rotations because it was the last unit before I graduated and I was burned out and disinterested because I thought it wasn't going to be "my specialty." Funny how life's twist and unexpected turns take you down paths you never thought you'd travel. I'm beyond thrilled with the outcome though and couldn't imagine myself anywhere else. During slow shifts, the nursery nurses will bring me an infant to feed and burp and I'll wonder how I got so lucky to land in a unit with new life and excitement every day. Personally, this speciality found me, I didn't ask for it but now when I'm called to the ED with the Doppler to establish FHT's, I can't wait to get out and get back to "my department" - L&D
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Jun 10, '13
Yep. Like you, I thought I would hate my OB rotation or at least "get through it". But I had a wonderfully terrible clinical experience. I worked at a very busy hospital with a clinical instructor who worked very hard to give us all a lot of exposure to the unit. I saw teenage mothers receiving no postpartum education and first time moms being yelled at by OBs for "not doing things correctly". My heart just broke for these women and I felt like I could really make a difference in this field. I love educating and I feel like I am a valuable advocate and support person for these woman.
So yes, I "fell" into L&D but so happy I did because I honestly don't know what else I would do!
Jun 12, '13
I was always interested in OB throughout nursing school, and that is where I've spent most of my years as a nurse, then Certified Nurse Midwife, and now OB Manager. However, I've also done a little Med-Surg, Nursing Home, ED, school nurse, and Rehab and I've enjoyed different aspects of every position. Nursing is a great profession that way... Don't be afraid to try LOTS of different things. The worst thing that can happen is you may discover a certain type of nursing is not for you. In that case, move on!
That said- OB is my true love! Good luck to you!
Jun 13, '13
When I was in nursing school, my OB rotation didn't phase me. It wasn't my favorite and I didn't have a yearning to be an OB nurse. At the time, nursing jobs were scarce and I just knew I had to take any job offered to me. A few months after passing my boards, I was called for an interview on a level 3 L&D. I got the job and after 17 years, I wouldn't consider any other area of nursing. I love what I do!
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