OB nursing involves the delivery of babies, caring for their mothers, and dealing with patients’ husbands, boyfriends, and other nervous family members in an informative but comfortable way. OB nurses experience a variety of different areas around the time of childbirth. For example, OB nurses may spend their time in a hospital nursery taking care of the babies who have just been born, or they could be working with postpartum women. They could be assigned to a labor patient anywhere during the labor and delivery process and have to guide them through the labor, answering questions and assisting with comfort needs, feeding a baby, or guide a woman through breastfeeding.
OB nurses can work in hospitals that are high-risk and high-volume, in free-standing birthing centers, or in hospital birth center nurseries. They deal with a number of patients who have many different issues, like mothers who had cesareans, infants whose mothers are postpartum and haven’t started to take care of their baby yet, or babies who are receiving treatment for a problem. Depending on what time their shift begins, an OB nurse can be involved in active labor, uncomplicated pregnancies, or patients who are early on in their pregnancies but have started to have problems.
OB nursing is an exciting and challenging profession that requires care and patience. You may sometimes have to explain to nervous fathers why specific things are happening, and you may be put on the spot by the nursery nurse to weigh a baby or take a newborn to his mother for feeding time. You may have to deal with cases where mothers are having complications, or prepare paperwork, administer shots of pain medication, retrieve medication, take patients to the bathroom, and help set up IVs. Education is a large part of being in the OB nursing field. Want to become involved in OB nursing? You will need an advanced nursing degree, RN to BSN degree, or LPN to BSN degree. Or you can learn more about these programs from the University of Phoenix: