Job Title: Maternity Nurse
Type of Company: I work for a large hospital.
Education: BSN, Nursing
Previous Experience: I worked for many years as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Job Tasks: I work mainly on a post-partum floor and in the newborn nursery. I work directly with mothers who have just delivered their babies or with the babies themselves. We also occasionally care for women who have had gynecological surgeries, but mostly we care for the mothers and teach them how to care for their newborns. We take vital signs on the mother's and babies, do blood draws, teach and administer medications both orally and through IV. We attend meetings and have to meet continuing education requirements every year, mostly by attending conferences and seminars outside of work. These have their good and bad points: some conferences are held in fabulous locations.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: One of the best parts of the job is that for the most part the people are very happy, childbirth is an exciting experience. However, like all jobs, it has it's downsides> Sometimes babies die, but we've had mothers die as well. That is extremely difficult. It is also very hard to care for mothers who have willingly participated in recreational drug use during their pregnancies and whose babies are born addicted. It is a very fast-paced job and often there is no time for lunch or breaks, even during a 12-hour shift.
1. Do not burn your bridges. As upset as you may be during a situation, act professionally. It really is a small world out there!!
2. If you need a new job, network, network, network. Sometimes it really is who you know, not what you know.
3. If you are thinking about pursuing nursing, plan on spending at least a year on a Medical-Surgical floor. It will pay off.
Additional Thoughts: People on the outside think it's so wonderful to work in maternity. They envision you sitting in a rocking chair holding babies all day. Not so; there have been many shifts when I punch out at the end of a 12-hour shift and realize I never even had time to go to the bathroom. That being said, at the end of the day, I do love my job and the people I work with. The field of nursing provides you with some of the closest relationships!!
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