Monday, May 3, 2010

Bad Day at the Office

Of - so it really isn't an office...but it is work, none the less.

Yesterday, I had to work the antepartum floor - which is one of my least favorite things to do. Our department (Labor and Delivery) took over the antepartum unit late last summer. The antepartum unit is for sick, pregnant women or mom's in pre-term labor. Some of them are there for days if not weeks at a time. Occasionally months at a time. It is like regular floor nursing in that you have to pass meds, do baths and make beds. Just not my cup of tea. I like the fast pace of L&D, the adrenaline rushes, making a difference in someones birth experience, even doing c/s's is better to me. I like getting to know the patients,take care of them then transfer them off to the mother baby unit when the delivery is finished. Quick pace, interesting, job finished...

I dislike working the antepartum floor for it tends to be slower. Sometimes we can have up to 4 patients so there is less of that one on one getting to know a patient and it just, well, different. Yet, it is crazy busy all at the same time, for it is just, well, different. I have a hard time organizing my plan of care out there and staying on top of things. Maybe I go home feeling like I make more mistakes than make memories.
But, I keep getting told that it is better for patient care. Better for their care when they do come to L&D for there is more consistency as we already know alot about the patient. Better for their care for they get experienced nurses who can pick up on the subtleties of the high risk mom. Yet, I still stress every time I have to work over there.
Is it the bed making, is it the different paperwork, is it the bad stocking where you can't find the tools you need to do your job, or is it that I don't get that adrenaline rush?? I'm not really sure...I just know it is not where I want to be assigned.
So ~ where was I yesterday?? On the antepartum floor.
I only had two patients ~ one was a stable preterm mom, the other a not so stable preterm mom. And L&D was slammed busy....which is really where I wanted to be and I felt a bit guilty for not helping over there as much as I wanted to. (Though I did get to do one baby pick-up for a C/Section). So, I struggled through. I passed my meds, I made the beds, I made sure the mom's got the things they needed. But, did I really make any difference? I struggled to find the balance. I struggled to feel like I was getting all the right pieces put together. Yet, when my unstable preterm mom started laboring...I think I was able to help her more than if I did not have the L&D experience. I was able to pick up on the fact that I thought she was in labor. I was able to monitor her like a patient back in L&D - not just as an antepartum patient. I was able to get appropriate pain medication for her and provide for her emotional support. I was able to express to the physicians what I thought was going on with her and they respected my opinion since I work with them on a daily basis. Hopefully, in some way I made a difference for that patient. She did not deliver on my shift - but she was in preterm labor.
So, do I agree that it is better for patient care? Do I think we are making a difference out there? As much as I would love to say "NO - I hate it out there" ~ I do think it is better for patient care. I do think our expert knowledge benefits I just have to figure out a way to make it work better for us, the nurses who so dread going out there. There has to be a way to satisfy both patient and nurse and to utilize our gifts where they are best utilized. And maybe I need a little attitude adjustment and a little reminding that I can do it and I can make a difference for those long term patients.

1 comment:

Holly said...

I think it is a good think the L&D nurses also work the antepartum floor. I know it may not be as exciting but it does help patients to be able to recognizes nurses and have that familiarity.

I remember having to stay a week in the hospital with my daughter Kyndra on a similar floor. Great care makes a huge difference! Being in such a big hospital was overwhelming to me but seeing the same nurses each day that week helped.