Job Title: Maternity Nurse
Type of Company: Community Hospital
Education: BS, Health Care Administration
Previous Experience: I worked for a couple of years as a post-partum nurse in a city hospital before moving to my current position. I have been here for twenty-eight years.
Job Tasks: I work in a small labor and delivery unit. We deliver approximately 600 babies a year. My responsibilities include providing care for a laboring mother and at delivery assuming care of the infant as well. I also care for families after delivery, including teaching about infant care, breast feeding and self-care for the mother.
As a maternity nurse I am responsible for a number of mothers and babies. I monitor their vital signs, administer any medication needed, teach new parents about infant care and provide assistance in caring for the new mother medically. These duties center around the mother's adjustment to the post-partum period. For instance we monitor the amount of blood loss and the condition of the episiotomy. In our unit we also perform C-sections and "recover" the mother as well as taking care of high risk infants until a transport unit can arrive to take them to a neonatal intensive care unit.
Occasionally we have babies that are boarding with us while they withdraw from an addiction that they acquired in gestation because their mothers were users. In general, our unit is a happy place but on occasion we also need to help parents deal with miscarriages or stillborns or babies born with serious birth defects. Most of the time, though, being present at the birth of a baby is a privilege and something I enjoy.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The worst parts of the job are the times when a patient is abusive or confrontational and refuses to comply with our advice or our suggestions. Another very bad time is when a baby is stillborn or has birth defects that may permit to live. A third part of the job is as I mentioned before, when we have babies born addicted that have to withdraw, suffering the symptoms that could have been avoided.
Job Tips: Try not to be judgmental. For example, the mothers with addicted infants do not want that for their babies but have a problem that they need to address. Try to put yourself in their shoes and treat them with kindness as all patients should be treated.
Also, don't try to push your agenda on someone else. They may want all the drugs modern medicine has to offer while you feel natural childbirth is the best. The patient is the consumer and has the right to decide what kind of experience she wants.
Additional Thoughts: One of the best parts of the job is the different people I have met while helping them bring babies into the world. Some remember me when they encounter me in the supermarket years after the child was born. Labor and delivery nursing is a hard job both physically and mentally. It can be draining and intense. Things can go wrong very quickly in labor and delivery and can cause a lot of anxiety about poor outcomes. One of the most important personal qualities for success in maternity nursing is to listen to the patient, be flexible, and trust your instincts when you feel something is wrong.
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school
Why earn your degree at Grand Canyon University? GCU is a regionally accredited university offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more. Apply today!
Wilkes University’s School of Nursing offers CCNE-accredited online degrees and certificate programs ideal for working health care professionals, instructed by experienced, respected faculty dedicated to mentoring and personalized support for every student.
Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career.
Advance your career. 100% Focused on Health Sciences.
Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.
About Brightwood College
Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.
For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.
Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.
Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Registered Nurses, including: