Shadowing in L+D, questions

  1. I'm an experienced Critical Care nurse, currently working in a combined medical/surgical ICU for the past several years, but I have been interested in Labor and Delivery for a while now... (it was actually my favorite clinical rotation as a nursing student) so I finally decided to see if it might be a good fit. I know the manager of our labor floor, so I met with her and we set up a date for me to shadow a nurse on the floor.

    I'm hoping to get some ideas of what questions I should ask while I'm there. I've already talked about call requirements, nurse/patient ratios, and the basic stuff - hours, shift and holiday requirements. etc. I'm looking for more specifics that I probably don't even know to ask.

    Thanks!
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    About AnthonyD, BSN

    Joined: Jun '04; Posts: 280; Likes: 656

    5 Comments

  3. by   labordude
    Quote from AnthonyD
    I'm hoping to get some ideas of what questions I should ask while I'm there. I've already talked about call requirements, nurse/patient ratios, and the basic stuff - hours, shift and holiday requirements. etc. I'm looking for more specifics that I probably don't even know to ask.

    Thanks!
    This stuff is not important.

    Talk with the nurses or better yet, see what they do on an hour to hour and shift to shift basis. Ask them about their thought processes and what they think about when they are caring for the patients. Ask them why they chose L&D and if it has lived up to their expectations. Maybe they wanted it for the same reasons as you and it's different (for better or worse). Ask them about their interactions with the patients and physicians, what frustrates and excites them to go to work or what keeps them from wanting to show up.

    We can teach someone how to be an L&D nurse, but your personality, motivations, and goals are so much more important.
  4. by   AnthonyD
    Quote from labordude
    This stuff is not important.
    It is important to me, particularly knowing the shifts, holidays and call I'd be required to do, as I'll be splitting time between two departments.

    Quote from labordude
    Talk with the nurses or better yet, see what they do on an hour to hour and shift to shift basis. Ask them about their thought processes and what they think about when they are caring for the patients. Ask them why they chose L&D and if it has lived up to their expectations. Maybe they wanted it for the same reasons as you and it's different (for better or worse). Ask them about their interactions with the patients and physicians, what frustrates and excites them to go to work or what keeps them from wanting to show up.

    We can teach someone how to be an L&D nurse, but your personality, motivations, and goals are so much more important.
    Thanks, I appreciate the advice. Can I ask how your experience has been, as a male in L&D? Any particular advice in that regard?
  5. by   labordude
    Quote from AnthonyD
    It is important to me, particularly knowing the shifts, holidays and call I'd be required to do, as I'll be splitting time between two departments.



    Thanks, I appreciate the advice. Can I ask how your experience has been, as a male in L&D? Any particular advice in that regard?
    When I said they don't matter, I meant that in terms of whether you'd like a specialty or not.

    You said you'd be splitting time between two departments, does that mean you would not be in L&D full time? I would not recommend that to someone who is learning the specialty unless you were guaranteed that at least 2 of your 3 shifts a week were there. It's a completely different mindset, terminology, and focus. Your ICU background is very help as we do get some pretty sick patients.

    I think sometimes I forget that I'm a dude when I'm working, I just go about my job. I am always aware of power and gender dynamics, but most of those can be lessened without the patient even realizing it. For the most part, it was only the hospital HR that cared and wouldn't pass my application on. Once I got in and interviewed, it didn't matter (save for 2 or 3 places who were quite upfront about not wanting to hire a guy). It's so rare that it's an issue and I can count on one hand the number of times I've had to change patients over the past 3 years. I do a lot of OB triage so I see ANYONE/EVERYONE who walks through the door. It's "Hi, I'm labordude, I'm the OB ER nurse and I'll be taking care of you today."
  6. by   AnthonyD
    Quote from labordude
    When I said they don't matter, I meant that in terms of whether you'd like a specialty or not.

    You said you'd be splitting time between two departments, does that mean you would not be in L&D full time? I would not recommend that to someone who is learning the specialty unless you were guaranteed that at least 2 of your 3 shifts a week were there. It's a completely different mindset, terminology, and focus. Your ICU background is very help as we do get some pretty sick patients.
    Yes it would be 20hrs in L&D and 20hrs in ICU, and I would not be "pullable" from one unit to work in the other during my scheduled shifts. After orientation, I would also do call in L&D in addition to the 20hrs per week.

    Quote from labordude

    I think sometimes I forget that I'm a dude when I'm working, I just go about my job. I am always aware of power and gender dynamics, but most of those can be lessened without the patient even realizing it. For the most part, it was only the hospital HR that cared and wouldn't pass my application on. Once I got in and interviewed, it didn't matter (save for 2 or 3 places who were quite upfront about not wanting to hire a guy). It's so rare that it's an issue and I can count on one hand the number of times I've had to change patients over the past 3 years. I do a lot of OB triage so I see ANYONE/EVERYONE who walks through the door. It's "Hi, I'm labordude, I'm the OB ER nurse and I'll be taking care of you today."
    That's reassuring to hear. The manager of the floor had already known of my interest, as I'd talked to her about it in the past, and she told me she'd be happy to have me work there if I ever decided to make a change from ICU. So when I asked to shadow, she was very receptive to the idea.
  7. by   AnthonyD
    Well, my shadow shift went great! I loved it

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