Published Sep 9, 2001
Hi everyone! Orientation is going great. I've learned a great deal after the first two weeks. Thanks to all at this board who have offered support and advice by the way- it's been absolutely priceless! My question this time is how many patients do you typically care for simulataneously in L&D? Is two the norm? It seems that most of the nurses at my hospital manage a laboring mom and do an OB check at the same time. I'm still really new at all this so I just wondered what the norm is.
And while I'm at it, can I also ask about how long it usually takes to really "get" this stuff? Like I said, I'm learning so much every day but it's scary that in a couple of months I will be on my own and that two lives will depend on my assessment skills. I'm getting pretty familiar with where everything goes and how to fill out paperwork (although I can't imagine handling it all myself- God help me:) ) There's just so much to learn. I can't imagine trying to tackle it all in an area that I didn't love. That's all for now. Hope you are all doing well.
My typical 'load' varies from day to day. It really depends on each patient and their history, emotional state and current medical situation. BUT...for the most part it wouldn't be unusual to have a 'normal' early labor and a mom and babe, or 2 mom's and 2 babes that need a lot of help with breast feeding (or if both are 1st day post op c-section) or 3 mom's and 3 babes that are independent with their own care.
One-to-one situations would be if a labor gets an epidural, unstable FHR, pitocin or cytotec induction, labors that are 6cm + or any other situation that warrants one to one nursing care. We typically have 2 nurses and sometimes an aide staffed..it works out pretty well for our typical patient load. There has been, of course, exceptions to the rule...one day there was 9 moms and babes and a preterm labor!! Definately had to be 'creative' with care...needless to say I didn't chart until after my shift!!
Don't stress too much about not feeling confident about taking a bigger patient load. It will take time and experience to feel more comfortable---Everyone that I've talked to that trains to L&D ask themselves at least one time..."What in the heck am I doing here?"
Good luck with your training and hang in there!
Thanks ohfeelyafundi! That really helps and can I just add that your name rocks! It makes me smile every time I see it.
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