Yelled At During A C-Section (Among Other Things)

Specialties Ob/Gyn


Hi! I am entering the end of my first year in nursing (on September 4 it will be one whole year since I became a nurse). From October through early July I worked on a critical care telemmetry unit. Now I'm in L&D, which is a Level III unit with a lot of high risk patients!

I just ended the second week of my 12 week orientation today and it was horrible. Some days haven't been all that great buit I've had some good ones too, like yesterday. I felt pretty good about most things I did. But today crushed my confidence. I was taing care of a 36 year old, 39 weeks whose youngest child was 13 years so she was basically considered a primigravida. She was on Pitocin but they had been noticed a long decel so she was a high risk pt. I was doing fine with things like reading her strips every 15 minutes, putting her on her Left side and on Oxygen, charting notes, and putting in her Foley etc but it all turned to hell when she had another prolonged decel. First they were going to do an amnioinfusion, then they tell me to go get turb and I do but as soon as I get back and try to draw it up another nurse takes it from me and gives it (I admit I was taking too long and my hands were shaking).

So we get in the OR and we are trying to strap the woman onto the bed. My preceptor says "Let's pull her blanket up" but I am thinking cover her (because this is always stressed as to preserve modesty) but her belly has been prepped so my preceptor yells "NO!" and grabs it from me to fold it back. Apparently she just meant up to her shins. I just was not putting two and two together.

So everyone's rushing and I'm just basically getting in the way trying to help. The other nurse pushes me over into the corner and says "Stay here and watch. This is too much for you." I have been in a C-Section once before but I didn't really do much. The rest of the day (thank goodness it was only eight hours!) my preceptor was on edge and so was I, plus we were short that day. Everybody was just looking at me like I was the village idiot or something.

I am just not feeling L&D. My preceptor is a nice lady who definitely knows her stuff as she has been doing this for 9 years. But she is very precise and very stern and it seems often when I do something wrong (especially if she has shown me before) she gets irritated and yells which makes me nervous and shaky which is just an endless cycle overall. I always feel her watching over me with an eyebrow raised. I think my biggest issue is my pace. She has said I don't move fast enough and I try to but I just end up doing things wrong and make the situation worse like today so I tend to move along methodically so I don't make a mistake. It's just the way I am. I don't think I have an "ER" personality like you need for L&D, which is basically ER/OR for pregnant women.

So there's my sad story. I really like the hospital much more than the one I was at before and would like to stay there and perhaps transfer to another unit one day (which would not be for six more months anyway). I think I would be much more suited to Post-Partum which is what I was looking for in the first place but they weren't hiring. And I don't know if I can hold on. I am dreading going into work tomorrow and I am not even sure if they will keep me anyway since I don't "think quick enough" on my feet. I don;t want to be a quitter and let everyone down. People keep calling me asking me how I like "working with the cute little babies at such a great hospital" and I want to scream! They think all I do is hold babies all day.

I know it is only my second week but I feel exhausted. And I am sure it gets even more intense from here as next week (tomorrow) I'm supposed to move onto two patients. Anyone else been in this situation and how did it turn out for you?

I'm sorry you are having such a rough time right now. It sounds like you are doing your best to work hard at something that can be quite scary and overwhelming at times. I think because OB is dealing with life/death situations (times 2) the seasoned nurses tend to be abrupt at times. They have so much responsibility on their shoulders making sure baby and mom stay safe.

I've been in your shoes, and when you say "village idiot" I know EXACTLY what that feels like. Sometimes it takes time to find your niche in nursing. There are so many different areas to try, so don't feel bad if OB is not for you. It's okay to try different things until you find the right specialty for you. Hang in there. You are not alone, and although it may not seem like it, we have ALL been there at one time or another! Take care. :)

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