postpartum ?

Specialties Ob/Gyn



I have been RN for 3 years and have worked half that time Hospice and some medsurg and now 8 months in a VERY small hospital doing L&D, antipartum, postpartum and nursery. I also triage in ER if an ob patient comes in and turns out to be in labor. We only have 2 L&D beds and 2 postpartum beds. One night can be crazy and having to ship out high risk patients or sick baby to nothing to do at all and helping out in ER or on Medsurg floor with chart checks, mars, IV's, patient assessments etc. My problem is that I really do not have the trainning in L&D to handle the L&D emergencies that may come through the door and I work nights and the only nurse for L&D. I have to call the DR at home for orders and if there are more than 2 people that come in, I have to hope that I can get someone to come help from home.

I have been given a job in SA working at a "getto" hospital but very busy OB ward doing post partum. I start on Aug. 14th. I am scared of the patient load, 8, per RN. There may be antipartum or GYN patients on the floor as well. Do you think this would be a good move for me or do you think I would go home every day wishing I hadn't taken the job? Please help, I do not know what to do.

Personally I would rather go to work knowing that I would be having a busy post partum shift vs. a super unpredictable L&D shift where I'm on my own. I have to know that I have a reliable team available for emergencies, and I think good back-up is indispensable when working OB. (especially when your experience is limited) As for being ghetto, I have no opinion. I've cared for rich people that treated me like dirt and homely people that were the salt of the earth. Good luck with whichever you choose.

Thank you for your response. I do feel the same but at the same time, I will be leaving them in a pinch. Plus my boss is trying to make me feel guilty for wanting to leave after only 8 months.

My experience in postpartum during clinical rotation was that for the most part it is very slow. The nurses at my hospital sat around a lot and they each had 5-6 patients. The busy patients seemed to be the OB patients. If you feel that you do not have the experience to handle emergencies at your current facility I would say that postpartum would be a better choice even if it is busy. You will see emergencies as things will go wrong in any aspect of nursing but you will have other nurses there with you and you can get cross trained into L&D if that is what you like more and gradually work into having to deal with unpredictable emergencies. I personally do not like postpartum or L&D but in school we took up to 4 patients at a time and doing full patient cares this was manageable. You have experience on your side and a lot of post partum ladies tend to be independent. My only question to you is do you like postpartum enough to be doing only postpartum for awhile? If you do then I'd say go for the busy hospital. It will only benefit you. It will give you experience in carrying a caseload of that many and you may get exposed to more complications than in the small hospital giving you more practical experience. Since you used to ship out high risk you may get to deal with some high risk mom's after the fact now.

I do think I would be very happy in it, I believe it is more intuned into what I can cope with at this time but really want L&D eventually. Thank you.

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