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tlstackh's Latest Activity

  1. tlstackh

    Second Career Nurse in Maternity

    I'm a second career nurse who graduated in July. I went to nursing school specifically because of my interest in women's health. My grandmother was a lay midwife in the 30's and 40's. I grew up hearing birthing stories, and always imagined that I would continue her work. My problem is that I am struggling significantly in my first job as a mother/baby nurse. I had no idea how deep the water is in OB. The environment is very stressful, fast-paced--something like a cross between ER and OR. In addition to my postpartum role, I am expected to learn to scrub, circulate, and be the second circulating nurse for babies at births. I have had nothing but positive feedback from my preceptor; however, I feel like I'm going under. I have yet to have a shift that I haven't cried most of the way home. There is a shortage of LD nurses right now and I am being encouraged to move into this role. I feel like I am being asked to run before I learn to walk. I am managing my stress very poorly, and I'm afraid my family is paying the price. I can't help wondering if this would be much easier if I were in my 20's instead of 40's. I'm trying to decide whether I should just throw in the towel and ask to transfer to behavioral health (my first career). I wonder if I've romanticized OB because of my family history and if I'm really not well suited for this area of medicine. I have some strengths, i.e., lactation and education; however, these areas are the first that suffer when babies are popping out all over the place. I hate the constant feeling of adrenalin when I step foot on the unit. Is this something that you adapt to or is it something that you either love or hate? I would appreciate any insight that you can offer.
  2. tlstackh

    No Confidence

    I just graduated from an ASN program in July. I worked as a student nurse extern in the family rooms at a large suburban hospital. I feel fortunate to have found a job--many of my classmates have been unable to find work. I'm starting at a level 2 special care nursery this week. My problem is that even with my student nursing experience (which was extremely limited), I do not feel ready for this position. I have 12 weeks of preceptor training for this job. Everyone tells me that I will be ready when my preceptor training is complete, but I have lots of reservations. I have a great grasp of theory--I was valedictorian of my nursing school class, but I would be the first to tell anyone that my skills are poorly developed. The idea of resuscitating a baby scares me to death. Lots of babies come out blue. This is a big part of the job. I'm still struggling with getting newborn vitals. Little hearts go so fast and if I lose count I have to start all over again for another minute. It takes me awhile to complete an assessment on a healthy two-day old newborn let alone resuscitate, do the initital assessment, assign apgars, tag, dry, and diaper a screaming newborn. Don't get me wrong, this is where I want to be. In fact, it is the entire reason that I returned to nursing school. However, I feel like there is an expectation that I will become a seasoned nurse in 12 weeks. I feel so incredibly stressed and simply not ready. I understand why the new nurse attrition rate is 50%. I would appreciate any insight that you have to offer. Thanks