Being a Labor and Delivery Nurse
The job of a nurse is, in certain areas of their work, akin to the job of a caregiver. But as we know, nurses perform jobs that are highly complicated. There are many cases where they save lives and this is possibly the biggest gift a human being can give to another human being. A labor and delivery (L&D) nurse also performs a very important role as they bring a new life to Mother Earth. Being an L&D nurse is not easy at all and this is why it is important that one knows what lies in store for them in this career.
The job of an L&D nurse could range from assisting in childbirth to helping in caesarian surgeries to making reports to childcare to perinatal education to child nursing as the list could go on and on and on.
Relevant education and experience are both necessary for L&D nurses but there is much more to this job than just these two elements. Childbirth is one of the most critical functions of the human body and complications are more norms than exceptions. A trained nurse needs to be able to think on their feet immediately and they should be adept at taking the right decisions in the shortest possible time. Even a small mistake can endanger the mother and/or her child. This is something that no nurse wants to experience and this is why, they need to be extremely quick on their feet.
Moreover, L&D nurses need to be excellent communicators. Sometimes they need to consult the would-be and the new mothers and sometimes they need to pacify the newborns. Being a labor and delivery nurse means someone has to be extremely flexible as they need to show their skills in the operating rooms and in the pre and post natal care rooms. They also need to have certain technical skills so that they are able to handle the complex medical technology that is used today.
L&D nurses can be LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses) or RPNs (Registered Practical Nurses) or CNMs (Certified Nurse Midwives). There are specific educational qualifications and trainings associated with all these three careers and they may differ slightly from state to state. RPNs, for instance, can choose from four-year college bachelor's degree programs or three-year hospital based diploma programs or 2-year community college associate degrees.
After the completion of their course, they are then required to undergo practical training so that job avenues open up for them. The first jobs are typically simpler where they assist in various childbirth related functions. But with experience they can gradually take up consultative roles.
The job outlook for L&D nurses has always been on the rise in the US. The average increase in job outlook was in the region of 24%. LPN median salary is $40,380 and that of RPNs is $64,690. However, some RPNs are known to earn as much as $95,000.
Being a labor and delivery nurse comes with its perks, but it is also a critical job. Someone should have the stomach to digest even the most basic elements of this job. For someone looking at this function as their career, it is important that they think through. At the end of the day, however, it is a very rewarding career.