Summer and a Sea of Labor Patients

Tiger-lily-drown

It’s the middle of summer, and I know that every labor and delivery unit out there is bursting at the seams with labor patients.  You may feel like you’re drowning in a sea of pregnant people.  This is the easiest time to hate OB.  Everyone seems to be SROMed or 8 centimeters.  Everyone seems to be preeclamptic and twitchy.  You barely have time to recover someone before finding out that you’re getting another patient.  And lets be clear about this…in labor and delivery, if you have one patient, you actually have at least two.  You’re eating lunch based on what your patient is doing. You can grab a quick bite if: she’s in early labor, if her pain is well-controlled, if she has supportive family at the bedside, if she is all admitted, and if you’re caught up on your charting.  You have to wait to eat if: your patient is in active labor and progressing quickly,  if your patient just got an epidural, if your patient does not have an epidural, if your patient has uncontrolled pain, if your patient’s water just broke, or if the doctor is on the unit.  By the end of the shift your feet may feel like they want to fall off and your back may hurt from bending and squatting and rolling and lifting.  You may have had the best patient ever, or you may have had the patient that forgot everything you said the moment you stopped making eye contact.

Another labor patient?!?!
Another labor patient?!?!

Even though you might have a million things you are trying to remember, never forget the importance of the work that we do.  We help bring life into this world.  The care we give on a daily basis effects how that family will remember the birth of their baby.  What we see with our eyes, the touch of our hands, and what we decide to do with every single piece of information we gather impacts the health of a mother and her baby.  Winter will come, and so will more labor patients.  I’m so thankful that I have a job. I love working with (a majority) of women.  I love taking care of women and getting to be a part of a moment that is so sacred.

Don’t be the nurse that spreads negativity.  It’s contagious, and infects everyone.  Empower those around you, your patients and your coworkers. Do good work together.  Help someone when you least feel like it, because hopefully someone will help you when you need it the most. Make people smile and laugh because sometimes that’s the only thing we can do.  And never underestimate your impact on your patient and on your nursing profession ❤ August will be over before we know it 😃

We have to celebrate and support each other.
Summer is almost over!!!

 

 

Until my next delivery ❤


17 thoughts on “Summer and a Sea of Labor Patients

  • August 6, 2014 at 8:42 pm
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    AMEN….. That is exactly the way I felt this weekend…Thank you for encourgement

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  • August 6, 2014 at 10:21 pm
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    Exactly. Watch out for sept. The busiest baby month .

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  • August 6, 2014 at 10:42 pm
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    Such a great read. As a new labor nurse who gets a little anxiety at times, this was just what I needed to read. Thank you!

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  • August 7, 2014 at 12:25 am
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    I enjoyed reading this – I’m due to deliver soon, and it was helpful to read both your desire to give the best care to your patients and the struggles you face as a nurse. I hope we’ll make the nurses job as enjoyable as possible too.

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  • August 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm
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    I just got off a long night shift….. needed this reminder. Thanks for sharing!

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  • August 7, 2014 at 7:35 pm
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    I love your enthusiasm and great advice! More labor nurses need your advice on keeping positive. I work in a small LDRP unit that becomes so busy at this time if year that we are short on rooms and short on L&D nurses. It is such a stressful job that you have to be careful not to fall into that “negative”mind set or it will definitely show in your care for these woman. Labor and delivery should be full of happiness and joy! Thank you for your wonderful posts! I love my job! I want my patients to know this, to trust me, and enjoy the care I give!

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  • August 8, 2014 at 9:05 pm
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    I oreinted to L&D in January of 1986. I do not remember the details of my first birth, but I do remember the feeling and even the clothes I wore to work that day. I pause and remember that day when all hell is breaking loose. I also channel the positive energy form all of the wonderful families (more than I can remember)! And I thank every family for allowing me the privilege of being able to share in their birth.

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  • August 9, 2014 at 7:25 pm
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    Thanks for this. I wish this article could be sent to every maternity ward around the world as a reminder for nurses.

    I can say from experience that the way your treated in that moment and after completely effects you. I had a bad experience with my first delivery and though not every nurse was bad (in fact I loved a few!), having the numbers of negative exceed the positive, when I found out I was pregnant with my second – I made sure I didn’t deliver in that hospital again.

    Thanks again for your posts, and your empathy even when you fill like you don’t have any left. Whether mothers say so out loud or not, they thank you for your care.

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  • August 11, 2014 at 3:13 am
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    Not allowed to leave after an epidural? The labor nurse I had was in such a hurry to go on her break she forgot to tell my husband he could come back in the room. I think she also forgot to tell the nurse covering for her break that my bp was running in the 180/100+ range when I was admitted the night before. Shortly after she left my bp dropped to 76/56 (I looked on MyChart later). When the MFM came in, he kept repeating my bp number and commented on how high it had been running and the nurse covering for the break kept saying “I didn’t know.” My husband walked into the room just as someone looking at the monitor strip said “the baby recovered.”

    You are so right how a nurse treats a patient will be remembered. That was the worst nurse I ever had. She did a lot of other stupid things and the clinical manager for L&D admitted she was a problem and the things that happened would be brought up in her evaluation. Postpartum nurse told me I needed to talk to the L&D manager and an ombudsman. I didn’t take it as far as the ombudsman, but in retrospect I wish I had. Later, another nurse who worked in L&D told me she was surprised I had gotten her for a nurse because she hates working with laboring patients. Why would someone stay in labor & delivery if they hate it so much?

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    • October 24, 2014 at 5:32 pm
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      I agree. My first child I was 19 and the initial nurse I had was old and just plain mean to me about everything, including my decision to not have a mirror. I was so glad when it was shift change and my new nurse was sweet and caring and just plain awesome.

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  • October 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm
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    This is hilarious. Is there really an increased amount of births in the summer? (and funny enough BOTH of my kids are summer babies…june 28 & July 26)

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