Career Story: Maternity Nurse In A Small Community Hospital

Maternity Nurse In A Small Community Hospital

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.

Popular Schools offering Rn Registered Nursing Programs

quickinfoClick 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

Matching School Ads

Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!

  • Programs: Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership, M.S. in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems (Bridge), Doctor of Nursing Practice, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Certificate, Bachelor, Master

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Administration, Master of Science in Nursing: Nurse Educator
  • Degrees: Master
Unitek College

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. 

  • Programs: Associate of Science in Nursing, Vocational Nursing
  • Degrees: Associate, Certificate
Platt College

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Vocational Nursing Program*
  • Degrees: Associate

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

  • Programs: MSN Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Degrees: Master

Grow Your Career with the University of Saint Mary

  • Programs: MSN: Nursing Education Specialization, MSN: Nursing Administrator , RN-BSN Degree
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

  • Programs: MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner, RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Degrees: Master

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs

At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.

  • Programs: Online - RN to Bachelors of Science in Nursing
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Advance your career. 100% Focused on Health Sciences.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Sacred Heart University Online 

  • Programs: MSN - Clinical Nurse Leader, MSN - Nursing Management and Executive Leadership
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Registered Nurses

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.

All Types

You are visiting:

What are Career Stories?

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:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Registered Nurses, including:

Back to Top