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Labor and delivery nurse

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A Labor and Delivery Nurse is a medical nurse that cares for new mothers and their infants. Their work can be diverse and technical including helping with charts, epidurals, breathing techniques, and breastfeeding. They can go into the delivery room and help the doctor with the delivery and perform any of a variety of tasks related to delivery and post-delivery care. After the baby is born, the nurse takes the baby to the nursery and administers the medical attention required, and returns to care care for the mother.

Duties

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The duties for a labor and delivery nurse are to take care of the women who are pregnant and their babies. They are to make sure that the soon to be mother has everything she needs to have a baby and make sure that she is as comfortable as she can be while in labor. Labor and delivery nurses can use ultra sound machines to help monitor the heart rate of the fetus. They also help with monitoring the blood pressure of the patient and explain to the mother to be what to expect while giving birth and how to control the breathing. The nurse is supposed to monitor the contractions and tell the doctor if there is anything wrong with the delivery process and the labor needs to head in a different direction. They are permitted to give the woman epidurals and other pain medication while they are in labor. Labor and delivery nurses also take care of the mother and baby after the baby is born. She teaches the mother all the things she needs to know on how to take care of a new baby. She answers any questions the parents have and teaches the mother how to breastfeed.[1] A labor and delivery nurse also manages the charts and makes sure the delivery is going as smooth as possible. They also help with admissions and check people in and out of the hospital. If they are experienced enough, they are able to help in births and cesarean sections. A cesarean section is when the doctor makes an incision in the abdomen and uterus. They then take the baby out of the womb and give it to the nurses for cleaning. The doctor will stitch up the incision and give medical attention to the mother. [1]

Education/Training

To become a labor and delivery nurse, a person must go through a college where they offer a nursing program. A nurse must earn a Registered Nurse degree which takes from two though four years to earn. Classes needed to become a nurse are chemistry, biology, and advanced math. All nurses must have one semester of clinical training. Clinical training is where the learning nurse watches the experts and follows them around to watch what they are doing and examining them. They do hands on training to make sure they are doing everything right and know what to do in situations. Some nurses who want to get higher degrees become Certified Lactation Consultants. CLC's are nurses who have taken a course on how to teach mothers how to breastfeed properly. They make sure the mother knows what she is doing and what is good for the baby. [1]

Salary

The salary of a labor and delivery nurse differs on the position they are in. A labor and delivery nurse will make around $40,000 to $90,000 annually. The salary is not always stable and can change often. The salary can raise quickly and nurses are often promoted and earn more due to their skills. They can earn more money with the more experience, schooling, and skills they have. The longer a labor and delivery nurse works in the same field, the higher their salary will go up. The salary also depends on where the nurse is working. If they are working in a busy, well populated area, they will make more money because they will have more business. Certain businesses will offer a nurse more money due to the experience and how important that nurse will be to them. Experience and training is a major role in making a higher salary. The harder and longer a labor and delivery nurse works in the field, the higher salary they will receive.[2].

Work Environment

In some hospitals, there is a unit for labor, delivery, and for postpartum care. Some hospitals have a special unit with operating rooms for cesarean sections while others have regular operating rooms that are able to perform them as well. The environment for a Labor and Delivery nurse is not always pleasant. Sometimes the job can be very hard and challenging. Not every birthing experience is easy and L&D (labor and delivery) nurses have to sometimes make life or death decisions. The stress of this job can really start to add up. It can cause a strain on the nurse and can produce physical and emotional pain. Heavy lifting is a big part of this job and can cause back problems. Emotional pain can come from the experience of losing a baby on the job. Helping a new baby come into the world is an amazing thing and can really be a blessing. It can be a life changing thing and can make a person happy knowing they helped a baby come into the world. The environment in the hospital can be a joyful place when a new baby is born, but when things go wrong, that can change. It can go from being happy, to going sad in an instant. The job can become chaotic when there is a problem and nurses have to act fast. [3].

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Herlihy, S.Training needed to become a labor and delivery nurse eHow.com. Web. accessed on February 10, 2013.
  2. . and Delivery Nurse Salary Neonatal Nurse Salary. Web. Last accessed February 27, 2013.
  3. Davila, Lisa. How to become a Labor and Delivery Nurse Inner Body. Web. accessed on February 27, 2013.