want to learn more about L&D nurse

  1. I am thinking about going to nursing school and have been thinking about it for about 10 years. I really want to be a L&D nurse, I decided that once I had my children. My question is what does this all involve besides the checking to see how far the pt has dilated, getting her ready for delivery and all the other stuff that you see. If there a lot of paper work involved?? I know sometimes you see the nurses sitting behind the desk doing paper work and stuff like that. My other question is - how did you all know this is the type nurse you wanted to be? It seems like this would be a very rewarding job - i realize it would not always be great because not everyone has healthy babies and many things can happen when a women is in labor, but i still feel that it would be an awesome job. please give me your input on how you all realized this was the field you wanted to go into and what all is involved in this besides what you see on L&D and maternity ward shows. Also could i do this is I got my assos. in RN or do you have to have a BSN??? Thanks!!

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    About nursewant2b

    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 3


  3. by   fergus51
    There is a lot of paperwork involved, mainly because OB has the highest sue rate of any specialty and good charting will save you in the event of a lawsuit. You can have an ADN and do it. I knew it was for me because I liked the fact that I really got to know people I was caring for and that even when it isn't happy (because honey, it often isn't like you know!) it is always meaningful. We are often busy with assessments, analgesia, mobilizing the pt, coaching them, dealing with docs, etc. but in the end hopefully you got to be a part of a once in a lifetime event.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I knew I wanted to do OB after I did my clinical rotation in nursing school. I LOVED it! I only have an ADN (working on BSN) and do FINE. If you want to be a clinical manager or specialist, I do advise the BSN route first time around, now rather than later. But if you want to be a Staff RN, and be at the BEDSIDE mostly, an AD degree will do you fine.

    I agree w/fergus. We are buried under mountainous paperwork, charting for the lawyers is how I put it. You are constantly aware of the litigious world in which you practice; OB HAS A HUGE LIABLITY RATE and some nursing insurance companies will NOT insure you if you practice ANY ob nursing, even part time.

    Generally, you do all for your patient, like fergus says. Vital signs, coaching, holding hands, comforting, dealing with family members (MANY OF THEM), constantly assess the status of at least TWO patients (mom and baby) at one time, and the rest. They are total care; you will also clean up the mess after delivery and make the beds; we have no aides for this. You will be required at times to do HEAVY lifting (like moving an epidural patient from bed to gurney and back for csection, who can EASILY exceed 150-200 lb)-- so make sure you have a STRONG back and get your body mechanics down NOW. Yes, this is done as a team but even if you have four people doing it, you still have a HUGE wt burden to bear safely.

    You are responsible for ensuring safe recovery following delivery, vaginal or cesarian. You are also in charge of establishing breastfeeding and bonding between mom, baby and family. Your people skills must be top-notch, as well as communicative skills.

    Also, you are constantly shifting priorities as you get new admissions or labor patients change status. The floor you inherit from the prior shift EASILY CAN BE RADICALLY DIFFERENT BY THE TIME YOU GET OFF YOUR SHIFT! You have to be able to be very flexible and on your toes. This is true of ANY area of nursing....and one of the hardest skills to achieve. It takes time and experience. I wish you well, friend!
  5. by   JenniferNRN
    Ditto to above but I'd like to add...

    There are many quick decisions to make when things are moving very fast or going bad in a hurry and in many units, nurses are the ones doing all of the exams and trying to figure out when to call the doc for delivery. There are a lot of judgement calls. It is also very likely that once in a while you will be delivering that baby yourself! It is the greatest area of nursing to work in IMHO however.

    Good luck with whatever you choose!
  6. by   mark_LD_RN
    i really love my job and find it very rewarding and awesome. it is not all good,but i love it any way. except for all the paperwork and charting. I also believe if possible for you I would get my BSN out of the way. JMO. but it is not required in most places to work L&D. in my area if YOU have BSn they will hire you right into L&D, if not you will need 6 to 12 months medsurg exp. that is just how it is at the hospitals around here. I know others where that is not a requirement.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I am so sorry, but I HAVE TO RESPOND HERE....where I work and have worked in the past, having a BSN in NO way guaranteed you a direct entry to OB nursing out of school. It had a lot to do w/who you know and luck, period. Ask around before you make an assumption that having a BSN will get you into OB as a grad.

    However, as I said before, I agree w/Mark; having the BSN will open doors for you not open to AD grads later on......I would go for a BSN first--- if it is available to you. Sadly, the closest BSN to me was 90 miles away; as military wife and mom, it just was not doable at the time for me. Now, I am stuck going to RN-BSN track schooling, which I would rather have not had to do. You get stuck doing some things you ALREADY KNOW over again; that to me, is a waste of time. So GET THE BSN if you don't want to get stuck going back to school later on, but don't count on it to get you into OB right away......to get into OB, get to know the nurses and manager at the hospital where you may be employed and work on it from that angle, like I did. Good luck!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Sep 9, '02