February tends to be a slow month for our unit. It is the perfect time to throw in our yearly skills day and to catch up on things. Traditionally there seem to be fewer babies made in May ~ hence fewer deliveries in February (other slower months for labor and delivery are late October and November).
Yet, this year that trend is not holding true for us. We seem to be busier than ever! I haven't decided if it is because we are truly doing more deliveries or that we have less staff. Some area hospitals have closed their L&D departments and that may be impacting us too. We are one of the few units in the hospital that is still hiring. We just added 3 new 'experienced' nurses who just need to be trained to the L&D piece and we are looking at adding 4 or 5 new grads for an upcoming internship. (Any one want a job???) Hopefully this will help!
I do know is that we are running 12-15 patients at any given time right now. (not counting our longer term antepartum patients). Yesterday was the first time in a long time that I saw a measly 7 patients on the board at a given time. We still did 11 deliveries though on my shift alone. It is hard to get up and go to work when you know that you are going to be running around and never getting a moment to just socialize with your patients. Ok - maybe work isn't about socializing, but I like sitting with my patients, just chatting with my them :) I like learning about my patients. Things like ~ one of my patients is a lawyer that works with underprivileged women and does international work fighting women trafficking. If I didn't have time to just "be" with her I'd never have found that out. And who knows when I may need to refer someone to her services??
To add to the over all busyness of the unit....we added on a new computer charting system this week. We already use one for our laboring mom's and now we are adding a hospital wide charting system for the baby and the mom post delivery. What a learning curve!! The system is not very user friendly. I Say that as someone who is actually some what computer savvy....the system is just cumbersome...takes about 10 clicks just to get in to it to chart. UGH!! It is easy once you are in but getting there is a bit overwhelming. I know that we will adjust and we need to tweak some of it but it really came at a bad time. Add in the ongoing construction on the unit and we are about to throw in the towel....I've even had recent conversation with my husband about trying to cut back to part time. But for now I don't think that is happening. Management would never approve that at the moment :(
Yet, I do love my job. As much as we complain, the majority of us wouldn't do anything else. It is sort of an addiction. I love being there when a new little one arrives. I love meeting up with former patients and snuggling with their babies. It just feels good to help someone have the delivery that they want. It may be a challenge at times to get that 'perfect' delivery but every one is special. The labor is worth the effort. How many people can say they work all day and have results like this?? A baby that comes out with a lusty cry and a smile on his face...ever see a newborn smile?