Labor & delivery nurses or OB nurses are very important people within the society as they have very important duties. To become one, the relevant training must be undertaken. Another element of significance is the experience one needs to have in order to advance their career in nursing.
What Labor and Delivery Nurses Do
They are particularly trained to offer nursing care to women as well as their infants at the time of labor and childbirth. It is their responsibility to assist, support, and educate women during antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum, & neonatal (the 4 phases of delivery). In order to do this perfectly, they carry out the following duties:
• Offer assistance to mothers at time of labor
• Measure strength as well as timing of contractions
• Monitor the mother’s vital signs and the fetal heart rate
• Carry out diagnostic tests
• Help in inducing labor
• Administer medications
• Consult with physicians as well as the rest of the care team crew
• Recognize complications and assist with them
• Coach mothers during delivery
• Monitor and carry out tests on newborns
Education – Where to Start
Completing a standard nursing education program, as commonly, earning a nursing degree, is the basis for becoming an labor and delivery nurse. Many nurses are holders of either an ASN or BSM from accredited colleges/Universities. Nursing diploma programs, which are offered via hospitals, are not that common. Many get their career start by working as a CNA.
It is always advisable for individuals aspiring to become L&D nurses to specialize in L&D or take elective courses within the field, during their nursing education. Students take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLE) upon their nursing program completion, to earn licenses practicing licenses and can now practice nursing within their states. One will work to become an experienced staff nurse as well as gather clinical experience in labor and delivery, in order to become board satisfied within the labor and delivery nursing area.
Career & Salary Outlook
The job outlook for nurses is excellent in general, and those that specialize within a specific health care field, for instance, L&D nursing, are frequently highly required. Vacancies within the L&D field are not easy to find since it is a very open area. While job openings are so few, the turn-over rate among L&D nurses is still quite low. However, the United States Bureau of statistics projects overall registered nurses’ employment to grow by 19% by the year 2022. This is higher compared to the national average for any other occupation. The increasing demand for health care services as well as the aging population could be a great influence for such growth within nursing.
Salaries for labor and delivery nurses are as good as for other specialties in nursing. A $65,470 average salary was reported by The U.S. Bureau of Statistics for registered nurses. Salaries range between $45,000 and more than $94,000 per year. Salaries vary in accordance with location, employer, particular nursing role, and work experience among other factors.
They should be keen on details, be able to make first decisions, display sound judgment, and work well within teams. It is their duty to generally educate new mothers hence they should possess good communication skills.
Labor and delivery nurses work in hospitals, maternity & birthing centers, and doctors’ offices. They spend most of their time walking and standing hence they have to follow appropriate body mechanisms to prevent themselves from falling. The labor and delivery environment is variable and fast-paced hence, L&D nurses must be prepared and have the skills to deal with stress and the ability for relating with individuals of varied backgrounds and ages. They should also have the ability to lift weights as they have to move and lift patients as they transfer them. Since patients require round-the-clock care, L&D nurses have to work day and night, as well as during holidays and weekends. A lot of things happen simultaneously within the work environment hence, L&D nurses have to be able to perform accurately around recurrent interruptions. Finally, they could face hazards from infectious diseases and chemical exposure.
Labor and delivery nurses also referred to as perinatal nurses, helps bring people into this world on daily basis. Their responsibility is to ensure that the emotional and medical requirements of a patient are met adequately over the entire birthing process. Nurses of whatever work level within labor and delivery must expect to work 12 hour shifts, irregular hours, as well as be “on call” every so often.