When I first started as a GN, I worked PCU, which is a step-down ICU unit. I was there for 11 months and moved into Mother/Baby. I’ve now been here for 6 years. My 11 months on PCU prepared me for blood transfusions, electrolyte replacements, Postop surgical checks, cardiac issues such as hypertensive crisis, insulin checks such as sliding scales, knowing the difference between NPH, Humalog and Humilin, and knowing hypoglycemic protocols. I had to learn what to do in a postpartum hemorrhage, the meds and knowing which meds are contraindicated in a HTN patient during a hemorrhage vs an asthmatic patient during a hemorrhage.
I went from a high acuity critical care floor to a high risk med-surge where we receive patients other hospitals can’t handle due to patients complications. Most hospitals don’t get patients on Mag sulfate on their mother/baby floor. They usually send those patients to WICU. In my hospital, we get many of those types of patients on our mother/baby floor daily. We have 4 mother/baby units, making us top 3 largest in the country. We have between 15-18k deliveries per year.
I am a preceptor and Charge nurse and I’ve seen ICU and Med surge nurses get overwhelmed when they come to my floor. I can’t speak for other hospitals but my hospital is not where nurses come to die. Many feel like their going to die due to the amount of work taking care of four couplets (8 patients) with many of our patients being high acuity.