dcsimg

Career Story: Nurse In A Maternity Ward

Nurse In A Maternity Ward

Job Title: Women's And Infant Services Nurse

Type of Company: I work at a hospital in the northwestern quadrant of Washington, D.C.

Education: BS, Nursing

Previous Experience: I worked as a staff nurse in a surgical unit, attending to patients who were about to be operated on or had just emerged from surgery.

Job Tasks: I'm a staff nurse currently in the Women's and Infants' service division of our hospital, where I'm responsible for direct patient care. On a typical day, I care for four or five mother/baby pairs. Healthy infants remain with their moms after birth and at the start of my shift I do a physical assessment of each mom-and-child pair I'm assigned to, reporting any issues to the attending physician and obtaining new orders as needed.

Later in my shift, I make sure that doctors' orders have been carried out. These can range from drawing blood to administering medication to supplying treatments and briefing patients. Because new moms rarely stay more than 2-4 days, my unit sees a constant stream of patient and before they're discharged, I have to brief every one. This is a big part of my job, since, unlike most of the units in a hospital, we focus more on teaching than on medicines and treatment. Not surprisingly, we tend to focus on breast feeding (90% of our mothers breast feed in the hospital) and on neonatal care.

Everything we do has to be recorded in the computerized hospital chart. But at the end of each shift we also have to brief our replacements, making sure they're aware of any outstanding issues and of the things they'll have to tend to in the course of their shift.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is taking care of newborns and teaching their parents how to care for them. I love first-time parents. They're eager and receptive and want to do a good job. Tt's a privilege to be around them, most days.

The worst part of my job is being inundated with work. Understaffing or a single tough patient can make it difficult to spread yourself around the way you should. You always have to be conscious of priorities in nursing and of getting the urgent things done right away. But sometimes, at the end of your shift, you can't help feeling that you missed out on critical opportunities 'cause you were busy just putting out fires.

Job Tips:
1.) Whether you only want to work in obstetrics or have broader aspirations, you should first gain experience with the general population. The variety of illnesses you'll encounter will prepare you for work in the medical setting you eventually choose.

2.) Volunteer to work as a nurse's assistant while in college. You will better appreciate the hospital culture when you graduate and you will be much more desirable as an employee.

Additional Thoughts: One of the biggest benefits of being a nurse is you don't have to bring your job home with you. When I leave the hospital at the end of my shift, my replacement takes over. I don't need to worry about my patients; I know they're being cared for. But I also feel respected while at work: that I make a difference in my patients' daily lives

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

Grand Canyon University - College of Nursing & Health Care Professions. Online & Campus - Bachelor's and Master's Degrees!

  • 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
Platt College
Alhambra

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

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Doctor of Education - Nursing Education
  • Degrees: Doctorate

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Sacred Heart University Online 

  • Programs: MSN - Clinical Nurse Leader, MSN - Nursing Management and Executive Leadership
  • 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
National Career College
Panorama City, Van Nuys

Choosing a school and a new career path can be a very overwhelming process.

  • Programs: Licensed Vocational Nurse
  • Degrees: Certificate

At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education.

  • Programs: B.S. in Nursing: RN to BSN
  • Degrees: Bachelor
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