questions before my postpartum interview


Hi, I have posted before about possibly moving from my women's health/oncology position to antepartum, however, a few post partum positions have opened up and that is what I have ALWAYS wanted to do. I have applied, and we are setting up an interview (so nervous!) but before going into the interview I'd like to know a few things.

1. I've been in my current position for 2 years. how long do post partum units typically orient nurses that aren't brand new but are brand new to OB? (I will ask at the interview, but I'd like to know what is normal)

2. Will it be a really difficult transition for me, going from having 7-8 patients to having 7 pairs of moms and babies?

3. what is the normal nurse to patient/baby ratio? (again, I will ask what their's is, but I need something to compare it to)

Thanks a lot!!!!! I sure hope I can be among the OB nurses soon!


41 Posts

i think that the amount of orientation totally depends on the hospital. i have worked in postpartum for 4 years and pretty much everyone has to do the 12 week fellowship (classes, precepting on the unit etc) unless they have specifically mother/baby experience. there was one nurse with 20 years ED experience but she did the entire fellowship.

I don't think it will be too hard of a transition for you. it can be busy, but it is busy more volume wise than lots of meds, treatments etc. where i work it is pretty typical for our 26 bed portion of the 89 bed unit to get 14 admissions in a 12 hours shift because the patients turn over so quickly since they are not sick. some of the nurses that have come from other areas, ED, med-surg, say it took time to get used to the fact that they did not need to notify the doctor/freak out when a pts. bp was 90's/50's and her h/h were a little low. thats totally normal for someone that just knowlingly lost 500cc and is still expected to bleed for a few more days.

the nurse to patient ratio also differs depending on hospital. my typical is 5-6 couplets to one nurse, but depending on staffing we can have as many as 7 couplets each.

best of luck with your interview. i can relate,i am trying to get out of mother/baby and change to LDR or NICU, very nervous to see what orientation they will offer!


94 Posts

i just started on postpartum last week. typically we have 4 couplets and at the very most we have 5 couplets..never never more than that. someone else said they have 7 couplets..and all i can say to that is wow. how is the teaching getting done? sounds like a drive through unit--not attacking personally or anything--but how is that safe? we have 40 beds and our hospital delivers approx 4600 babies per year. our orientation is 6 weeks minimum and longer when/if necessary. i also came from an extremely busy med/surg floor with 7 patients per shift. between scheduled/prn/now medications one night i passed 64 different medications in an 8 hour shift to 7 people. my whole night was focused on passing meds and there were other nights similiar. thank goodness i used my time watching the pts take meds to assess them/teach them about things specific to their care. not alot of meds on postpartum--hey some motrin/stool softner/po pain meds. anyhow..

can't remember your order of questions:

1. if you can handle a busy floor now--you can handle the busy aspect of postpartum. it can be extremely hectic but not any worse than med/surg.

2. 6weeks-12 weeks.

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