The Nursing Diaries: Labor & Delivery

Tuesday was the day I'd been waiting for all semester--my clinical day in Labor & Delivery! I was so excited to go into that floor, coach a birthing mama through labor, and shed a couple of tears during the awesome moment when mom and dad meet baby for the first time after a loud cry. Perfection. Well, negative. I didn't get to see a birth! I was helping mama push the baby out when the clock hit 3:30 PM and it was time for me to go home. I did learn a lot though about how to care for a laboring mama. SO what did I learn?
  • When you have a mama with gestational diabetes, you need to check her blood sugar every hour. Sticking her finger every hour sucks, but it must be done.
  • If she were to be on insulin, you would stick a finger in the arm that does not have the insulin connected to the IV line or you would get a false reading. 
  • Reading the EFM strip is mega-confusing! You get better with time & experience (so they tell me!)
  •  Labor & delivery requires an INSANE amount of charting!!!
  • When mama is in active labor, the nurse is assessing her, analyzing the EFM strip, and documenting her progression every 30 minutes.
  • When mam is complete (10 cm) and ready to push, the nurse is documenting every 15 minutes, while simultaneously coaching the mama on how to push, holding her legs up to push, and speaking words of affirmation to encourage her pushing. 
  • It makes a world of a difference when you tell a mama "You can do it!"
  • There's never a dull moment in L&D!
So, even though I didn't get to see  a birth on Tuesday, I learned a ton! I was sad, but I'm not sad anymore. Because I didn't get to see a birth, they're letting me return to L&D for my final clinical day this semester so I'm praying I'll be able to see a birth then. I'm excited!!!

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