HI ATBM FAMILY!
I briefly mentioned in my Happy New Year Post (missed it? check it out here!) that I began working as a registered nurse in Labor & Delivery on night shift! To be honest, this is one of the most interesting and fulfilling positions I’ve had and I’m grateful for it.
Now, while I love this position, y’all didn’t fill me on A LOT lol. The things I know currently, I have learned from my few months on the job as well as from awesome preceptors. What didn’t I know? Here we go:
Checking a cervix is actually kinda hard the first few go-rounds. Shoutout to Nurse Miracle, a fellow L&D friend, that assisted me lol. As a visual learner, I spent my first month on the job searching Google on techniques because ya girl was struggling. I’ll spare you the details lol.
Contrary to what’s shown on TV, moms and families (for the most part) are actually pretty sweet during their labor. My shifts are usually filled with moments of tears and plenty of laughter but never anger or aggression towards the staff.
EAT WHEN YOU CAN. Working nights, I found it a little tricky to eat at the right time. When I started my shift at 7 pm, I wasn’t hungry and would try to push it to 9 pm. It seems like rightttttttt when I get to the break room to bite into my sandwich, I start receiving all types of calls lol. Feeding is important to be able to have the energy to serve others- take the opportunity when you can.
Shifts are either really slow or too fast for you to keep up! The intricacy of L&D is due to the fact that you don’t control that baby in that womb. They come on their own schedule and I simply work around them lol. I’ve had shifts when nothing but supportive measures were done (ie: “Can you bring me ice chips? can I get a warm blanket?”). I’ve also had shifts when things accelerated swiftly (ie: emergency c-sections and surprise twins).
The teamwork dynamic is BEAUTIFUL! Delivering a baby is ALL HANDS ON DECK. Babies do as they please (see #3) and often times, your co-worker’s assistance is needed! Sometimes it’s calling a physician for me and other times, it’s heading to the medication dispensing machine to pull anti-nausea medication for a patient that’s already vomiting on the blanket you just brought :)
Charting every 15 minutes is a whole job on it’s own! Charting in general is probably my least favorite part of the job but by far, the most important aspect. Staying caught up on charting during my first month was rough lol. However, these days, I’m able to leave on time by making sure that I don’t slack off and chart when I’m supposed to!
5 AM is that golden hour when I start seeing stars… lol. I genuinely thought staying up all night would be a piece of cake like back when I was in middle school.. but these days? i feel like a grandma lol. Walking the unit and laughing with new friends to stay awake is KEY. Who needs sleep anyways?
The one thing I was ACTUALLY prepared for is this- Birth is one of the most BEAUTIFUL things I have the pleasure of seeing on daily. One of my favorite bible verses is Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NIV):
As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things.
God indeed is a Maker of beautiful things and a Giver of the best gifts. It’s an honor to shout “Happy Birthday” to the future leaders of the world. If it wasn’t obvious enough, I’m enjoying my time as an L&D nurse and looking forward to as many experiences as the speciality will afford me.
-Nurse Mo 😝