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I am really struggling with a decision and I would love to hear what you wise women have to say. I am graduating from nursing school this Saturday <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/jumpers.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="jumpers">: and I have been now considering job offers. My long-term goal is to get my midwifery degree, but I don't forsee starting grad school for about 10 years or so.<br><br>
So, my question is: should I go right into an OB department or get some experience in a general med/surg unit first (on a side note-- I have very little general nursing experience)? I have been struggling so much with this decision. My choice is a general unit day/pm rotation or a straight nights OB position. The general unit pays better and has better benefits. Do any of you L&D nurses or midwives wish you had more general nursing experience?
 

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i was a med-surg nurse for about 3 years before i went into ob nursing. the med-surg experience was good for me, i became really good at prioritizing and being organized with many patients. i also feel like i learned a lot.<br><br>
that being said, once i entered ob nursing, i couldn't believe that i had spent so long in med-surg. i finally feel like now i am where i belong in nursing, and i wish i would have done it sooner. in august of this year, i began working in postpartum, and then in january i transferred and now work in labor and delivery.<br><br>
my goal is eventually midwifery also, but i don't see me doing it for many years either.<br><br>
i know nurses who came into L&D out of school, and they are great nurses, as are the ones with med-surg background.<br><br>
i just know that i wish i would have went into L&D nursing sooner. it is great, and i feel like i am really advocating for mamas and babies (and partners).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Nadine. Its really good to hear from someone who has been there. Do you feel like the med/surg is helpful at all or would it be just as well if I went right into OB?
 

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Congrats on your upcoming graduation!!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/jumpers.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="jumpers">:<br><br>
If you know your path is midwifery, don't bother with med surg. The experience might be valuable, but the benefit just isn't enough IMO. Go where your heart is.<br><br>
I never worked med surg as a nurse, and I don't feel as if I've missed anything.<br><br>
Blessings on your journey!<br><br>
Jennifer
 

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Personally, I started out in NICU - great experience with sick babies - and then moved to mom-baby before I went to midwifery school. I felt mom-baby was very helpful at learning time managment and prioritization. 4 moms and 4 babies (sometimes 5 of each) means a lot to keep track of. And the extra breastfeeding experience has also paid off big time. I don't regret skipping med-surg for a minute. I say - go into OB.<br><br>
Congrats!
 

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i went straight from school into L&D. i dont regret doing it... i would have been miserable anywhere else. i also have just finished my graduate degree in womens health... so not having med-surg has not held me back at all!
 

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I agree with the others - I knew I was going to be a midwife and skipped all that med/surg nonsense! I would have gone crazy! Plus L & D these days gets you lots of good basic nursing experience, depending on the acuity of the unit...
 

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I won't graduate for another year, but I've decided to head straight to L&D! It's so nice to hear this feedback from those who've been there! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I went straight into L&D also. I can't imagine doing it any other way. The hospital I work in now is very small, so I do do other things besides OB. But I try to stay away from sick people.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I wouldn't bother with M/S, it will make your path to midwifery take much longer!
 

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First, CONGRATS on GRADUATION!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I worked Peds, Mother/Baby, cardiac telemetry, ICU, etc........ as well as L&D.<br>
It gave me good experience but I was never happier anywhere else than Mother/Baby.... L&D was stressful because I didn't agree with hospital policy.<br><br>
Now, in Midwifery school.... all my other experience is really helping when I deal with public health issues and women who have never had good, regular healthcare. I can spot conditions that my Midwife preceptors miss because they have only been trained and dealing with reproductive issues for so long.<br><br>
It's a toss up.<br><br>
I'd say do L&D for your happiness, maybe cross trin on med surg for extra learning and experience.
 

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I started in L/D. It is okay for some if you realize how much it is medical surgical, but if you need organizational and prioritization skills do 6-12 months on medical surgical. I always recommend the med surg starting point.<br><br><br>
also, as a practitioner, I can easily tell the newer nurses in the subspecialty areas who have not done any med surg stuff. Especially before doing any intensive care!
 

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I was a nurse on a general surgical unit for about 18 months before transferring to L&D. I found the experience to be very valuable, I learned to prioritize, how to handle things when the sh** hit the fan, the basics for caring for a surgical pt, how to handle ob's(surgeons). I wouldn't have done it any other way. The floor I worked on was amazing, the people supportive-everyone from the techs to the manager.<br>
But, the unit I am on is small, only 17 beds, and we have less than 100 del. a month. The technical stuff I learned on the surg. unit helped-I see these brand new RN's who can't do the basics. But...that's not what's most important. The love for caring for the pregnant women and the skill that's involved with pregnancy is most important, and a lot of the new grads are fine with that, so what if they can't get the labs, IV, foley, 99% of the time there is someone more than willing to help. I had hospital experience, I was a tech in school and my mom's a med tech, so lab tests are my expertise...<br><br>
In a hospital with a busy L&d,I don't think the med surg. experience would matter. You would have enough to keep you busy and learning.<br>
congrats on graduating! If you love to care for the pregnant woman, go for L&D, we need more of you!!!!!
 

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I went right into L&D and don't regret it, as I wouldn't be happy anywhere else.<br><br>
However, I do feel like I would have benefited from med-surge with skills, organization and overall comfort as a nurse.<br><br>
It's such a toss up! Follow your heart and you will make the right decision.<br><br>
BTW, Night shift is really tough. And, Congrats!!!!!!!
 

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I had the same goals as you when I graduated from nursing school. Many people told me that I needed general med surg experience, so I went that way. I then discovered that it can actually be very challenging to switch from med surg to OB. If I could do it again, I would just go straight to OB, since that is what you want to do. If you change your mind later, it won't be any harder to go to med surg from OB than it is to go the other way.<br><br>
Good luck!!!
 
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