Job Title: Maternity Nurse
Type of Company: Large, tertiary hospital in Boston, MA.
Education: BS, Physical Education, Bridgewater State College BSN, Nursing, UMass-Boston MSN, Nursing Education, Salem State College
Previous Experience: This was my first nursing job. I've now been here for thirteen years.
Job Tasks: My responsibilities include caring for mothers and their newborns and training in the complexities of postpartum care. Breast feeding teaching is a very large component of teaching. Fathers and significant others are also incorporated into the teaching so that they can help the mother when she gets home.
Often I am assigned to the nursery for the shift. Responsibilities include caring for the babies that are in the nursery, as well as administering any medication that is ordered. Assisting the pediatricians is also included. I am also sometimes required to be the nurse in charge. In addition to being responsible for the patient assignment, I am also responsible for assigning new patients to the floor and making out the assignment for the oncoming shift.
There are days when you run from the second you walk on the unit. Because I work in a large hospital there is often high acuity for the patients. Sometimes we are transfusing patients because of a hemorrhage that occurred during their delivery. There are often new mothers on the unit who are very young and a lot of teaching needs to be done. We need to make sure that they have support at home and, if not, we need to get the social worker involved to help out.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part is sharing in the parents joy of the arrival of their baby.
The worst part is that often babies are born sick and sometimes it is very upsetting for the parents. It is hard to reassure them when you know that their baby may not live or may have long-term problems.
Job Tips: Get your bachelors degree in nursing, not just an associate's degree. You will be more marketable with a bachelors. Also, don't come out of school thinking that you will only work day shifts, no weekends and no holidays. If you work in a hospital, weekends, holidays, and off shifts are all part of the job. It is a rewarding job overall but you will miss out on some family events due to work.
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